Jim Tobin’s National Taxpayers United of Illinois has revealed the top 50 pensions for the General Assembly Retirement Fund.
It doesn’t have many pensioners, but the legislative retirement fund has some big payouts.
Part of the reason is that statewide elected officials can opt in.
While he was in office, for instance, Governor Jim Thompson announced that he would be in the same pension fund that regular state employees paid into. Right before leaving office that changed. He transferred his pension credits to the GA Retirement System.
Indeed many of the largest pensions you see below are the result of an ex-legislator getting a well-paying job for a while and transferring in the pension credits in their new public pension fund back to the more lucrative legislative system.
Tobin’s press release follows:
TOP 50 GA PENSIONS REVEAL MILLION DOLLAR PAYOUTS AS TAX INCREASE LOOMS
CHICAGO–Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI), today released the latest pension study of pension researcher Bill Zettler: the Top Fifty pensions received by former members of the Illinois General Assembly.
“Governor Quinn and the lame duck General Assembly are desperate to increase tax revenues any way they can to ensure that these outrageous, lavish pensions are available to themselves when they retire.
“Under the current pension program, General Assembly members are guaranteed to be millionaires if they can collect for only eight to ten years. Protecting this rite of passage has become their highest priority, despite the terrible financial situation in which most Illinoisans find themselves.
“Under the guise of securing the financial future of the Illinois general fund, Quinn and his conspirators are trying to push any tax increases that they can.”
“If Quinn can’t get HB 174 with the 67% income tax increase through the house, he will push to get a 33% income tax increase passed.
“At the same time, there are efforts to increase the gasoline tax by an unknown amount, the cigarette tax by $1 per pack, and a new 7-10% sales tax on 39 services.
“The primary objective is to pump 15 billion taxpayer dollars out of taxpayer pockets and into the pension and payroll funds of the robber barons that are bankrupting the great state of Illinois, not to secure the financial future as they would have us believe.”
“Do you recognize any of these pension millionaires? Figures are as of 10/1/2010. A complete list can be viewed at www.ntui.org.
Mo. Pension Yearly Pension Total Pension Paid So Far
Arthur Berman $16,459 $197,503 $1,449,640
Judy Barr Topinka $12,144 $145,727 $402,229
Jim Edgar $10,910 $130,925 $1,106,372
James R. Thompson $10,601 $127,215 $1,547,836
James “Pate” Philip $10,551 $126,615 $713,029
Dawn Clark Netsch $10,143 $121,720 $1,476,711
Walter Dudycz $7,661 $91,937 $449,128
“Jim Edgar and James R. Thompson engineered the largest tax increases ever passed in Illinois. Arthur Berman was the author of the Berman Tax Increase Amendment. Dawn Clark Netsch never met a tax she didn’t like.”
“I urge members of the Illinois General Assembly to vote in the interest of the constituents they serve and not their own best interest.”
|Top 50 General Assembly Pensions as of 10/1/2010|
|NAME||Mo. Pension||Yearly Pension||Years Credit||NAME||Mo. Pension||Yearly Pension||Years Credit|
|BERMAN, ARTHUR||16,459||197,503||31||KEANE, JAMES||8,596||103,157||20|
|TOPINKA, JUDY||12,144||145,727||26||STECZO, TERRY||8,357||100,284||18|
|ERWIN, JUDITH||11,790||141,476||20||PARCELLS, MARGARET||8,317||99,809||19|
|FRIEDLAND, JOHN||11,379||136,553||25||WOJCIK, KATHLEEN||8,080||96,959||31|
|EDGAR, JAMES||10,910||130,925||20||SCHAFFER, JACK||8,011||96,126||24|
|THOMPSON, JAMES||10,601||127,215||20||NOVAK, JOHN||7,983||95,795||20|
|PETKA, EDWARD||10,583||126,992||30||WINCHESTER, ROBERT||7,899||94,783||20|
|PHILIP, JAMES||10,551||126,615||36||BRESLIN, PEG||7,869||94,430||16|
|BURRIS, ROLAND||10,450||125,400||20||WEAVER, MICHAEL||7,816||93,792||19|
|JONES JR, EMIL||10,195||122,334||36||HALLOCK, JOHN||7,801||93,615||20|
|NETSCH, DAWN||10,143||121,720||22||DUDYCZ, WALTER||7,661||91,937||25|
|HOMER, THOMAS||10,002||120,021||19||JACOBS, DENNIS||7,617||91,404||28|
|HAWKINSON, CARL||9,447||113,367||26||PETERSON, WILLIAM||7,584||91,007||26|
|DEGNAN, TIMOTHY||9,346||112,152||20||FAWELL, BEVERLY||7,543||90,521||19|
|BOWMAN, H||9,340||112,085||20||MAITLAND JR, JOHN||7,530||90,355||23|
|GRANBERG, KURT||9,310||111,716||22||MAROVITZ, WILLIAM||7,419||89,029||18|
|KARPIEL, DORIS||9,242||110,906||23||SMITH, IRVIN||7,381||88,568||20|
|MCGREW, SAMUEL||9,201||110,407||20||MEYER, JOHN||7,365||88,381||16|
|MOLARO, ROBERT||9,067||108,810||16||MOORE, DON||7,354||88,249||18|
|DANIELS, LEE||8,944||107,333||32||WOOLARD, LARRY||7,309||87,703||19|
|RYDER, WILLIAM||8,909||106,903||20||KUBIK, JACK||7,288||87,450||14|
|HARTKE, CHARLES||8,873||106,474||20||RONEN, CAROL||7,276||87,316||15|
|KUSTRA, ROBERT||8,824||105,893||18||HARTIGAN, NEIL||7,275||87,295||12|
|WATSON, FRANK||8,777||105,321||30||SIEBEN, TODD||7,152||85,828||23|
|CAPPARELLI, RALPH||8,604||103,247||34||ODANIEL, WILLIAM||7,079||84,948||24|
|Compiled by Bill Zettler Published by Illinois Taxpayers Education Foundation (312)427-0087 www.ntui.org|
How do legislators manage to hike their pensions so much?
Some get a short-term position paying a lot more than they received in their last year as a state legislator. Former State Senator John Friedland, for example, was hired as a lobbyist by the Elgin Sanitary District for a couple of months as a hefty salary. That boosted his base salary.
Add three percent extra each year, which all on public pensions in Illinois receive and it mounts up over time.
Others like Terry Stezco lose an election and get a well-paying local governmental job. In his case, Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan hired him.
Others get appointed to head state departments. Chuck Hartke, for instance, was appointed Director of the Department of Agriculture.
All can transfer pension credits from the new pension system and their final salaries–upon which their pension is based–back into the General Assembly Retirement System.