Pension recipients should want to fix pensions

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I have several neighbors who are are afraid, that if Illinois touches anybody’s pension that they  could loose their own.    First let me say


No one will take your modest pension

We can change pensions going forward, for new employees with legislation.  However, any modification to the  already promised pensions requires negotiation, the legislature placing an amendment on the ballot and the voters approving it.

Take a look at these top pensions.  Can you justify raising taxes on the working poor & middle income folks to fund these?  Will you be willing to make small changes now, in order to avoid a total collapse?


Taxpayers United of America – 2017 Pension Report

Starting at taxpayersunitedofamericaorg/items-of-interest/11th-annual-report-illinois-state-pensions and clicking on the reports for each of hte state-run pension funds, we find the top few state pensions are all for retirees in the State University Retirement System (SURS)







  • Nearly 17,000 Illinois Government Pensions Exceed $100,000 as of 2017
  • Nearly 100,000 Illinois government retirees collect annual pensions totaling $50,000 or more.
  • The average annual Social Security retirement benefit for taxpayers is less than $17,000 and the maximum benefit is $32,000 if working until 66.

Comparing to census data

According to the US Census 2017 data for Illinois:  Bureau

Median household income (in 2016 dollars), 2012-2016 was $59,196.
Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2016 dollars), 2012-2016 was $31,502.

And their state income tax went up last summer so that all pensioners can continue to get a 3%  compounded COLA (Cost of living allowance), including those receiving pension well in excess of the median family income.


Ives’ Statement of pensions:


Jeanne on the House floor

Watch Jeanne argue and kill a bill allowing a pension holiday

Jeanne Ives on FB-Live

If you are on Facebook, you can watch the FB-live video of Jeanne Ives at The University of Chicago Institute of Politics on 3/5/2018

She says

  • “In the state of Illinois, when you look at the cost of our pensions, it is 23% of our income.  The average in other states is 3%.”
  • “Illinois has become one big Ponzi schemes.”
  • “The  police and fire in Chicago… are just one down-turn short of insolvency. “
  • “We are number 3 in the nation in terms of state support for full time equivalent student… it’s just that half of that goes to pensions…”
  • “In the last 30 years pension costs have grown over a 1,000%. In the same time, personal income has grown just over 100%… ten times!”
  • “We are number 1 in supporting pensioners. We are number 48 in supporting developmentally disabled.”
  • “If you had understood, how these pensions were ballooning, you would have had a decrease in the salary acceleration…”
  • “If we still had the same tenants in our pension plan, as we had in the 1970’s we would not even have a crisis.  They went from a 1.5 multiplier to a 2.2 multiplier.  They went from you have to be 62 or over 60, to you can retire with 2 years of sick leave accrual and retire before you are 55.  And then they went from a 1% COLA to a 3% compounded COLA…”

We need to have the discussion.  We need to find a way to ensure that pensions will be here for years to come while still providing state services and without chasing the taxpayers out of the state.

One thought on “Pension recipients should want to fix pensions

  1. On a tele-town hall that I listened to tonight, Jeanne said:
    We say that Illinois has $130 billion pension liability, Moody’s using an honest discount rate [assumed return on investment] says the real pension debt is more like $250 billion.
    If pensions are cut, it must be on a Case by case basis based on well funded each fund is. Large pensions may need to be clawed back. Modest pensions should not be touched.

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