Chicago Government School Pensions Drive Chicago the way of the Motor City

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Chicago—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of its second study of the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) which reveals many pensioners are on track to collect more than $5 million dollars in lifetime pension payments, benefits that are much more generous than those in the now bankrupt city of Detroit.

“The top 200 Chicago government-teacher pensions are all over $115,000 per year,” – stated TUA president, Jim Tobin.

“Detroit gives us a peek into Chicago’s future and an illustration of what happens when politicians commit future taxpayers to foot the bill for today’s services, in a deal made with union bosses to get elected. This is the future and the bills are due.”

“Chicago is cutting services and laying off thousands of employees that we can’t afford to pay because we are paying so much to so many to do absolutely nothing. Hopefully, Illinois’ government bureaucrats realize that there will be no bail-outs from their friend in DC and will actually do something about the fiscal mess they have created.”

“These government-teacher pensions are a prime example of why Chicago and the entire state are in financial trouble. We are walking directly in the footsteps of Detroit and as we do, more taxpayers will leave to lower tax states, many more government employees will be laid off, and still more will rush to retirement and their lavish pensions. It doesn’t take a genius to understand how that toxic combination of behaviors will accelerate our financial demise.”

“Government bureaucrats need to choose between union bosses and their quid pro quo deals, and the taxpayers who fund the system. They can’t pretend that they didn’t see the crisis coming; we have given them ample warning. Detroit was warned and yet they refused to do what was necessary to protect the taxpayers, bondholders, and the retirees who will be devastated by the irresponsibility of their leadership.”

“Chicago’s government-teachers’ pensions are unsustainable and clearly illustrate why we can’t continue to pay such astronomical amounts to people for, in many cases, more years of retirement than years of active employment. Chicago taxpayers, whose average household income is $47,371, and struggle with 9.3% unemployment need to know how much Chicago’s government-teacher retirees are being paid not to work and the astronomical accumulation of those payments over an average lifetime.”

Top 200 Chicago Government School Pensions

“Manford Byrd tops our list of taxpayer-funded annual pensions at $174,157 per year, a $14,804 increase since our last report in 2011 thanks to the generous 3% COLA.”

“Barbara Eason-Watkins, Herman Escobar, Denise Gamble, Valerie Brown, Maria Rodriguez O’Keefe, Noemi Esquivel, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Miguel Trujillo, and Everett Edwards will all collect over $5 million in estimated lifetime pension payouts! * ”

“Without sweeping and immediate reform, CTPF will collapse and take Chicago with it. It’s mathematically impossible to tax your way out of this problem. Real pension reform must include increasing employee contributions by 10%, increasing healthcare contributions to 50%, eliminating all COLA’s, and replacing the defined benefit system with a defined contribution system for all new hires.”

*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% compounded COLA and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590).

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