Generous teacher pensions continue as Illinois’ financial crisis worsens

Sep 2, 2014 by

State has worst U.S. credit rating; Chicago on same path as bankrupt Detroit

If the Illinois Teachers Retirement Service (TRS) had to pay out all of its pensions today, it could only afford to give its members 40 cents on the dollar.

Yet the number of six-figure pensions TRS has been doling out has increased 24 percent this year compared to last, with about 6,000 retired educators collecting more than $100,000 annually, according to records obtained by Open the Books, an online aggregator of local spending that tracks educator salaries, pensions and vendor spending.

The group’s Labor Day report found more than 100,000 retired Illinois educators had been paid back what they invested into the system just 20 months after leaving work, a financial burden linked to union collective bargaining, which can cost taxpayers $2 million or more per teacher over the course of retirement.

“For most school districts pension payments are one of the top five annual expenses,” said Adam Andrzejewski, founder of Open the Books. “Are we going to educate children or provide lavish lifetime benefits for administrators and teachers? There’s not enough taxpayer money to do both.”

Without reform, TRS’s pension plan could go bust by 2029, the fund’s executive director Dick Ingram told The State Journal-Register back in 2012.

Even though Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the state legislature pushed through legislation aimed at overhauling the pension fund last year, a court challenge brought by organized labor threatens to stymie that progress. In May the court decided to issue a temporary injunction against the new law — leaving the fund’s solvency in limbo.

via Generous teacher pensions continue as Illinois’ financial crisis worsens – Washington Times.

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1 Comment

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    Teacher with a Brain

    However, all teachers do not retire at once, do they? This is an ugly attack on teachers. The US has the second highest child poverty rate in the OECD nations, around 23%, and we have documented for years and years around the world that the effects of poverty are physical, social and emotional and are devastating to learning. However, it is easier and cheaper to attack public school teachers rather than actually DO something about the cause of all of this. Indeed, let’s let children live in slums under the dubious care of often unwed and uneducated mothers, in filth and without health care or decent food, surrounded by crime and more, then let’s shake our fists at the teachers who struggle to teach this population.

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