Taking stock of pension costs

November 24, 2013 

The cities, counties, school districts, politicians and unions alike all seem to look the other way when it comes to the pensions and public wage crisis. Well, it is a crisis in Illinois and we need to address it now.

Let me give you a look at our future. If we do nothing, this is just a sample of the cost to the taxpayers.

We know that there are more than 8,000 pensioners receiving $100,000 or more a year and I have a list of 100 who are receiving more than $225,000 per year. I am talking about state universities, state employees, TRS, teachers, judges, local cities, counties, townships and others. Taxpayers pay for all of these, so we need to address them all.

Let's take one individual receiving a $100,000 pension. With a COLA of 3 percent over 12 years, he will receive an accumulated difference of $230,116 plus his $1.2 million regular pension.

This means over 12 years he will receive $1,430,116 in those 12 year. And we complain about giving the minimum wage earner any increase but the above is OK?

Let's carry this a little further, talk about what this would amount to in 12 years if we apply it to 8,000 individuals, even though we know that the range of pensions above $100,000 reaches the $500,000 marker.

An accumulated difference for 8,000, $100,000 pensions over 12 years would equal $1,840,934,685 not including their regular $100,000 pension. Again I have to say, how can giving the minimum wage a meager raise to $10 over a four-year period affect our economy more than the raise of $1,840,934,685 to only 8,000 pensioners?

James E. Saffel Sr.

Mascoutah

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