It's easy to see why Belleville city attorney Garrett Hoerner wants a public pension. His predecessor Bob Sprague collects an $86,763 annual pension as a result of his part-time work for Belleville. Ditto for assistant city attorney Brian Flynn. His dad, who previously held the job, gets a $41,955 a year pension.
Who wouldn't want that kind of retirement income? That's more than many people make working full time.
Fortunately for taxpayers, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund has gotten a lot more particular about handing them out and has ruled that Hoerner and Flynn don't qualify. Employee contributions only cover part of the costs; taxpayers end up subsidizing the rest.
People have to work 1,000 hours a year to qualify for an IMRF pension, and as an IMRF spokeswoman said, it's hard to believe that attorneys like Hoerner and Flynn who are also in a private practice meet that standard.
Hoerner ($109,647 a year) and Flynn ($53,613) are well-compensated for their part-time work for the city. If they don't want to work for that amount if they don't get a pension, there are other qualified Belleville-based attorneys who would jump at the chance.