Friday, November 04, 2011

Teachers retire early and often

I heard some teachers union sob story on a WLS radio ad this morning. The truth is this: Cadillac Pay in the Land of Lincoln:
The 2010 actuarial report for the Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois shows, for instance, that current retirees between the ages of 55 and 59 receive average annual benefits of $55,893. Second, even that figure is deceptive because it includes benefits paid to individuals who worked only part of their careers in public schools. These retirees would receive lower average benefits, but they may also have retirement income drawn from another job. The 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report in Illinois shows that the average benefit paid to a 60-year-old retired teacher with 35 to 39 years of service—a full working career—was $67,452. This is enough to provide a retirement income 50 percent higher than most Americans earn while they’re working.
Added to that flagrant abuse hidden by the averages--public school superintendents earning 6 figures in retirement while working in another state, NTHS's Hank Bangser; union hacks teaching or working as subs for a single day teaching history or special ed and cashing in on an extra pension.

Illinois--from worst to worster:
The problem is that little has changed in the state capital. Faced with a pension system that Joshua Rauh of Northwestern University's Kellogg School estimates could become the first state retirement plan to run out of money, Illinois enacted extremely modest reforms last year that only apply to new hires and do little to shore up the system because the savings don't kick in for years. Then, in classic Illinois style, the state claimed those future savings on this year's budget in order to narrow its deficit. [snip]

Once you get on a treadmill like this, you can't get off, it seems. The state's bonded debt has increased to $30 billion from $9.4 billion since just 2002. Still, if the state offers a big premium to investors hungry for yield in this low-interest rate environment, some may yet be willing to scoop up the state's debt, though the prospect of loaning money to a state that owes, according to the Tribune, some $200 billion in muni debt, unpaid bills and unfunded pension obligations may also prompt some investors to pause.
The Illinois legislature is allegedly going to vote to finally tackle this billions in the hole travesty, but the question remains--why should Illinois taxpayers be on the hook for this piggish amount of money for early and often public sector retirement at all?

Vote fraud, pension fraud, this is Illinois.

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