Saturday, April 10, 2010

Illinois Lawmakers - What Are They Doing?

Our Illinois lawmakers recently passed a bill in less than 12 hours reducing Illinois teachers' pensions (by the way, teachers in Illinois don't get social security in addition to their Teachers' Retirement Pension) and extending the age of retirement.

Our Illinois lawmakers on the other hand can retire at age 55 with as little as eight years of service. They contribute 11.5 percent of their salaries. The longer our state senators and representatives serve, the greater the percentage of their final salary is tacked onto their pensions (according to the Springfield Journal):

* They get 3 percent of their salary for each of the first four years they’re in office.

* They get 3.5 percent of their salary for each of the next two years in office.

* They get 4 percent of their salary for each of their next two years.

* They get 4.5 percent of their final salary for each of their next four years.

* They get 5 percent of their final salary for every year above 12 years.

That means a legislator could have worked for only 12 years and be entitled to retire at nearly half his or her salary. It would take only 20 years of service to reach the maximum 85 percent pension. A state worker (teacher) would have to work 34 years to reach their maximum pension of 75 percent.

One voter asserts that, "the state has not put into the pension fund since Thompson and further claims that Blago even took $2 billion out of the fund for other 'projects.' Now these Illinois lawmakers whine the fund is hurting. As if they don't know why. The workers will suffer for the legislators greed. It's a lot like a rapist blaming the victim."

In 2007 (3 years ago) Illinois lawmakers earned $57,619.00/year plus $125/per session day.