Subscriber Special - The 'Pension Palace' for Illinois Lawmakers Money41

April 2, 2016 09:55 AM
      AmericanTransparencyLogo                     every_dime
Nobody knows how to game-the-system for personal gain 
... like an Illinois lawmaker. 
Trending in 'Most Popular' at Forbes Opinion
Forbes | April 1, 2016
Unfortunately, this was no April 1st joke... 
Illinois lawmakers have the sweetest retirement deal on planet earth. 
It's supposed to be a 'part-time' job in the general assembly, but now taxpayer funded legislator pension costs exceed most base salaries.  
Last year, taxpayers paid a whopping $71,818 per legislator ($15.8 million in FY2015) to fund lawmaker 'golden parachute' retirement plans. 
At, we looked at who's receiving what, when and for how long. Here are just some of the 'big-dogs' from both parties: 
  • Retired Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley (D) makes $132,384 a year in state lawmaker pension - from a short eight-year 'career' as a state senator (plus some pension spiking tricks). 
  • Former Governor Jim Edgar (R) costs taxpayers $337,816 per year: a $156,324 pension, plus an $181,492 salary (FY2013) at our flagship University of Illinois at Champaign. 
  • In 2010, former Republican Governor George Ryan had a $197,028 annual pension ($16,419/month), but it was stripped away by the successful public corruption prosecution conviction. 
  • Even former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert (R) cashed in for a $28,020 ($2,335/month) legislative state pension before heading off to his congressional career.
What happened to the lawmaker 'losers' of the 2014 election? 
Answer:  The election 'causalities' got into the 'pension palace.' Find out who is receiving what in lifetime pension payout.
Quite frankly, you are not going to believe the 'Pension Palace' built by Illinois lawmakers - on behalf of Illinois lawmakers.
For example: #1 all-time lawmaker pension of $235,824 goes to a long-forgotten state senator - nearly 4X more than his highest annual salary!
In Illinois, the pension palace is one part of the housing bubble that never burst. But, when it does, everyone in the state but the beneficiaries will pay.
Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-f-ski)
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director
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