September 8th, 2020
Retired Chicago Police and Firemen Getting Rich From Locally Funded Pensions (Revised)
CHICAGO— Retired Chicago police and firemen receive lavish, gold-plated pensions, and, according to Jim Tobin, President of the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation (ITEF), the reason Governor Patrick Quinn signed Senate Bill 3538, the $500,000,000 Chicago property tax increase, is to pump more taxpayer dollars into extravagant city pensions. The bill also forces local governments to raise property taxes statewide to fund local pensions, instead of requiring real pension reforms.
“I acknowledge that firemen and police have high-risk jobs,” said Tobin, “but that is no reason to force taxpayers to fund pensions that are making pension millionaires of many of these retirees.”
“Those receiving the largest annual pensions are retired Chicago police,” said Tobin, “and the proposed property tax increase pumps even more tax dollars into these pension funds. Of the top 10,000 police pensions, the average annual pension is a whopping $48,900. The largest annual police pension went to Philip Cline, whose annual pension is $146,973– $12,248 a month. Another retired Chicago cop, Dana Starks, is pulling in $11,243 a month with his pension, that’s $134,924 annually. Terry Hillard, another retired Chicago cop, is pulling in a lavish $140,701 annual pension.”
“The property tax increase will also pour more tax dollars into the Chicago firemen pension fund, which provides an average annual pension of $58,900 to its 2,560 pensioners. The largest pension goes to James T Joyce, who received an annual pension of $137,800 — $11,483 a month. James Kehoe is a close second with an annual pension of $126,650, which comes out to $10,554 a month. Another top pensioner is Norbert Diaz whose monthly pension is $10,325– $123,910 a year!”
“With the median fulltime wage for Chicago area households at $36,900 and the unemployment rate now at 9%, Chicago property tax increases to pay these extravagant pensions are inexcusable, and pension plan reforms are needed. The Chicago City Council and Mayor must end pensions for all new government, which hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions; putting new government hires into social security and 401(k)s would achieve this. Furthermore, requiring public employees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more.”
***Thanks to the keen eyes of our readers, it was brought to our attention that there was an error in the Top Chicago Police Pensions list released last week. We apologize for the misinformation, and thank our ever-watchful readers for spotting the error. The revised list can be viewed by clicking the link below.***