Subscriber Special: End the IL Lawmaker's 'Pension Palace' 44_pension_palace

April 30, 2018 11:00 AM
"Nobody knows how to game the system for personal gain like an Illinois lawmaker - voting themselves tens of millions of dollars in lifetime pension payouts. It’s time to end their ‘pension palace.’"
Illinois state legislators have one of the sweetest retirement deals in the country – and it’s at an amazing cost to taxpayers
Consider just a few examples of former Illinois lawmakers who have moved into the pension palace:
  • The largest pension of all-time goes to Arthur Berman (D), a long-forgotten state senator. After retiring from Springfield in 2000 – with a pension spiking stop at the Chicago schools – Berman receives $250,191 annually – that’s four times more than he ever made as a Springfield lawmaker.
  • Former Governor Jim Edgar (R) costs taxpayers more than $311,000 per year. He’s double dipping the pension system for two payouts ($166,000 from GARS and $83,000 from the State University Retirement System) plus a ‘part-time’ salary for $62,796 from the University of Illinois.
  • Retired Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) is double dipping the pension system for nearly $222,000 per year. Daley makes $140,455 a year in state lawmaker pension after a short eight-year career as a state senator and another $81,355 a year in city pension payouts for his 22 years as the mayor of Chicago.
  • Former State Treasurer Dan Rutherford (R) lost in the republican primary for governor in 2014, but now he receives $140,692 annually ($11,724 per month) in pension payouts – that’s more than his previous treasurer salary! 
Currently, the lawmaker's own pension system (GARS) is only 14.4 percent funded. So despite hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars already poured into it for a very small number of participants, it’s still not enough to satisfy lawmaker greed. 
This pension palace is a bubble that will burst. When it does, everyone in the state but the lawmaker beneficiaries will pay. 
It's Your Money! Join the Transparency Revolution!
Jessie Fox
Communication Specialist
Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski)
CEO & Founder,
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director at Large
Learn more about our recent OpenTheBooks Investigations:
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