Government Hides Wichita Pensions?

WICHITA—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today revealed government wages and pension estimates for Wichita and Sedgwick County.  Kansas government employees are not only receiving generous salaries, but when retired, many will become pension millionaires. Kansas officials refused to release pension figures, so the pension payouts are close estimates* for this report.

“What are Kansas lawmakers hiding?  Are they more concerned with protecting abusers, than reforming a system that holds taxpayers hostage?” asked Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President.  “The public, who voted them into office, have a right to know how their tax dollars are spent!”

“I have hand delivered letters to Gov. Brownback and each member of the Kansas Legislature, asking for transparency regarding individual pension amounts, as well as meaningful pension reforms that will be both fair and sustainable.”

“Private sector taxpayers are struggling in the ‘Great Recession,’ with an average income of $42,000.  The unemployment/underemployment rate (U6) is 15.1%.  The maximum Social Security annual payout is $22,000, regardless of how much one may have earned in their working career.”

Click the links below to view the estimated pensions and the letter to the governor and legislature.

Norman D. Williams of the Wichita Police Department can look forward to an estimated lifetime pension payout of $3,623,013, that is $121,067 annually, based on his current gross of $151,334.”*

Ronald D. Blackwell of the Wichita Fire Department had annual gross wages of $131,015 and looks forward to an estimated annual pension starting at $104,812 with an estimated lifetime payout of $3,144,364.”*

“Sedgwick County Chief Clinical Director, Rex Lear had annual gross wages of $201,231.  Lear will enjoy $2,958,102 in estimated lifetime pension payouts or at least $123,254 annually.”*

“Kansas government pension systems are making millionaires out of public employees at taxpayer expense. Ending pensions for all new government hires and replacing with social security and 401(k)s would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. If government employees would just increase their pension contributions, they would preserve their pension benefits. Anything less will ensure the system’s collapse and Kansas government retirees will get nothing. We need a stable system that is fair to both taxpayers and beneficiaries.”

“According to the Kansas Policy Institute’s report of March, 2011,  A Comprehensive Reform of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, ‘Kansas must enact pension reform quickly to ensure the future viability of the system and to prevent catastrophic funding shortfalls in the near future’.”

“This is the time for the political courage to do what’s in the best interest of taxpayers, rather than the special interests. Let’s knock any politician out-of-office, who cuts bad deals with union bosses and corporations! Republican or Democrat, what’s the difference, with numbers like these?”

*1. Est. Begin pensions 35 years except P&F at 32 years  2. Retirement age 62 except P&F at age 55.3. No COLA4. NO SS for P&F.

Click here to view release as a  PDF

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