For the Good of Illinois

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

April 30, 2018 11:00 AM
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"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.’"
 
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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! 
 
Forbes_ILGov
 
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. 
 
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It's Your Money! Join the Transparency Revolution!
 
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Jessie Fox
Communication Specialist
 
Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski)
CEO & Founder, OpenTheBooks.com
 
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director at Large
 
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Learn more about our recent OpenTheBooks Investigations:
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