Daily Herald Identifies 13 Collar County Board Members Collecting Pensions – 3 in McHenry County, 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat

Thanks to former State Rep. Jack Franks, County Board members are no longer elilgible for pensions for serving in their part-time positions.

The Daily Herald’s Jake Griffin did research with the Illnois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) and found current thirteen Chicagoland Board members being paid a salary and drawing a pension for previous time in office.

As Lake County Democratic Party Chairman and State Senator Terry Link observed in the article,

“By its very definition these are retirement benefits, which means you should get them when you’ve stopped working, not while you’re still getting paid for that job.”

Senate Bill 1236 would prohibit elected officials receiving such pension benefits from getting paid for being on their county board jobs in the future.

John Jung

One of the three McHenry County Board members getting both a salary and a pension is District 5’s John Jung, a Republican.

Here is how the article reported he views the situation:

“I can see their side of it, but I can also see my side that I paid into it all those years and I’m entitled to it.

“What I’m tired of is state legislators make laws about reforming government, but they haven’t done a thing to reform themselves.”

The issue was raised in Jung’s campaign, but he still ran first.

Paula Yensen
Mary McCann

The other McHenry County Board members receiving both a salary and a pension are

  • Republican Mary McCann
  • Democrat Paula Yensen

Comments

Daily Herald Identifies 13 Collar County Board Members Collecting Pensions – 3 in McHenry County, 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat — 9 Comments

  1. Jake Griffin did not identify all 13 suburban county board members that are simultaneously receiving a pension and salary for their county board work, prompted by a 2016 law which ended future contributions to the IMRF County Board pension fund.

    There may be more such county board members downstate?

    Some of the suburban county board members also contributed to the IMRF pension fund for public sector employment outside the county board (for example township employment).

    Here are those identified in the Daily Herald article:

    – Judy Martin, Lake County Board, Republican

    – Steve Carlson, Lake County Board, Republican

    – James Moustis, Will County Board, Republican

    – John Jung, McHenry County Board, Republican

    – Mary McCann, McHenry County Board, Republican (not mentioned in the Daily Herald article)

    – Paula Yensen, McHenry County Board, Democrat (not mentioned in the Daily Herald article)

    +++++++++++

    The following rationale was given as to why one would simultaneously receive a pension and salary for the same position:

    “IMRF spokesman John Krupa said the county board members aren’t required to collect their pensions while still on the board, but they’d never recoup the money if they waited to begin their pensions at a later date.”

    That statement requires further explanation.

    Because the legislation could lead to pension benefits being diminished or impaired.

    One sentence in the state constitution says pensions benefits cannot be diminished or impaired.

    Whether or not that is legally the case here is a matter of judicial interpretation, most likely at the Illinois Supreme Court level, if one wanted to pursue the matter.

    +++++++++++

    The Illinois General Assembly has a long track record of passing laws for political gain.

    The Democrats in the 101st General Assembly control the three offices needed to pass a state law (Governor’s office, the state House and Senate).

    Are the Democrats hoping the legislation would in various ways allow them come away with a net gain in picking up County Board seats in the November 3, 2020 election?

    Of all the possible ways to save taxpayers money in the state of Illinois, this ranks very low.

    The more costly problem at the county level is the annual pension interest accrued on the county’s $51M unfunded IMRF pension liability, as identified on page 88 of 242 of the FY 2017 McHenry County CAFR.

    http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2019/04/16/resolution-to-dispurse-15-million-in-illegally-accumulated-valley-hi-nursing-home-surplus-but-not-to-all-property-owners-who-paid-it/#comment-499114

    Roughly estimating the interest rate at 6%.

    $51,000,000,000 x .06 = $3,060,000.

    Round to $3 million dollars pension interest annually.

    That’s a ballpark estimate of the taxpayer cost in pension interest for one year for the McHenry County IMRF unfunded liability.

    ++++++++++++

    Let’s look at the state.

    The state unfunded pension liability (TRS, SERS, SURS, JRS, & GARS) is about $130 billion.

    $130,000,000,000 x .06 = $7,800,000,000.

    Rounded up that’s $8 billion dollars pension interest for one year.

    ++++++++

    The Pritzker adjustable rate tax plan on millionaire and billionaire income (that’s phase 1) is estimated to bring in less than $4 billion annually.

    Phase 2 is almost certainly for an income tax hike for those earning less than $1 million annually because the state needs more money.

    The state has massive debt (underfunded pensions, unpaid bills, bonds, underfunded retire healthcare) and despite that continues to spend more than it receives every single year since at least 2001.

    ++++++++

    This problem has no good ending.

    December 15, 2020 will be the 50 year anniversary of when the Illinois Pension Scam began.

    December 15, 1970 was the date voters approved the re-written Illinois State Constitution in a special election held for the explicit purpose of voting on whether or not to ratify the re-written constitution.

    The sentence allows unlimited legislative pension benefit hikes, and unlimited salary hikes, both of which hikes the pension payout, even if pensions are already underfunded.

    The taxpayer equivalent of this fiasco is charging your credit card every month for 50 years, and not paying the balance in full even once.

    Can you imagine the accumulated credit card interest over a 50 year period?

  2. Anytime I read about pensions, my head begins to spin. I know the subject of this DH article is IMRF pension payouts, but McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks began receiving his GARS payouts when he turned 55 late last year.

    Speaking of popularly elected county board chairmen in the collar counties, I believe Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen and DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin are, like Franks, receiving their GARS pension payouts.

    Lauzen turned 60 shortly after he became county board chairman in December of 2012, though he served out his term in the state senate into January of 2013, which gave him 20 years of GARS benefits. Franks did a similar thing too, holding both his state representative office and county board chairman office for about a month.

    Cronin resigned from the state senate prior to being sworn in to DuPage County board chairmanship in December of 2010, which left him with 19 years, 11 months of GARS benefits, instead of the full 20 years (2 years state representative, nearly 18 years state senate). I believe Cronin turned 55 in late 2014, so he did not receive GARS payouts until the beginning of his 2nd term as DuPage County board chairman.

    This all just makes my head spin, and I am too dizzy now.

  3. Here is the problem: “I paid into it all those years and I’m entitled to it.”

    He did not put one penny into his IMRF!

    The taxpayers did!!

    Who funds all public sector pensions?

    The taxpayers!

    Sure some of the funds have a little bit of income but it is more than eaten up in admin costs.

    Public sector pensions are taxpayer burdens.

    The entitlement mentality is pervasive throughout both the Democratic and Republican party circle.

    Reminds me of the lady in Florida who had all those children that WE are supposed to pay for.

    People like John Jung and Jack Franks are no different than the lady in Florida.

  4. But Mchenry County keeps voting for these losers. liars and hypocrites.

  5. @connect the dots

    Actually, IMRF employees (other than sheriff’s law enforcement who contribute 7.5%) contribute 4.5% of their salary to IMRF towards their pension.

    Jung has a point.

    Would YOU work for somebody and contribute to a pension plan (mandatory at the time) and then walk away from it saying “No thanks! Keep my money, I don’t want it.”?

    Me neither.

    We’d all be better off channeling our anger to the legislature(s) that authorized these pensions and then wiggled out of their responsibility to fund them, thus compounding the problem.

    If creating the pension was problematical, not funding it only makes it worse and that’s what has been going on for years.

  6. Jung, of crying sweet onion I’ll fame, is what a polite person would call “rather greedy”, but I call him a “pig”

    McCann and Jack are dirty democrats, what can be expected of them except that they’ll do something crooked even if it doesn’t benefit them, or their kids, just to do it!

  7. As a first time poster, I find this blog to be outstanding. This is really the new town square. Thanks so much for putting this up.

  8. Joey, That’s because the NW Herald censors their comments all the time!

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