April 5th, 2021
Duluth Government Pensions Reveal Need For More Reform
DULUTH—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today revealed retired government employee pensions for Duluth and St. Louis County. Many Minnesota government employees are becoming pension millionaires when retired.
“Many government retirees make more in pension payments than private sector taxpayers make in salaries,” stated Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President and Founder and Chair of Free And Equal. “Both the economy and the pension system are in serious trouble. While taxpayers struggle to save for their own retirement and fund the pension system, government retirees have to be concerned that their pension payments will continue.”
“I have hand delivered a letter to Gov. Dayton and mailed the Legislature, calling for additional pension reform that will be both fair and sustainable. TUA is ready to work with legislators who want to do what’s in the best interest of their constituency and not the union bosses who fund their reelection.”
“Until pension plans eliminate the possibility of creative accounting practices and actuarial tricks that mask the critical level of unfunded liabilities, Minnesotans need to be very worried. The devastation of a system collapse will not discriminate between public and private sector citizens or party lines.”
“Robert Zeleznikar, retired St. Louis County government employee, collects an annual pension of $160,051. His estimated lifetime payout is $6,208,386. *”
“Thomas Kuzas, also retired from the St. Louis government, has an annual pension of $127,592 with an estimated lifetime payout of $4,949,291*.”
“Retired Duluth employee, Janet Schroeder, has a lifetime estimated payout of $4,418,020* based on her actual annual pension of $113,896.”
“Minnesota’s government pension systems are crushing middle class Minnesotans. Replacing defined benefit pensions for all new government hires with social security and 401(k)s would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. If current government employees would just increase their pension contributions, they would preserve their pension benefits. We need a stable system that is fair to both taxpayers and beneficiaries or pension checks will just stop coming.”
“This is the time for political courage, to do what’s in the best interest of taxpayers, rather than the union bosses. Lawmakers seem to think they answer to unions and corporations. Let’s knock any politician out-of-office, who cuts deals with bad union bosses and bad corporations!
View letters to the governor and legislature below:
View pension amounts below:
- Duluth Municipality | download raw data
- St. Louis County | download raw data
- MN State Employees | download raw data
- MN Public Teachers | download raw data
- MN State Highway | download raw data
- MN State Judges | download raw data
- MN State Legislators | download raw data
*TUA submits FOIA requests for actual pensions. Since personal information is not available, lifetime pension payouts must be estimated based on retirement at 56, life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590), and 2% COLA.