Berwyn Retired Government Employees Revel at Taxpayer Expense
BERWYN–A new report by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals that many Berwyn retired government employees receive lavish, gold-plated pensions that far exceed average annual wages of workers in the private sector.
“These outrageous government-employee pensions are bankrupting the state,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “Springfield House and Senate Democrats just temporarily raised the state personal income tax 67%, all $6.8 billion taxpayer dollars of which is being used to fund the state’s lavish retired government employee pension programs.”
“Berwyn’s retired public school teachers in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) are really raking it in with some retired teachers’ pensions over triple the average Berwyn household income of $46,000″ said Tobin. “The largest annual TRS pension goes to James H. Cunneen, formerly of J. S. Morton HSD 201, whose annual pension is $155,161 — $12,930 a month. Kenneth E. Keeling, also formerly of J. S. Morton HSD 201, already has received a total pension payout of $1,766,887.
“Our property taxes are used to pay the lavish pensions of local public employees,” said Tobin, “and the pensions of Berwyn’s police and firemen are no exception.” Jeffery Johnson tops the list with an annual pension of $86,433; $7,203 a month. Not far behind is Thomas Benrus who rakes in an extravagant annual pension of $84,750.
Those in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), which is also funded by our property taxes, are collecting lavish pensions. One of the largest IMRF pensions in Berwyn goes to Robert E. Woodyard, formerly of the City of Berwyn, who has made $299,221 off of his pension to date, and is still collecting $56,532 annually. But the top pension goes to Thomas M. Martirano, also formerly of the City of Berwyn, who collects a pension of $130,095 a year. To date Martirano has raked in an accumulated $791,512.
These retired government employees are sucking the system dry. But the four-year state income tax surcharge can be allowed to expire without cutting government services.