October 20th, 2020
Des Moines Iowa: Government Pensions Top Secret
DES MOINES—A report released today by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals salaries and top pension estimates for the government employees of the cities of Des Moines, Ames, Boone; the counties of Polk and Story, Iowa government teachers, as well as Iowa State employees. These government employees are not only receiving generous salaries, but as retirees, many will become pension millionaires. Iowa bureaucrats refuse to release pension figures, so total pension payouts were estimated* for this report.
“One really has to question why Iowa lawmakers keep individual pension information in a shroud of secrecy. Prohibiting public review of this information sends a message to taxpayers that lawmakers are more concerned with protecting abusers and double-dippers than imposing adequate reforms on a system that holds taxpayers hostage,” said Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President.
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“Des Moines/Ames/Boone area taxpayers struggle through this recession with average wages of $34,000 to $44,000 while government employees really rake it in for as many as 30 years of retirement.”
“Des Moines City Manager, Richard A. Clark had annual gross wages of $226,664 and looks forward to an estimated annual pension starting at $147,332 with an estimated lifetime payout of $4,125,292.”*
“Polk County Medical Examiner, Gregory A Schmunk can look forward to an estimated lifetime pension payout of $3,984,107, that is $218,907 annually, based on his current gross wages of $219,907.”*
“Ames City Manager, Steven L. Schainker grosses a very comfy $180,860 annually which will afford him an estimated annual pension of $117,559, accumulating an estimated $3,291,657 over a normal lifetime.”*
“Polk County government teacher, Randall James Ripperger had annual gross wages of $104,213. James will enjoy $1,896,677 in estimated lifetime pension payouts or $67,738 annually.”*
“The top 100 Iowa University employee estimated pensions will all reach the $159,00 annual maximum or $4,452,000 estimated lifetime pension payout on annual gross wages from $348,115 to $3,862,370. That’s right, at least 100 government university employees may have an estimated annual pension of $348,115 !”*
“Iowa government pension systems are making millionaires out of public employees at taxpayer expense. Although some reforms have been made to the Iowa government employee pension systems, additional reform is critical. Ending pensions for all new government hires and replacing with social security and 401(k)s would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. If current government employees increase contributions toward his or her pension, taxpayers would save billions of dollars. We need to knock all politicians out, of office who make deals with bad government union bosses and bad corporate power brokers at the expense of the taxpayers.”
*For Police and Fire employees 30 years with retirement at age 55; for others 35 years retirement at age 62; assumes dividend (COLA) averages 1.5% per year; assumes current salary is same as retirement salary; Est. Total Pension Payout 30 years at age 55, 24 years at age 62. 6. Est. Total Pension Payout does not include Soc. Sec. payments if any; P&F pay 8.94%, others 4.5% plus 6.2% Soc. Sec., P&F max. 82% after 30 years, others 65% after 35 years; SS wages were covered up to the federal limit of $245,000 for calendar years 2010 and 2011 or max. pension of about $159,000.