Pension Millionaires Draining Lifeblood from TRS Pension Fund

Click to view release as a PDF

CHICAGO–Pension millionaires and pension high-rollers have sucked the lifeblood out of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), charged the President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), Jim Tobin.

“According to the Chicago Tribune, the situation is so dire that the TRS website acknowledged that insolvency is a possibility,” said Tobin.

“TUA just compiled the TRS ‘Top 100 Teacher Pensions’ as of April 1, 2012, and one glance shows why TRS is so badly over-extended.”

Click here to download the Top 100 TRS pension amounts (PDF).

“The top TRS pension, a whopping $269,531 a year, goes to Henry S. Bangser, of New Trier TWP HSD 203. So far Bangser has collected a total pension payout of $1,366,454.”

“But in terms of total pension payout to date (as of 4/1/2010), Bangser is an amateur. Stephen D. Berry, of Township HSD 214, so far has collected a mindboggling $2,591,450, in addition to his annual pension of $189,081.”

“William J. Attea, of Glenview CCSD 34, so far has collected a total pension payout of $2,500,838, with his annual pension of $183,750.”

“The TRS website states that if no new revenues are found, benefits may be reduced. That’s how serious the TRS pension crises is.”

“Compared with salaries and pensions in the private sector, these government-teacher pensions are outrageous. It’s no wonder that the government-employee pensions in Illinois are drowning in red ink.”

“The way to fix the broken pension system is to replace pensions for all new government hires with social security and 401(k)s, and increase current employee contributions. This is the only way to eliminate the unfunded liabilities that plague taxpayers.”

“Finally, voters should kick all Springfield Democrats out of office in 2012. They are the ones who approved the temporary 67% state income tax surcharge, all of which will be pumped into the state pension programs.”

3 Responses

  1. Bob Dowd says:

    I saw Christina on WGN News last night..She made a comment about “Golden Pensions”..Christina..Im a retired Chicago cop, and I can tell you, there IS NO golden pension for cops..Politicians yes, but not for cops..Im sorry but you are misinformed. Im sure youre well intentioned, but to make that comment only made you look silly. The city, for years, has failed to fund their part of the pension, and that alone has left it short on cash..You should do some investigating before speaking next time…Bob

    • Christina says:

      Mr. Dowd, thank you for your comment.

      Our research shows that the top 100 Chicago Police pensions average over $110,000 a year. In contrast, the maximum Social Security pension is $22,000 at age 62 with a minimum of 35 years.

      The average police pension (2009-10) is $62,000 at age 58 after 29 years of employment.

      If one compares an estimated total Social Security payout of $780,000 (starting at age 62 at $22,000), with an estimated total police pension payout of $2,500,000 (starting at age 58 at $62,000), the police pension is worth three times that of Social Security, with retirement four years earlier and with six years less work.

      Our point is that it is difficult to argue that a pension worth three times that of Social Security is not a “golden” pension.


  2. Mark says:

    Are Chicago Police exempted from Social Security? I know employees contributing to Teachers Retirement System of Illinois (TRS) are exempted from contributing to, and thus receiving, Social Security; although State Law changed for Teachers and Administrators hired 2011 of after and some claim that those employees may have to someday contribute to Social Security, although they currently don’t.

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