Bill Prim Promises Not to Sign Up for a Second Pension, If Elected Sheriff

McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren collects a pension from the City of Crystal Lake for his years on the police force and is in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund as Sheriff.

Bill Prim similarly collects a pension from the City of Des Plaines, where he was on the police force for 27 years.

In this press release Prime promises not to sign up from the IMRF pension: to which he would be entitled, if he wins the fall election:


Bill Prim

Bill Prim

Republican candidate for McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim said Monday that if elected he would not participate in any pension plan for county employees or state elected officials, would not accrue service time or make contributions that could be redeemed toward any future pension, or participate in the pension system in any other way.

“I have repeatedly made this statement verbally, but for the sake of clarity, I will now put it in the public record.

“I state unequivocally that on my first day in office, I will notify the pertinent pension plan administrators that I will not participate and that I voluntarily opt out of any and all pension arrangements available to County employees or elected officials,” Prim said.

“I expect voters to hold me to this promise. No pension. Period.”


Bill Prim Promises Not to Sign Up for a Second Pension, If Elected Sheriff — 46 Comments

  1. Ok, so what. Why not?

    What’s his thought process here, “look how noble I am?”

    Really shows his qualifications to be a sheriff?

    Publicity stunt, period.

  2. Bill Prim is thinking about the tax payers.

    Smart man, perfect choice for Sheriff.

  3. Bill “Tex” Prim is “thinking” about the taxpayer by trying to double dip a substantial pension from Des Plaines taxpayers and salary from McHenry County to the tune of $200,000.00 plus annually?

    I would think that Bill would be willing to forego a 2nd pension.

    “I got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle!”

  4. Prim could have announced this months ago if it was about “ethics” or his deeply held beliefs on the matter, it certainly has been brought up enough.

    Now if he said he would defer his current government pension while taking pay for his second government we could have a conversation.

    All this last minuter flurry comes of as desperation and/or poor planning skills.

  5. Teacher, I heard that FAT LADY singing last night …..I


    The Z Regime has lost.

    Vote Bill Prim For Sheriff, The Right Man For The Right Time !

    He’ll leave your spurs dingling and dangling ! # Your spelling has improved, congrats.

  6. I have always said that Mr. Prim is the best choice for Sheriff.

    This just shows how the citizens of McHenry County are first and foremost to him.

    By the negative responses by the Zinke supporters it sounds as if they are upset when they should be happy for the people of McHenry.

    They are desperate and want to make this a negative choice by Mr.Prim.

    How sad for them.

    The Zinke supporters are only thinking of themselves and not their own neighbors

  7. By the way where is Zinke?

    No statement by him Hmmmm

    Where is Fakuko or Fakoo or whatever her name is

    They both are pretty quite since they are now in a little trouble!!!

  8. I’m wearin’ my cowboy boots March 18 to vote how ’bout y’all?

  9. Of course I am “happy” that Bill Prim will double dip over $200,000.00 annually with a government pension & salary.

    I love paying higher taxes.

    Fiscally, the most cost efficient solution is Andrew Zinke working for a salary & not double dipping a pension simultaneously.

  10. @Teacher155:

    Won’t Andy be double dipping?

    His position as a merited deputy is separate from that of the Sheriff…they’re two different positions and two different pensions, if I’m not mistaken.

    I believe Mr. Prim’s pension is not paid for by anyone in McHenry County; it’s from a stand-alone pension fund outside of this county while costing the taxpayers nothing.

    It’s funny that nobody had an issue with Zinke’s hero Nygren collecting a pension for the past 16 years.

  11. Just think of the saved tax payer money when the county is no longer being sued for wrongful discharge and beating up the elderly without a warrant!

    Have your shoes on Andy when we chase you out of the county on March 19th!

  12. Teacher 155

    There is no truth to what you are saying but now I know why you are a Zinke supporter.

    you both lie

    Vote for Bill Prim A man you can TRUST

  13. Teacher155- See the problem there is that would be consistent with the conservative principles Mr. Prim claims.

    I also fear it is a bit more complicated than claimed.

    For instance are both employers IMRF?

    Are their options to add years of service onto current pension as opposed to drawing a second?

    If so, are their other affected parties?

    Is their an order in place where someone like an ex-spouse also draws from the pension?

    If so can she sue for avoidance if he attempts to not contribute more to the fund?

    I just think it may be a naive last minute claim that may not even be enforceable, thus at the last minute it brings up many more questions than answers.

  14. It is funny to hear a Zinke supporter complain about fiscal responsibility while the “Jail Titanic” is sinking and sucking millions with it due to mismanagement.

    Kind of related… If I’m not mistaken the County Finance Committee voted in 2001 to allow elected officials to buy 50 months IMRF credit.

    This would allow a single term elected official to become vested and draw a pension.

    Yeah, they’re all crooks!

    When did they vote this in? Two months after 911 when the whole world was pre-occupied.

    Vote them all out!

  15. Will Zinke refuse the pension?

    Yes or No.

    Its really quite simple… of course he won’t.

    Those who stand the most to lose are really getting desperate now.

    I am enjoying watching Mike, Geri, Mark, and Andy squirm.

    I can only imagine what they are thinking…

    “Al… it wasn’t supposed to be like this!”

  16. Keith Nygren is a CANCER.

    Shame on all you sycophantic public officials for either supporting him or tolerating his leadership within the Republican Party.

    He has screwed everyone and now he’s raping the system.

    Everyone KNOWS he’s a selfish fat-slob but are too fearful of his wrath.

  17. I’m pleased to see that many Candidates are now jumping on David Stieper’s (Candidate for McHenry County Board – District 1) bandwagon re not accepting pensions (and medical/dental benefits for Board Members).

    Recall that his first mailing was about stopping the McHenry County “Gravy Train”. Let’s give credit where credit is due on this issue.

    Prior to David’s mailing, there was no mention of this approach to cutting County expenses by any Candidate.

    Thank you, David Stieper, you belong on the County Board.

  18. Oh Teacher155!!

    I think it is quite noble of Prim to not take a pension, he already has one.

    You people are one to talk with your exorbitant pensions, and strain on the taxpayers of Illinois.

    The unions are the reason we are in this mess in the first place.

    Sorry, we don’t need more of the same in McHenry County much less the dismal state of ILL-ANNOY.

  19. Bill Prim wants to Double Dip a pension from Des Plaines taxpayers and a salary from McHenry County tax payers.

    This Double Dipping will exceed $200,000.00 annually.

    Vote for fiscally responsible government.

    Vote for Andrew Zinke. Reject Double Dippin’ Bill “Tex” Prim.

    Good Republicans must stand and reject the abuse of Double Dipping and multiple government pensions.

    A prominent local countywide elected official once promised to serve only 2 terms.

    Of course, that honest politician is now serving a 3rd term and intends to seek a 4th term.

    Good Republicans will see through the Double Dippin’ Demagoguery of the Regime RINOs and vote for Andrew Zinke.

    Sic Semper Tyrannis!

  20. I know what is wrong with all the Zinke supporters.

    They have no clue what the definition of the words ethical, humble,noble,honest and integrity mean.

    They have been supporting Zinke for so long they have forgotten what attributes a man should have.

    Mr. Prim is ethical,he is humble and noble. He is honest and has integrity.

    Mr.Prim will also be loyal to the citizens of McHenry County.

    Vote for Bill Prim March 18 !!!!!!!!!!

  21. While I do not know Mr. Prim personally, I do not doubt that he is a humble, noble, honest, ethical man with integrity.

    Unfortunately, the same does not hold true for many of his most ardent supporters.

    A pack of Charlatans and Usurpers pretending to be Republicans to further their personal political agendas. Chicago-style Patronage & Power is their game.

    So, while I am genuinely impressed by Bill “Tex” Prim’s credentials.

    I am utterly distressed by his most prominent (and some not-so-prominent) and vocal supporters.

    Mr. Andrew Zinke is a man of the highest character, ethics, honesty and integrity who is overwhelmingly supported by vast majority of community leaders, elected officials, law enforcement personnel and citizens throughout McHenry County.

    Except for a disgruntled few malcontents and power hungry Regime bosses, the People know and trust Andrew Zinke.

  22. I am finding this absolutely hysterical. teacher who is obviously teaching in district 155 doesn’t even have the correct definition of double dipping.

    Zinke is the RINO supporting Jack Franks.

    The old guard of Tryon, Davis, and Daniel are the RINOs… not Prim.

    Election day is coming.

  23. Teacher 155 get that towel ready so you can wipe the egg off your face March 18

    Did I notice a touch of a Prim supporter

  24. Isn’t there also something about a senior real estate tax deal in Florida and the same in Illinois?

    It’s great to be sheriff.

  25. Teacher155 ….

    “Mr. Andrew Zinke is a man of the highest character, ethics, honesty and integrity who is overwhelmingly supported by vast majority of community leaders, elected officials, law enforcement personnel and citizens throughout McHenry County.”


    You can’t be serious.

    And how and why did those “leaders” support Zinke?

    One can only imagine.

    Look at who is endorsing Prim: Some pretty high ranking important law enforcement officials.

    Not locals who Nygren got the job for them.

  26. You go Proud conservative……Teacher 155 is so out of touch with reality

    Vote Prim

  27. The pension issue(s) should be a non-issue.

    Prim worked for and earned his pension at Des Plaines.

    If he works for and earns one as Sheriff, as court security in Lake County, or handing out shopping carts at Wal-Mart that fine too.

    Nothing should prevent him from earning more and the fact that he has a pension (from a different system) should not mean that he has to work for less than anyone else who takes the job.

    He will pay 7½% into IMRF as well as social security. So what?

    If he doesn’t want to take it, I guess that’s his choice.

    I would not think any less of him if he decided to take it.

    He’ll earn it.

    Zinke, if he wins, will be in the same pension program he’s in now.

    IMRF with the sheriff’s law enforcement option – this program is also available as a transportable pension program to municipal chiefs throughout the state.

    If Zinke had already retired from the sheriff’s department and came back as sheriff, he would NOT be allowed to continue with his IMRF pension.

    Prim on the other hand, like Nygren, since he wasn’t under IMRF can pay into a new IMRF pension.

    IMRF is a well-managed program with numerous safeguards that prevent some of the abuses seen with other programs.

    They are also one of the best funded plans in the country – certainly at the top in Illinois.

    So… nothing to see here folks, move along

  28. Chicago Tribune backs Bill Prim.

    Now all the truth will come out and the Northwest Herald can’t only print Zinke garb but I think the Northwest
    Herald is changing its tune.

  29. Keith Nygren collects a pension from Crystal Lake and a salary from McHenry County and will collect a pension earned by being in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund while Sheriff.

  30. Prim, just like Nygren, has a pension from his police department.

    Nygren decided to participate in the McHenry County IMRF pension program, so will draw two pensions when his term as Sheriff ends.

    Prim has said he will not sign up for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension for which he would be eligible, if he is elected Sheriff.

  31. I do not believe Zinke would change pension funds, if elected Sheriff.

  32. Prim’s pension is paid by Des Plaines taxpayers.

    By not participating in McHenry County’s Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension, McHenry County taxpayers will save money.

    Nygren will get two pensions when he retires–the one he gets now from Crystal Lake and one from IMRF.

  33. For the first time, there are some County Board candidates pulling the same “publicity stunt,” as you put it.

  34. There are other politicians, thankfully, though not many, whom have done and are doing the same.

    Any politician drawing or eligible for full retirement on job #1, should have no need for a 2nd pension.

    All of the State and local pensions in Illinois are MORE than generous for a full career.

    This is evident by Tier 1 benefits for those whom employment began prior to Jan 1, 2011, and Tier II benefits for those whom began employment on or after January 1, 2011.

    It’s bad enough for taxpayers to be on the hook for 1 defined benefit pension.

    The reason is not only the overly generous benefits but no one can predict future investment returns, future salary hikes, future legislative pension benefit enhancement hikes, and thus the taxpayer obligation is open ended for these overly generous defined benefit pensions.

    They should all be reverted back to 1970 benefit levels.

    Furthermore it should be ILLEGAL to draw any pension over and above 1 full career pension.

    Does State law allow drawing a police pension (Des Plaines) while employed as a Sheriff (McHenry County)?

    If allowable, would Prim delay drawing the Des Plaines pension until his employment as a Sheriff had ceased?

  35. Anyone who says it’s not a big deal for Prim to not take a pension for his McHenry County Sheriff employment apparently doesn’t care about taxes.

    Because taxes fund the EMPLOYER contribution to the pension fund.

    That is a big deal.

    Every little bit helps and it’s a good example and no doubt some others in the same boat (retired and seeking political office) will follow.

    The reason IMRF is so well funded is because it has an employer funding guarantee.

    Your taxes have gone up substantially to fund IMRF.

    When the financial meltdown ocurred, there was a law or rule change to allow IMRF to underfund IMRF for a few years.

    Otherwise your taxes would have been even higher.

    Comparing IMRF to the State pension funds that are underfunded.

    The 327 page State pension reform nightmare that passed in 2013 added a funding guarantee for TRS, SERS, SURS, and GARS.

    If that funding guarantee is upheld, look out, your taxes will go up substantially to fund those State pension funds also.

    These defined benefit pensions as structured are a taxpayer nightmare and completely unsustainable.

    You don’t think so?

    Well there is a huge push to change the state income tax from flat to graduated, and the main reason is to fund pensions, since pensions are our biggest IOU or debt.

    If there is a graduated income tax, you can bet that even if the unlikely event it’s not immediate, in the not so distant future the middle class graduated tax rate will raise, because they need it to raise to support these pensions.

    They are out to do anything and everything to fund public sector pensions that have been hiked through legislative benefit hikes and collective bargaining and administrator salary hikes.

    Not to mention their early retirement healthcare hikes.
    etc. etc. etc.

    So yes it’s a big deal Prim is agreeing to not take a McHenry County Sheriff pension.

  36. Its very evident most people not receiving a public sector defined benefit pension don’t understand them.

    If they understood them, they would be furious.

    It takes a lot of effort to understand the myriad of defined benefit pensions.

    There are many public sector pension plans in Illinois, and each one has exceptions and variations.

    And adding 327 page pension “reform” on top of that is almost undecipherable, which was probably one of the intents.

    Confuse the electorate even more than they were already confused.
    But here’s a way to explain defined benefit pensions.


    That’s right, ?

    Question Mark.

    aka unknown.

    Future salary hikes are unknown.

    Future legislative benefit enhancements are unknown.

    Future investment returns are unknown.

    Those are your inputs.

    Your inputs is unknown.

    So your Employer Contribution is unknown.

    The Employer contribution as a percentage of gross pay is unknown.

    But the Employee contribution as a percentage of gross pay is known.

    The Employee gets a better deal than the Employer (Taxpayer).

    The taxpayer funds the employer contribution, not the employee.

    And we always have to make the ridiculously obvious disclaimer that public sector employees are taxpayers also.

    Thus future taxes ARE NOT KNOWN.

    Future can not be predicted.

    Many historic events took place that contributed to very nice investment returns overall since the Great
    Depression, and those may very well not replicate.

    For one thing there is a lot more global competition now.

    In which case the private sector defined contribution / Social Security taxpayer has to fund more generous early retirement defined contribution pensions.

    The public sector is hoping the private sector doesn’t revolt or bolt.

    They may get really angry and make Constitutional amendments.

    They may move.

    Who knows what might happen.

    Can’t predict the future.

    And since we can’t predict the future it’s a very big deal Prim has agreed not to take a McHenry County pension.

  37. I think it is good that Mr. Prim has agreed not to Triple Dip from 1) taxpayer funded pension from Des Plaines 2) taxpaye funded salary from McHenry County and 3) taxpayer funded pension from McHenry County.

    Somewhere over the past 30 yeats, the Baby Boomer generation has perverted the traditional concept of pensions from a retirment income to deferred compensation.

    “Retire” at 50 with full pension only to take a different government salaried job is killing taxpayers.

    If you take another full-time job, you didn’t truly retire.

    You are receiving deferred compensation while working a different full time job.

    Prim may not be Triple Dipping, but he is still Double Dipping.

  38. Teacher 155 will you PLEASE at least know what you are talking about before
    you post a comment.

  39. No one with common sense believes a word Teacher155 is saying… and to think you teach children?

    This is frightening.

    Hey, Teacher, can you look at Miller family in Algonquin Township and tell me how many times they are dipping?

    Dear Lord.

  40. So it appears as it stands now Prim wins the Sheriff race he will continue to receive a Des Plaines police pension (funded by Des Plaines taxpayers), plus a McHenry County Sheriff salary (funded by McHenry County taxpayers), but he will not contribute to and will thus not receive a pension for his time employed as a McHenry County Sheriff.

    Northwest Herald article included a sentence stating Prim’s pension is $76K.

    There are a lot of government employees (Federal, State, County, Municipal, public schools, etc.) receiving generous pensions whom continue working while retired.

    The pensions are too generous and they retire too early, so if they really do need to retire so early their pension should be lower.

    The pensions often have nothing to do with what’s fair to the employee, taxpayer, or properly funding the pension, but rather politics: campaign contributions, votes, and electioneering assistance in exchange for favorable pension legislation.

    Nygren, the current McHenry County Sheriff, makes about $151K salary plus perks.

    Not sure what Prim’s salary as Sheriff would be.

    Not sure what the salary would be for Prim’s opponent, current McHenry County UnderSheriff Andrew Zinkebe (UnderSheriff is the #2 guy in the department).

    It’s safe to say either would earn at least $100K.

    Zinke who got caught on camera flipping off the local blogger in the Independence Day Parade on Sunday July
    7th in Crystal Lake; in his police vehicle, wearing his police uniform, in broad daylight, for families and everyone else to see.

    Apparently no apology from Zinke or reprimand from the Sheriff’s office or county for what could be considered a lack of respect for the taxpayes.

    Not to mention there have been all sorts of allegations of problems with the current McHenry County Sheriff’s office.

    What a choice.

    How about if Prim becomes Sheriff he donates his pension or Sheriff salary to a charity of his choice?

    No matter who wins the public sector pay and benefits in Illinois is too lucrative in too many areas.

    Up to this point it’s been hidden pretty well in a variety of ways.

    Increased taxes, increased debt, kicking the can down the road, lack of transparency of overall compensation, etc.

    One of tragedies is the younger generation whom may have a $500 monthly college loan, not the job they thought they were going to get, and a mountain of Federal, State, and Local debt to repay.

    So the public sector is getting their share, the millionaires and billionaires have their share, and everyone else gets squeezed.

    One thing is for sure.

    We will be hearing a lot about a Constitutional Amendment to change the Illinois State Income Tax from a
    Flat Tax to a Progressive / Laddered tax to fund all the unfunded pension obligations, early retirement healthcare, salary increases, perks, bond debt, and everything else in the Public Sector Machine.

    If not immediate such a tax would result in tax increases for the middle class for a simple reason.

    A little money from a lot of people is a lot of money.

    It’s the same reason public sector pay and benefits have too often become far too generous.

    A little money from a lot of people means generous pay and benefits.

  41. From the Chicago Tribune.

    Blogger fingers McHenry cop.

    Commission dismisses ethics complaints related to race for sheriff.
    August 02, 2013
    by Robert McCoppin, Chicago Tribune reporter.

    “Other than to acknowledge I was apparently holding the roof of my vehicle with my middle finger instead of all my fingers, there isn’t much more to say,” Zinke wrote.

    Who does that?

    Who holds the roof with their middle finger?

    Here’s the flipping photos.

    Do Pictures Lie? Zinke “Victimized” by “a Local Blogger”? – You Decide

    Posted on 07/10/2013 by Cal Skinner

    Politicians Appear at Crystal Lake’s Independence Day Parade

    Posted on 07/07/2013 by Cal Skinner

    No finger until Zinke passes the blogger.

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