Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Blue State Success Story: Illinois State Workers' Pensions About to Go Bye-Bye

All across the country, state public sector pensions are melting down faster than a Slurpee in one of Al Gore's four cavernous saunas.

That said, when it comes to the worst of the worst, no state beats the People's Utopia of Illinois, political home to one Barack H. Obama. Please consider 'Illinois ranks dead last in funding worker pensions."

For the second year in a row, Illinois ranks dead last when it comes to saving money to pay promised worker pensions -- and the hole is getting worse... According to a new report being issued this morning by the Pew Center on the States, Illinois through fiscal 2009 had set aside just 51% of the $126 billion it will need to pay retired workers their pensions.

...Above and beyond the $62 billion the state needs but doesn't have for pensions is another $44 billion it will need for promised retiree health care, Pew says. Illinois has set aside only .1% of that figure.

Yes, you read that right -- one tenth of one percent.

Normal citizens are forced to pay 7% or more into Social Security and their benefits are capped at about $30,000 annually. If they're lucky, they'll collect on most of that and some kind of very limited Medicare benefits, thanks to Obamacare's disastrous effects on seniors.

On the other hand, Illinois has thousands of retirees guaranteed six-figure salaries in retirement. 4,352 to be exact, a 20% increase over 2009. And the state's "new, improved" system limits payouts to "only" $86,000-a-year or roughly three times that of the typical private sector worker on Social Security.

The inmates truly are running the asylum in Illinois ("inmates" is a nice term for progressives).


BS Footprint said...

>>The inmates truly are running the asylum in Illinois ("inmates" is a nice term for progressives).

One hopes that they will indeed be inmates someday.

Anonymous said...

Doug, here's a well kept secret that small business folk know, normal Citizens actually pay 15% of wages into SS, 7.5% off the top of disbursed wages and 7.5% from the employer who collects it for Big Gov in lieu of higher wages for said employees. This is similar to the wage earner getting an IRS Tax Refund of over held tax paid.

Anonymous said...

The link to the article shows that quite of few of these pensions are unconscionable. On the same token, the average state employee is not going to get anywhere near a six figure pension.

I live in a very blue state where most public employees belong to a state retirement system. The state uses a formula so that it's possible for a state employee to get a six figure pension. But that's only if the employee is a doctor, dentist, high level manager, high level trial attorney, etc. and has worked for maybe 35-40 years. And then he's worked at a pay rate that's less than he'd get in the private sector.

Even then the employee has paid into the retirement system and the payments are a return on the system's investments. Most of the pension comes from that. The current taxpayers get stuck for a relatively small percentage of the overall amount.
So it's theoretically possible that if the employee has paid in enough and the return from the state retirement fund is high enough, the current taxpayers might be paying less to someone with a 100k pension than taxpayers in a state where the retirement system works differently would pay for someone who is getting a 35k pension.

Anonymous said...

The state of Illinois has a legal resposibility to fully fund the pension plan and has not done so since the early 50's. It is not the state workers fault that the state is irresponsible. Most of us are not making six figures and those who are are in very high level positions. I am very close to retirement and expect the state to keep the pension plan in place.
This new idea from the governor's office is ridiculous. It would be similar to telling those about to retire with SS benefits that now we are going to slash that by 40%.
As a teacher, I am not eligible for SS benefits...and I have paid in benefits by working extra jobs in the summer months. If you are going to make a change, then start with the newly hired workers...and you will also have to pay them a higher wage to make up for the change in benefits. In closing, I hope every single hard working individual will stand up to our legislators and fight for the state employees rights.