Chicago Police Pensions Worth Three Times Social Security Pensions With Less Time Worked

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CHICAGO–The average Chicago police pension is worth three times that of Social Security and police can retire with six years less work, according to research by Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

“The maximum Social Security pension is $22,000 at age 62, with a minimum of 35 years of work,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “The average Chicago police pension (2009-10) is $62,000 at age 58 after 29 years.”

“For a person on Social Security age 62 getting $22,000 a year, the estimated total pension payout over a normal lifetime is $560,000. Compare this to an average Chicago police pension of $62,000 starting at age 58. In this case, the estimated total pension payout over a normal lifetime is $2,500,000.”

“The average Chicago police pension is worth three times that of Social Security with retirement four years earlier and with six years less work.”

“In other words, they retire four years earlier, work six years less, and get three times as much.”

“For the Top 100 Chicago Police Pensions, the average pension is over $110,000 a year.”

“Police contribute 9% to their pension fund. The total Social Security contribution by employee and employer is 12.4%. Employers in the private sector pay employees less to compensate for their mandated Social Security contribution. Self-employed individuals pay 13.3% into Social Security on incomes up to $106,800.”

23 Responses

  1. Not a cop says:

    Police officers burn out quicker than any other field. Working in a chicago ghetto must be hell but someone has to do it. So they get to retire earlier after they risk getting killed every day. Things might be rough in the orivate sector right now but they will get better . Not for cops though. It stays the same for them. BNo comission. No bonus. All in all a cop is not your regular overpaid public employees.

    • Honest Cop says:

      Bullshit!!! Kids who live in poverty in the ghetto can make this claims
      Not police officer, they live as long as anyone else, and there many, other
      Professions with similar risks, work hour, stress, you name it and most pay
      Their own retirement! You must be a cop who believes his own bullshit, and I
      Bet you are 80 years old

      • NoSuchThing says:

        Police risk their lives to protect people every day, that is pure brainwashed lies. The police in Chicago are jeks they have this superman syndrome and expect everyone to bow down to them. They are pompus and abusive, most of the time they are are just tax collectors via fines and fees. The cops usually investigate the crime after it has been commited not during.

        I have never been helped by a police officer only taxed and fined. They are here to quell the public into submission they work for the rich not for everyday taxpayer not to mention they drive like arses!

  2. Police officer Michael Spaargaren says:

    It’s true. Then become a cop.

  3. John Garrido says:

    “Police contribute 9% to their pension fund. The total Social Security contribution by employee and employer is 12.4%. Employers in the private sector pay employees less to compensate for their mandated Social Security contribution. Self-employed individuals pay 13.3% into Social Security on incomes up to $106,800.”

    Your agenda comes across loud and clear when you mislead readers. If you’re going to compare contributions then compare apples to apples.

    According to official website of the Social Security Administration, an employer contributes 6.2% and an employee contributes 4.2%; that’s right, an employee contributes 4.2% to social security. Compare that to an officer who contributes 9% to his pension.

    According to the same website, the self-employment rate is 10.4%

    You should also know that a 2009 FBI Stats law enforcement bulletin pointed to a study that found that “age-mortality rate for officers was, on average, 12 years lower than their civilian counterparts…and the average life expectancy after retiring was 5.05 years less than that of people in other occupations.”

    This same study found that police suicides are 3 times higher than the average rate.

  4. Peter White says:

    It’s a pretty bad world when for 30+ years a person, literally, risks their own lives in order to keep people safe and most of the people who never notice how risky that job is (because police make sure their peace is constant) treat the police with less respect than dirt.
    Don’t go blaming the police for the pensions they have EARNED. Blame the politicians for the pension problems that are now present because the politicians have borrowed, used and stolen all the money from the police/fire pension funds to pay for their own pet projects. These same politicians have NEVER REPAYED what the took. Also, the City of Chicago and State of Illinois has NEVER contributed the amount of pension money that was contracted for them to pay.
    Oh… And by the way… Police officers are barred by the laws of Illinois to collect Social Security. However, the police officers still pay for Social Security with every check…. You’re welcome Social Security Recipients!

  5. Detective W. Kirby says:

    Less time worked? Sure. All you have to do is work weekends, holidays, midnights, in freezing cold winters, in humid summers, during storms when others won’t even look out the windows–all while people are trying to kill you! Great job! Oh, did I mention evry goof in the city is trying to sue you because they crashed the stolen car they were driving when you were trying to arrest them? How about you can’t get a day off because the squad cars aren’t manned becuase politicians won’t hire more cops? My kids used think Christmas fell on the 29th becuase there was no way I was getting Christmas day off. And what the hell is this New Year’s Eve party I keep hearing about? Twenty or thirty years of this crap and you are lucky to be alive and well enough to even pull a retirement–if there is a pension left. Politicians have been failing to fund our pensions as state law requires for years now. Keep misinforming the voters! Most Americans can easily see through this nonsense and don’t support the uneducated viewpoint this article holds. Just remember, you can pick up a telephone at 3:13 AM on a Sunday in January and still get a cop to pull up to your front door. SAME CAN’T BE SAID WITH MOST OTHER JOBS IN THE WORLD!! Think about what you are saying before you open your stupid mouth in order to push your political agenda on the backs of good people. Most people in the Land of the Free support us and appreciate what we do.

    • Robert says:

      Hi, im a high school senior and was seriously considering beging a career detective, would you say its worth it or provides a life for you r family? or do you have a family? im just trying to figure some stuff out. Your opinion would really help.

    • NoSuchThing says:

      Typical response by an arrogant cop, Most people dont want to be policed, they want to be free. You guys are a gestapo police force who violate our civil liberties and treat the people who scum. You know you can get away with it because you have a whole gang of police backup all packing heat. You treat the people who pay your salaries like dirt then complain why you get no respect. Work weekend, holidays, nights, yes welcome to the real world.

  6. Ed Riordan says:

    A very slanted one side article that show little fact.
    The officers pay at least 9% of the money they make, the city was also supposted to pay into this gund, but seems to have forgotten how.
    With social security, the emloyer must make monthly payments or face federal action.
    With the police pension, they quit paying the monthly payments, then topped it off by using the funds as piggy bank and lost tons of money ( But the mayors buds all made out )
    Also, lets remember they politicians tried to put non police political friends on the pension.
    Also, what happened to all the social security money I paid in for 35 years on side jobs and miltary time? That was taken away with no refund by a greatful democratic congress.

  7. Soma People says:

    Your article is quite misleading. I’d like to understand the point of the report but I’m at a loss. Are you jealous of police pensions? I’d suggest you apply, hit the streets for 30 years and see how you do. All the while, you won’t miss a single payment into your pension. Why? You have no choice. You were told that you will give up 9% of your check every payday and retire with 75% after 30 years. However, you have to realize that your life expectancy is greatly reduced and the likelihood of you collectig those pension payments for a long time is slim to none. And for the record, based on your article, officers are paying almost 50% more into their pensions than those paying into FICA (6.2% vs. 9). Your numbers are as ignorant of fact as you are.

    • admin says:

      According to CALPERS and National Criminal Justice Reference Service, safety officers have the same life expectancy as non-safety officers. Private sector Social Security payments 100% privately funded. While the employee pays half, the private sector employer pays the other half. No taxpayer dollars are used as they are in government employment.

  8. MD says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that police officers (in Chicago anyway) are still contributing to Social Security while contributing to their pensions. However, they will not be allowed to collect SS when they retire because they have the pension, which they were promised upon being hired and was a major reason why they took such a dangerous job. So they are contributing to their own pensions for retirement as well as to that of those who will collect SS.

    • no… we do not and are not allowed to contribute to SSI, but i have contributed the qualifying number of years prior to joining the department, but will not be able to collect social security when i retire due to having a police pension

  9. I would like to see TPUOA do a piece on politicians pensions. Must of them receive a pension of 80% of their salaries based on 8 years of service. If these articles and this organization is truly bipartisan and meant to inform the public, then they should report on the pensions of the people creating the problem

  10. George A. Rosebrock says:

    One of the things that I found interesting about the article is that they calculate the police pension worth on an estimated “normal” lifetime. I wish the “researchers” would have taken the time to check the statistics on the average length a police officer lives to collect a pension. Also, a pension is just that-a retirement pension. Social security is not and never was meant to serve as a pension. It is a “security” system to aide individuals-not a retirement fund for them to live off of.

    • admin says:

      According to CALPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) public safety officers live as long as non-public safety officers.

      • Kate says:

        Well let’s see my Dad collected 3 pension checks after he served for 40 years on in Chicago. My Uncle died on the job didn’t collect a pension. My neighbor died on the job- no pension. I know many officers who work part time jobs or who had jobs before being on the Police Department and have contributed to SS and will not see any of that. The Pension has not been funded properly by the government that is NOT the employees fault.

  11. Retired Det. J. Molitor says:

    Life expectancy after retiring from the JOB is not the same in the private sector. How many of us (police)have lost friends/partners to a multitude of fatal injuries be it cancer, heart attacks, shootings to name a few. Personally, I retired at 55 &, due to health problems, don’t expect to see 75. Where’s my 2.5 million?

  12. Rick Aztlan (CPD Retired) says:

    First of all, Social Security was never intended to be a Pension, so how can it be compared to the Police Annuity? Secondly, many police officers have earned the credits to receive full Social Security Benefits, but cannot because the law has been written to only give retired police a fraction of what they earned and paid into the system.

    The real issues here involve the way corrupt politicians manipulated the Social Security System to make it the a primary source of entitlement handouts to people who never contributed a cent to the System. Prior to my retirement my officers arrested an individual who stated that he was addicted to illegal drugs, and was therefore receiving Social Security Disability payments. Illegal Aliens who have never contributed a cent into the system, receive Social Security! Police officers earn their pensions, and deserve better ones, perhaps like those of Congressmen and Senators, with their full top of the line medical coverage for life. I can still remember when former Cong. Dan Rostenkowski was sitting in Federal Prison, receiving his full pension, even though he was a convicted felon, sitting in prison! Social Security is doomed because it is being spent on way for which it was never intended. Our pension is doing what it was intended to do, for the inidviduals for whom it was created.

  13. Jose Rodriguez says:

    Contributions to your retirement should be a benefit, reviewing the thread and discussion your points are valid. there are other approaches and options. everyone should have more control since this is your money your putting away. have you heard of the 3 tax buckets? Tax now, Tax later or Tax free. most have a tax later plan and more possible taxation or loss depending the rules. the biggest challenge is financial education. why pay more into something to receive less. I have worked with some police officers regarding their retirement plan, exposed some areas of potential income loss because of their plan. Police officers do a lot for our city and deserve more.

  14. R.C.F. Jr says:

    The thieving politicians are the blame for this pension mess that we are
    in. Why did these crooked politicians pass a law where as a politician could retire after so many years, and receive his or her pension, and then get another working position in Illinois Government, but work only a few months, resign from that position, and have thousands dollars added on to his or her original pension for life !

    Also, why didn’t the City and the State make the required pension contributions under law like they were supposed to. These crooked City and State politicians should be prosecuted if the ordinary City and State workers lose their rightful pensions !

  15. T says:

    Cops do not get Social Security and they respond to your 911 call. Oh they also sign up to get shot at possible. If you have questions and or arguments email me.

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