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.

2 thoughts 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.


  2. I just want to weigh in on the public pensions problem in Illinois. As a person who will only retire when I save enough of my own money to do so, it makes me sick to see how easily teachers, cops and firefighters get plush pensions after 20 years of work or so. I’m forced to pay my taxes for these public leeches – BEFORE I’m even able to save for my own retirement. This is not fair.

    I hope that all public employees get put onto 401k type investment vehicles ASAP. Save and pay for YOUR own damn retirement. I’d be OK to kick in a bit of a match, but no more.

    Here’s the million dollar question for which I’d love to get a logical response from from a public servant: WHY should I pay for your retirement? Why shouldn’t YOU save/pay for your own retirement like the rest of us?

    Here’s a better idea: let’s have all public workers pay for for all private workers’ retirements! Our “public servants” could then REALLY earn their mantle! Hey public workers – waddaya think? Don’t like it? Don’t WANT to pay me 75% of my salary (with full healthcare) for the rest of my life? Well, then maybe you can see it from our taxpaying perspective now!

    And please – don’t think that I’m forgetting about that painful 6-9% pension payment you are all making. Good for you! However, this paltry sum doesn’t come close to paying for your 75% of your salary pension payments – so please hush on that justification. Let’s make it all TOTALLY FAIR by putting you onto the SAME savings plans we are on: Social Security and whatever you can save yourselves in 401ks and IRAs.

    It would also be nice if you would stop justifying your pensions by saying that you were “promised” these ridiculous benefits. Sure. Just like Bernie Madoff’s first ponzi “investors” were promised their returns. When the scam was uncovered, the original investors had their money taken away because the WHOLE thing was corrupt. Just like the pensions that were promised to you by “buy my vote” politicians. In negotiating your pensions, NO ONE was there really representing the taxpayers’ interests. And you know it.
    The problem with public pension funding isn’t that they are underfunded, it is that the pension lollypop was over promised by vote whore politicians who were willing to buy their way into office by forcing your grandchildren to pay for outlandish pensions. “Thanks, Gramma! Thanks, Grandpa!”
    And by the way, while you profess that teaching is hard, that being a cop or a firefighter is dangerous, etc., if you don’t like it: change jobs. That’s what people do in the real world. You all say you “…do it for the children!…”, or because you like to protect and serve, etc. Cool. It’s so nice you aren’t doing mainly to retire at 45 with 75% of your base pay. Surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre.

    If you’d really like to understand how f’d up we are to allow public unions, have a look at the two YouTube teacher’s union videos below:

    They are HILARIOUS! Unless, of course, you are the ones PAYING the bills…
    Now – let’s see if the vote whores downstate can make this happen. The best news in this whole story is that you are about $150 billion away from getting your ghost pensions. Truly – good luck with that. I’ll be moving to a no state income tax state when I retire.

    Tired Of Paying For Your Freight  

    I’m the guy who has posted regarding my distain for paying pensions for public workers.

    You know it is truly amazing. While I see a lot of responses, I don’t see anyone ANSWER the core questions I ask:

    * WHY should I have to pay for YOUR pension?

    * WHY don’t you instead pay for MY pension?

    Over 90% of private workers have to save and pay for their own retirements. Competition has killed pensions for private folks.

    How can any public employee look a private employee in the face with those silly expensive pensions?

    WAIT! I forgot. You are entitled!

    Are there ANY public employees who would want to trade retirement places with private employees? Bueller?… Bueller?…….

    And please, don’t talk about the nobility of your jobs. Save it. Liking your job has NOTHING to do with forcing ME to pay your pension.

    Jeeze – can you imagine that you got your pension payments written into the state constitution? WHERE in the world can we private sector folks get such guarantees? It is amazing. But then – where there is no COMPETITION (do you public sector folks understand this word?), silly crap like this happens.

    If you’d really like to understand how f’d up we are to allow public unions, have a look at the two YouTube teacher’s union videos below:

    They are HILARIOUS! Unless you are the ones PAYING the bills…
    What a messed up world we live in.


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