The State of Illinois politicians have failed to perform their due diligence regarding the funding of pensions of teachers, judges and other public employees and are about to burden us with an exorbitant tax increases to fund them.
Illinois politicians have ignored and failed to acknowledge the evolution of retirement compensation in the private sector, evolving from tighter profit margins and competition in the marketplace, international and national. Our premise is that the retirement programs of state employees should have a correlation to those being offered in the private sector. Instead the politicians have granted state employees enormous salary increases, pensions and health benefits to reciprocate for the tens of millions of dollars in political contributions by public unions such as Illinois Education Association ($51 million since 1990s).
Illinois public teachers’ pensions are up to 10 times higher than those of private sector employees. The maximum Social Security annual benefit at 62 is about $22,000 for the high earners. In contrast, thousands of Illinois public teachers collect pensions in excess of $100,000 at age 55. Since teacher contracts allow 20% salary increases, their salaries can grow to over $200,000 resulting in scandalous pensions (their pension equals 75% of the last four years’ average salary). Firemen and police officers retire at age 50 and get equally sweet pension deals. And there are many more public professionals who become pension millionaires. To add insult to injury, we the taxpayers fund those public salaries and pensions through ever increasing taxes.
Unless we oppose this looting by the politicians and public unions, we’ll get taxed out of our homes and our wealth, instead of going to our children and grandchildren, will go to Illinois teachers and other public retirees.
Please, sign the petition demanding changes and encourage your family and friends to do the same.
We, Illinois taxpayers, demand that the Pension Clause of the 1970 Illinois Constitution (Article XIII, Section 5) that prohibits diminishing or impairing public pensions, be revoked and the Constitution amended to allow the following changes to public employee salaries, pensions, pension contributions and health benefits. We further demand that those changes be implemented in Illinois immediately.
1. Make union membership voluntary
2. Raise retirement age to 67 (62 with lower benefit) for all current and future state employees
3. Reduce maximum annual pension benefit to $28,000 at age 67 and $22,000 at 62 to match private sector employees' social Security pension and benefits
4. Make employee pension contribution equal to 6.2% + 1.45% Medicare
5. Follow the private sector by offering defined contribution plans such as 401K with employer match
6. Equate Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) with Social Security adjustment
7. Follow the private sector by discontinuing current retiree health benefits and placing all public employees on Medicare at 65
8. Use free market salaries as a base to calculate public salaries
9. Equate salary increases with private sector salary increases and base them on merit