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« Holy Chicago! - Cook County Is $108 BILLION In The Red, $25 Billion In Unfunded Pension Liabilities, More Than $63,000 Per Family (Treasurer's Report: Video, Transcript) | Main | RAW VIDEO: Athens On Fire: Greek Protesters Battle Police »

MAKE THIS STORY GO VIRAL -- You Thought California State Pensions Were Out Of Control? Wait Until You See This List From Illinois

UPDATE:  Since we published this story yesterday it has been picked up by Glenn Beck, Business Insider, Patrick.net, and several other sources.  As of 5 AM this morning it has been seen by 322,000 unique visitors.  Keep it going!


Meet Neil Codell an Illinois educator with a $26 million state pension

Look for 'Codell, Neil C' -- 4th from the top of the list.  His estimated career pension is $26,661,604.  That's almost $27 million for a single administrator within just one local Illinois school system (Niles, to be exact).

Read about his benefits package HERE


More detail:  Source

While the California teachers' unions are effectively destroying one school system after another, an alert commenter pointed me to some even more shocking news from Illinois. Their pension system for educators is -- if you can believe it -- even farther off the reservation.

Using actuarial calculations from the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), Champion News reports that the total estimated pension liability for the top 100 retirees will equal...

Click the table to see a larger version. 

Make sure you're sitting down.



You read this right. The top 100 retirees, by themselves, will cost Illinois taxpayers nearly one billion dollars.






Slideshow with great photos:



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Reader Comments (113)

............................"WoW" S. Gompers, that was like looking right into the sun at high noon, and seeing "The Devil" !.................
Jun 15, 2010 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
GREAT POST GOMP...I liked this part the best...

One does not need to know the end of the story to know that we are heading at a rapid pace away from the principles of American democracy towards the dark hole of power with impunity, to the sort of world in which, as Rudolph Giuliani has calmly asserted, "freedom is about authority.", now that is certainly freedom, isn’t it?

RUDY RUDY RUDY...glad to see that you have finally seen the light.

Really, great post Gomp.
Jun 15, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterZarathustra
@ JTS...who wrote...

doing almost a million a year gross out of 4 bays....


nice numbers there...small business like yours are the key to the recovery, but as you've stated, there's no help for small business...
Jun 15, 2010 at 8:25 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
@ T Dar...

Enjoyed the prager clip...i'm not as supportive of republicans as he is...but i am ready to throw out all incumbents, regardless of party....except for ron paul...

@ everyone...i am ABSOLUTELY NOT going after teachers pay or teachers pensions...not my intent whatsoever...i was focusing on WASTE at the STATE level in a general sense...and showing these pensions for school bureaucrats was my way of arguing NOT to bailout states...

But please understand...i don't think teachers are overpaid...they are well-paid...but not overpaid...thsi was aimed solely at administrators...

I hope this helps clear up any confusion...thanks...
Jun 15, 2010 at 8:33 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Thats right DB..........................Its all in how you treat yr costomers. If you give them 2 times what they pay for, you'll make it. If you take the time to know thier family, and names, and ask how each one is doin, you'll make it. If you put your costomers before you, you'll make it.

If you treat yr costomers, fan club, payed seats to see ya, people bringing thier "Can You Fix It", before you, and treat them like they are the best people in the world, and im greatfull you still bring it to me, you could make it.

Its all about how much you give back, not how much you do. If you can put yr people above you, they will give back to you for making them feel good in side. I've knowen this before thAre was that ol movie.

Its called "Pay It Forwared"....................been doin it before I knew what it was all about. Its that magic feeling you get when you dident have to do that, but it felt realy good in side doin it. Boy Have Dar Gotta a Story to Tell Ya's.............!

And yes, we have to work for 1/2 our worth to have them #'s like that. Felt it when I read it. & no thAre aint, but us little people do what we can just to surive. ThAre is no help comming.

If were to surive, its up to how ever many Hr. it takes to make it. I've worked 70-80 hr. a week to make it when your on yr own. Hr. mean nothing. Success, is all that counts.

& dont let the incom fool ya's. Take home is less than 1/4th. JTS, I'll bring my tour bus to ya any ol day. The worker ant and squrial will always make it, its all we know.

Dam JTS, Thems nice #'s..............!
Jun 15, 2010 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
@ T Dar...

Enjoyed the prager clip...i'm not as supportive of republicans as he is...but i am ready to throw out all incumbents, regardless of party....except for ron paul...

"Right", it dont matter what side yr on. They all need to go..........! Ron Paul, and his son is our last hope for a America we once knew.

Both sides have soled thier sole to the Devil, its just the "R's" will throw us a bone from time to time. Its going around the net, this is our last chance to save our planet. Only 5 more mo. to go....................................? If we dont, it will not be nice.

We watched the movie "The Road" Sat. night. make sure you see it. Its just like it will be. We need a meet-up-point, to ban togeather. We'll be stronger in #'s.....? Mommy said I gotta go eat............................................................!
Jun 15, 2010 at 9:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
For Samuel Gompers: I didn't say I wanted things to be that way, I'm speaking as a realist.

I've been arguing for universal education for a long time but I believe that education and training are different things.

Education means learning to play a musical instrument and learning how to appreciate our classical musical heritage.

It means learning a foreign language well so that you can know another culture from the inside and be able to communicate fluently with the people of that culture.

It means learning how to play a team sport to maintain a healthy body throughout life, to learn discipline and how to play on a team.

It means learning about the history of your own country and its political history and its present political system.

It means learning your own language so that you can communicate effectively. It means learning the literature of your country and language also.

It means learning at least one science well enough to participate in political discussions about biology, chemistry, physics, zoology, the environment, energy decisions ....

It means learning about mathematics so that you can understand science.

Education is not training but most college students want to get MBA's, or degrees in computer science so that they can get good jobs.

Most high school students refuse to learn almost anything and their parents complain that the teachers are boring and uninspiring while they themselves (parents) spend their time watching baseball games, playing video games, drinking, fornicating and generally refusing to educate themselves. Most of them couldn't find Mexico on the map.

I'm not speaking from what I want to be true but from what is true. Why not wake up and save what we can instead of trying to have what is impossible?

Overman my ass. Samuel Gompers has been dead at least since Taft-Hartley and don't make the mistake of thinking that I'm happy about it.
Jun 15, 2010 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Street
Addendum: Fascism is the control of corporations by the government. In America we have control of the government by corporations.

Ralph Nader is closer to being a fascist than anyone in America today (tongue in cheek, tongue in cheek) because he would like to regulate industry more than almost anyone else in America.

Hitler did it, and (yes check your history please) Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Joseph Kennedy, the Bush family and many, many more Americans supported Hitler and wanted it for America at the time also.

I'm not saying it can't happen here and I think it almost certainly WILL happen here if the American economy implodes the way the Austrian and German economies imploded in the late 20's and early 30's but that doesn't seem likely. Obviously the recent oil spill casts a massive dark shadow over everything right now.

Not to be too truthful, and therefore seemingly too crazy, but fascism does NOT have to result in concentration camps and mass killings.

Mass conformity and suppression of individuality, yes.

Suppression of human rights, yes.

Persecution of minorities yes.

But we already have those three now. Just raise them to the second power and you have the results of fascism without the necessity of fascism itself.

America doesn't need fascism. Sarah Palin and the mob that supports her will do.
Jun 15, 2010 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Street
However, one game that remains active on the website allows players to glimpse under a teacher's skirt and inside her blouse.
The game, called "Naughty Classroom," begins with three young boys sitting at the front of a classroom and admiring a photo of their female teacher.
"Remember that hot school teacher you has a crush on in high school?" the game asks. "The subject of your adolescent dreams, the only teacher who could get your undivided attention in class? Presenting our mouth watering version of the ultimate teacher-goddess! Here's your chance to fulfill your ultimate childhood fantasy! Naughty Classroom will leave you begging for more homework!"
A teacher walks into the classroom wearing a mini skirt and spike heels. At one point, she unbuttons her shirt and flashes her undergarments at her students. Players can prompt one of the male students to turn on a fan, and a gush of air lifts the teacher's skirt.
Another game, "Naughty Gym Teacher," asks, "Why should boys have all the fun? The giggly schoolgirls cannot get enough of their hot male gym instructor, and they will resort to the naughtiest tricks to get what they want."
"I would love to be Coach Rodder's 'dumb belle,'" one girl says.
Naughty Babysitter" allows a boy character to shoot ice cubes down his babysitter's blouse. The babysitter gets physical with her boyfriend on the sofa and even kisses the boy she is babysitting.
Other games include "Naughty Detective," "Naughty Airplane," "Naughty Elevator," "Naughty Beach," "Naughty Park," "Naughty Supermarket" and "Naughty Summer Camp."
More games for Obama's little children to play around with behind mommy and daddys back. It gets sicker, just wait.............................
eBay pulls rape video game after WND report
One Amazon customer review stated, "I am saddened and appalled by the mere idea of this game. Is this for real?"
The blood-spattered cover of RapeLay features an illustration of a schoolgirl named Aoi who is attempting to shield her crying little sister from a male character's threatening hands. The male is named Kimura Masaya and escapes from prison to violate the women.
Gamers summon wind to blow women's skirts up and fondle them until they are sexually aroused, as indicated by a meter. Players force anal and oral sex upon their victims while the women respond, "Sniff ... sniff ... I w-w-want to die. ..."
Male characters take pictures of their victims after they have been assaulted and abort their unborn babies. The game also includes depictions of lesbian and group sex.
On the first level of the "rape simulator game," gamers stalk a young mother at a subway station and violently assault her, according to the London's Independent reports. After finishing with the woman, they rape her two virgin daughters.
According to descriptions, gamers may invite other male characters to join a gang-rape scenario. Pregnancy and abortion are "key features," and characters are punished if they decide to keep a baby.
"If she does become pregnant you're supposed to force her to get an abortion, otherwise she gets more and more visibly pregnant each time you have sex," one reviewer revealed. "If you allow the child to be born then the woman will throw you in front of a train."

Players have dirty 'gay' sex in hit game
Trendy Christmas gift features characters naked, kissing in homosexual embrace
The video cuts to a scene in which the two men are dirty, naked and kissing. They are depicted in various homosexual sex positions, and the clip concludes with the two nestling together and gazing into one another's eyes.
According to an Amazon description, the game also features moral dilemmas "offering no easy choices," where characters must "decide how to handle complex issues like murder, genocide, betrayal and the ***************************possession and sacrificing of children." ****************************
In another YouTube clip of a role-playing scene, a young boy possessed by a demon declares, "You'll never win! You'll never take him! He's mine!"
The child is slain, and a female demon with horns and a tail emerges from his corpse.
The game is now available at many retailers' locations and websites, including Wal-Mart's online store, Target stores, Best Buy, Amazon and eBay.
Homosexual blogs are praising the game producers for including the sex scene.
"Gay geeks rejoice, all your gaming fantasies have come true," one blog
Jun 15, 2010 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
DAR: I wont say that you said it better than I did but I'll give you the last word anyway because your post illustrates what I merely said with too many words.

It pains me to say it but "hats off" for showing us this ugly truth about secondary education.

Most people refuse to listen to reason so they have to have truth shoved in their faces.

I'm speechless.
Jun 16, 2010 at 12:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames Street
THAT is NOT critical thought.
Do we NEED critical thought ?
Well... at least we need to know the difference between critical thought and epidermic reactions.


These are all nice ideas and concepts to which we can aspire. But it has nothing to do with this story...

This isn't a piece that needs a significant amount of critical thought. This is simply a scenario where laws and policy and procedure were bent, if not broken, repeatedly. There is no possible scenario where it was foreseen that educators/administrators (and why so many posts felt the need to split hairs here?) were expected to enjoy a $25mil retirement.

This is more of the cocoon creating, illegal, protectionism that power creates.

And all of this in the State of Illinois? Surprising. Only the single most corrupt State in the Union.

DB, keep digging in Illinois. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The billions that are wasted and stolen there aren't billions at all, they are trillions...
Jun 16, 2010 at 6:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterOberon4life
Sorry James .I do not see persecution of minorities .BTW my customer base is maybe 50% black 10 Latino and 40 white.
I feel as when this gets said over and over there is a political motive behind it for funding programs for inner city kids (your words) i am not arguing with you But lets dont lay down here or throw money at the problem .Lets see it for what it is
years of big gov telling people they are owed something .What about the days before welfare .I dont think people were
starving by the thousands .I have always thought that was what made this country great was anyone can do anything they want .Sorry but i still have to think that way or it would be ugly.Maybe a solution would be if your kid did not pass classes
your free ride is over .People are content to just be if someone feeds and gives them shelter.
Jun 16, 2010 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJTS
For Samuel Gompers: I didn't say I wanted things to be that way, I'm speaking as a realist.

I do realize that James, that is spelled out in the first half of your sentence below. But I disagree with the second half of the message below. The problem is, many people do believe in what you are saying, because they believe they will directly benefit from the exploitation.

"And, even though it sounds radical and therefore not serious, I think if we could allow at least half of American children to leave school by the sixth grade and enter the job market as bus drivers, garbage collectors, taxi drivers and other unskilled workers, we could move the rest of the way towards solving the education problem. Another 25% of children could be set free by age 14 to become secretaries, auto mechanics and other semi-skilled workers."

I agree with much of what you write, and your insight, therefore I was not killing the messenger, just the message. Though as JTS said, I am offended by the views of some as to what semi skilled is, or who would determine who is worthy of education.

"Overman my ass. Samuel Gompers has been dead at least since Taft-Hartley and don't make the mistake of thinking that I'm happy about it. "

The overman reference was directed clearly at elitists. Yes, Sam has been dead a long time, but the S. is for Scott.

"Hitler did it, and (yes check your history please) Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Joseph Kennedy, the Bush family and many, many more Americans supported Hitler and wanted it for America at the time also."

I know my history, and my reference to the FDR coup was about this. many wealthy Americans helped to build the European Fascist regimes, and attempted to do the same here.

And still we "honor" them...

"Freedom is about authority" may be freedom for some, but that spells slavery to many more. I have stated before that people build their own shackles, some just put rhinestones and such on theirs, but they are shackles none the less.

I continue to state that both parties are responsible. and even in these posts on pensions, it is the workers/ unions fault to many, never the management who negotiated the contracts/ benefits, or the fund managers.

THat is the part that fascinates me.
Jun 16, 2010 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
I live in a Chicago suburb served by the Leyden Township High School District. The starting salary for a teacher with a BA is $49,999. A MA gets a starting teacher $56,642. The average salary in our district is just over 87,000.

As many of these teachers approach retirement, they take on additional responsibilities in order to spike their pension. The benefit had been determined by highest average salary earned during four consecutive years out of the last 10 years of service. The pension is basically 50% of the four year average at 20 years on the job or up to 75% at thirty.

The formula has been changed somewhat for those newly hired starting next year, but the changes will take about twenty years to make much of a difference.

In the Leyden district, a guidence counselor is making $183,182. A Consumer Ed teacher gets $166,443. An English teacher gets $158,961. A Phys Ed teacher gets $153,158.

This comes from a list of the top 100 Illinois teacher salaries:


It's a safe bet that all of these teachers will be getting a pension.
Jun 16, 2010 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank
Tex: that stuff about fascism and my thoughts about what education should be as opposed to training (nothing wrong with training of course) were directed to Gompers. You are more than welcome to comment but I'm not sure what you are saying.

To Gompers: I've been a strong supporter of unions and education all of my life but I've noticed many trends that I can't do anything about:

Union membership has dropped from about 35% (low already) after World War II, to less than 5% in the private sector today while illegal immigration (which started during the 1600's but the "illegal" part was often the other way around: people were forced to come to America against their will, as punishment) has mushroomed.

Small businessmen get rich hiring illegal immigrants, very young people (fast food chains) and non-union trailer trash (Wall Mart) and paying them minimum wage often without any benefits while telling American workers that unions are unAmerican and destroy job creation.

I've already said what I think education should be (in part) and I've implied the difference between training and education. Most American parents want their children to be trained for a job, whether it is a job as an auto mechanic, computer programmer or doctor. They don't want to be educated. That spells the end of public education as we've known it.

People are worried about "fascism." We already have an oligarchy where the rich rule through corporate manipulation of the press and the buying of elections and politicians. We don't need fascism.

Fascism is defined very simply as the rule of corporations and business by the government. In history, it has often been accompanied by dictatorship. America has the opposite. If you want to define fascism in another way, be my guest and I'll talk about that kind of fascism (dictatorship?)

American is, at least formally, a democracy and the people should run the country, more or less, through political organizations. Quite frankly, if the American government could become truly democratic I would prefer fascism to oligarchy or plutocratic rule.

The problem with fascism in Europe was that Italy, Spain and Germany had virtually no history of democracy and had been ruled mostly be kings and princes in the past. That history led them directly to the dictatorships of Mussolini, Franco and Hitler with all the evil consequences that followed.

I don't think the evil that resulted during the 1930's could happen in a truly representative democracy but since we've never had one in America, I don't really know and I will continue to fear fascism in American for that reason.

For Debra in France: this IS all on topic. Why don't you tell us the difference between the French educational system and the American. I think you'll end up talking about the same things I did. Also, the French don't waste money on expensive sports programs or expensive buildings and huge campuses (university.) And they have a competitive system where students and parents know that they only have a right to an education if they work for that right.

The French manage all this while both educating and training students.
Jun 16, 2010 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames Street
"Union membership has dropped from about 35% (low already) after World War II, to less than 5% in the private sector today while illegal immigration (which started during the 1600's but the "illegal" part was often the other way around: people were forced to come to America against their will, as punishment) has mushroomed."

And the lower these numbers shrink, the more labor gets blamed for the economic situation over all these years. No one ever blames bad management, bad laws (like offshoring, or blindly allowing illegal labor to decimate the working class, blind eyes to safety, etc.), or bad fund management of the pensions.

I belong to a private sector pension fund that has been decimated since the eary 2000's, but wait, that can't be, it was the best of times...

No danger of me getting bailed out, and even as we were saying get out of things like Enron, etc, the fund managers were buying more, and rode it all the way to the ground. At least they got paid, but it screwed the pooch for the rest of us (27 M).

I guess that is why they are the "professionals", and the "educated" among us, they get paid, even when they do not listen to the commitee.

How many years after the unions are gone do you think they will still get blamed for what everyone else does? And the least educated are always the most exploited in society, from a historical global perspective of course.


Pensions do not work like many seem to believe, that is unfortunate.
Jun 16, 2010 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
James i HATE wllmart as much as the next guy but there is no way in HELL i could get away calling someone around me
who worked for them trailer trash .LOL Well i could but ummm i may need kevlar .Kinda inside joke Gomp
will understand he is in the water deeper than me LOL
Jun 16, 2010 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJTS
...................... You are more than welcome to comment but I'm not sure what you are saying.
The point im trying to make is that this thread is about teachers, unions, and what our kids are learnning today in school and threw TV and computers.

First, the media took off the hand cuffs way back in the late 70's. Our kids became the ones with the controls. Ruled the house and the schools.

Then BHO comes along and for the last 1 1/2 year has now little children singing "Peaise to Alla" songs. "Im NOT Good With That".............................

Now after hearing about it for a year now, he is letting the media push this SEX Crap on our little children starting at age 5-7 years of age. & we know why.

This shit makes me very sick in side. What has this country come too.....? Its not "The Booger Monster" im refering too, its us. Althoe if we can get him "Impeached" & the sooner the better, this SEX Crap should go away if we the people demand it. Pluss, all of his Cazr's must go out the door with him.

Am I the only one tracking thissex teaching and the only one it bothers.....? These are our children here, and they will run this country in 20 years.

What will we have if this is pushed in our schools and on the media. Guess I've always been the one out side the box, and looking inside the box as to what is realy happening.

This is a run away system, and our kids are the losers here. I warned of it for a year now. Now im showing whats starting to happen and its comming to a school near you soon.

"POINT Im Making Is"....wile all the people on top of teaching is linning thier pockets with $$$$$$$$$ the demon is working into our system a monster we dont evan want to think about.

Sure Sex is nice, but not for little children. This is the same way Hitler did it to get the children on his side. I saw it comming and tryed to warn. Now its here. We all know what the next step is.......?

My coment is the result of all these high payed people in education looking the other way wile "The Wizzered of O-Bama Oz" takes over one more thing in our country................."Our Children" !
Jun 16, 2010 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
Good point Dar Hell we had say the pledge every day before class. Now because some idiot who wants to live in America
but doesnt like it bitched and a politician with no balls let it go thru .

Any man that gives up liberty for safety deserves neither .
Jun 16, 2010 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJTS
"MAKE THIS STORY GO VIRAL -- You Thought California State Pensions Were Out Of Control? Wait Until You See This List From Illinois"

ALL the major U.S. state pensions are BROKE & OUT OF CONTROL. Yet many of those same states CONTINUE to hire & spend regardless. Add the NY state pension to the list as well as Connecticut, Indiana, New Jersey, Hawaii, Louisiana and Oklahoma. This ALREADY has GONE VIRAL; in the form of a massive economic viral disease that will mark the demise of current Anglo-American financial predominance forever.

Jun 16, 2010 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRecoverylessRecovery
This is nice...Glenn Beck just picked up our story on Illinois Pensions...

This is the tweet he just sent out:






Glenn Beck has more than 250,000 followers on twitter...and so far about 2,000 have showed up just from his message...thank you Glenn...
Jun 17, 2010 at 12:19 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
excellent discussion...enjoyed reading everyone's comments...and links....
Jun 17, 2010 at 12:20 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Why the f*** are teachers getting 7% salary increases?
Jun 17, 2010 at 6:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris S.
And this is why? Gibbs the Gibbon...


Gibbs the Gibbon is a first class incompetent.

Just go to Youtube and search for "Robert Gibbs dodges question"...start there...
Jun 17, 2010 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterZarathustra

Robert Gibbs the Gibbon LIES so that Obama can get his orders from BILDERBERG.

Gibbs the Gibbon is a TRAITOR.

We had a desire to do SOME MEETINGS...ha...I bet.
Jun 17, 2010 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterZarathustra
I think anyone making over 100k should pay their own retirement.
Anyone making less should get say 3 grand in a 401 style account.
Jun 17, 2010 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin
There are dozens of rural school districts in Illinois alone with teachers that are making over $80k year. It is public information that any school district will provide, if asked. Since teacher pensions are based upon 90% of the average of the last 3 years of the teacher's pay, most are receiving way more than $60k year in their pension. Yes, this is a union issue and a media issue. The media (who are generally also unionized) screams about low teacher pay anytime they can. It simply is no longer true.
Pensions for government and other public employees need to be stopped and 401k programs enacted just like the rest of the working populace has.
Jun 18, 2010 at 4:10 AM | Unregistered Commentermd1
Let me first caveat this with the fact that I don't agree with public unions or pensions, they are out of control. Nor am I an actuary, but I do understand finance and know a little bit about pensions. BUT, the numbers shown here are overblown a bit especially for the administrator from Niles (who I kind of feel bad for because he's probably getting paid the same or less than the others who are already retired). First of all the total value of his pension is NOT discounted to a present value. Yes I understand that is still the total value is still high, but that is the value 40 years down the road, ASSUMING a 7% salary growth rate which I highly doubt is the case. I'm willing to bet this guy is not getting 7% raises every year. The 7% assumption is pretty rediculous and most private pension only use around a 3% salary growth rate. It also looks like it includes a cost of living adjustment, which is rare in pension...only a few private pensions have that option. The reason this is so out of whack and blown out of proportion is because of the years to retire, now 11 years for him (since these are 2007 numbers). If you want a more realistic view of what these people are getting look at the people with years to retire at 0, which would be the Present Value of their pension. In fact these people are not all that out of line (EST Year 1 Pension - which is less than their final salary, as it should be) with normal private pension plans top executives, although I think there is a cap issue with private plans and possibly public ones (at least for future hires).

So before everyone blows this out of proportion (especially the news orgs and commentators like Beck that pick this up) I think it needs to be understood that these are Future Values, which are fine, but when you look at that you are comparing apples to oranges. They need to have a Present Value (i.e. in today's dollars) to make a legitimate comparison. There was a recent NYT article about how IL was capping their public pensions at $107k/yr and have to work at least 32hrs/wk, the only problem is it only applies to new hires. IL is spineless to stand up to the unions (that's another story), but at least they have made some progress I suppose.

Jun 22, 2010 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterOverblown
@overblown...good post...i know all about illinois and their pension fix that really fixes nothing.....and i've been posting that nyt article around here lately...

the point is to demonstrate that the rest of us SHOULD NOT have to bail out the states that can't handle their own finances...and the illinois example is just a tool to gather support against any state bailouts...

you should hang out more often and join us in comments...
Jun 22, 2010 at 2:46 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Reading about unions being corrupt and certainly teachers should have no bargining power makes me sick. We are one of the least educated countries in the world. The reason we have 30 million illegals who are bankrupting not only California but the rest of the country is that no one has any bargining power. The cheaper the better. Well, when you talk about why taxes keep getting higher it is because we are paying education, health care, "prision time" and endless expenses for those people. So everytime you hire someone who is "cheaper" but probably illegal think about who is really paying for it. Oh, not to mention an illegal war that we are paying for daily. So before we all start pointing fingers at someone else take a look at yourself. I think the orriginal sin was Adam said "The woman made me do it" and the woman said "the snake made me do it." I haven't heard any of these comments step up to the plate and admit we all created this, we elected the people we now blame.
Jun 24, 2010 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterSharon Shariatzadeh
sharon...your points are well taken...but i don't live in one of the states that needs a federal bailout...by your IP address, i see that you are from Illinois...blame those from your state...
Jun 24, 2010 at 11:37 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Your rants are filled with lies and half truths. You take the top 5% of mostly retired administrators and a few teachers and make it seem as if all teachers make a 6 figure retirement. The average teacher pension in Illinois is just over $40,000 per year. Compare what they get to the top 5% of any profession. How about doctors or even plumbers.

Illinois teachers do not get social security. That means you, the taxpayers, do not have to pay the 7% matching charge. You don't complain about that. Illinois is one of the lowest taxed states. It ranks 46th in total tax collection as a percentage of income but that is not enough for you. When your 401ks were fat you did not complain. When your houses were worth twice what they should have been and you spent the equity like a drunken sailor you did not complain. Now you want to steal teachers' pensions. You made a deal with people, they stuck to their part of the deal, and now because it doesn't suit you, you want to steal their pensions. You are nothing but a bunch of thieves.

The reason the pensions are in trouble is because your representatives used them as a credit card they did not repay. If they had paid the required amount there would be no problem. Instead, they pulled billions out of the pensions to pay for services you the taxpayer used without having to pay taxes for them. You don' blame the pols or the corporate fat cats. You attack and slander teachers.You are belligerent, greedy, cowards.
Jun 29, 2010 at 1:29 AM | Unregistered Commenterteacher lover
@teacher lover: I'm sorry but the fact that you picked out one of the most "appealing" numbers from what I'm assuming is from the Chicago Tribune http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2010/05/ratings.html is pretty rediculous. How about the the Sales Tax Burden (11th), State and local property tax collections per capita (9th - which I'm assuming some goes to funding TRS), Public Employees at all levels of government per capita (7th), Combined state and local sales tax rates (6th), Union employment as a percentage of the workforce (11th), Expenditures for elementary & secondary education per capita (13th), and the kicker....Credit (bond) rating (49th).

By the way, I have NOTHING against "Good" teachers. I do however have A LOT against "ineffective and lazy" teachers whos only reason for being there is because they are covered by the union and tenure. My sister is an english teacher in Nebraska and is a damn good one, although she is getting out of teaching secondary english to teach college, because she CANNOT STAND the teachers who come and are basically worthless drains on our youth and the people who pay their salaries (that would be us). She doesn't want to deal with their petty bull$hit anymore and her best option is to try and teach at a college. It sucks because students will be losing a great teacher and most likely gaining a crappy one. She recently had to move halfway across the state and got a job without even having to interview, because she had so many great recommendations from colleagues, parents and students that they didn't have to worry if she would be another "burden" teacher. One of her colleagues was moving as well, expected to get a job like my sister and didn't because no one would give her a decent recommendation. My sister even tried to help her out and give her pointers, she blew that (didn't follow her recommendations) and still couldn't land a job. That is how the system should evolve, pay and tenure based on performance (peer performance is difficult because teachers get all chummy). I don't know if you're referring to me or not in your post, I'm hoping not, but I think you need to get a clue about your state.....it's corrupt as all hell. Until they get the democratic machine broken up and out of there, it's going to go into a free fall......and my prediction, people laugh at me for saying this....Chicago will end up like Detroit in the next 20 years if people don't wake up and get Daley and his machine out of there.

I'm pretty sure they didn't "pull" any money out of pensions, you should rephrase that. They just didn't "fund" as much as they should have or even remotely follow their funding requirements they themselves passed. You say "Steal", I say "keep them in check". The easiest way for politicans and public unions to pay themselves more is to increase their pension benefits. It goes under the radar mostly unseen by the taxpayers, because most people don't understand pensions and don't know the consequences of increasing pension benefits. They see it as less harmless than a straight up increase in salary right now. And by the way I don't see myself making a deal with Public Unions (they should be abolished), and I don't think most "stick" to their part of the deal when they work overtime in their final years to boost their last years average salary in order to get a higher, tax-free payout. That is cheating the system (i.e. taxpayers). I, and probably many here, did not want more "services" from politicians, I just want basic services...not MORE. I want to them to be responsible, i.e. not spend! I blame politicians for surrendering to the public union leaders. They are the ones that want more more more. So don't get all liberal here and try to blame Corporate America for all of the worlds problems, yes they are to blame partially I'm sure, but there are others who deserve it just as much or more.

Oh and I'm glad I didn't have to pay the 7% SS for teachers, but I'm damn sure I paid it through some other means and who the hell is going to complain that their 401k is going up. I didn't buy a house (never have owned one), so I didn't contribute to this crap that Democrats helped to create with Fannie and Freddie easing loan approvals (yes Wall St. had something to do with feeding it, but they did not start it). I did not vote for the idiot politicans that think to dig our way out of a mess is to make the hole deeper, like they want to do now.

@Sharon Shariatzadeh: I used to live in Chicago and albeit a great city, it's a flipping MESS. And since the Chicagoland area makes up a majority of the population in IL, it has a large say in what happen in IL politics. And who has a lot of influence in that say....Unions, corrupt ones. I don't even want to get into an arguement about this because it is pointless. Until people recognize how much control these guys have over politicians, it will be a pointless arguement for all of us. If you do anything anywhere in the city you have to hire union workers. Setting up a table, yep you guessed it....have to hire a union employee. The city is a joke! I love being there...visiting.....but living there, you'd have to pay me a lot to put up with that crap again. Oh and I'm guessing this link below is very similar to what happens in Chicago.......thanks to Mish!

Jun 29, 2010 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterOverblown
These pensions are so ridiculous I don't know where to start. If the investments fall short, I say TOO BAD. My 401k did the same thing because I had something called "investment risk". Welcome to the real world public employees.

If you want these outrageous pensions, then I say fine, JUST DON'T COME TO ME AS A TAXPAYER TO PAY FOR IT. This is why cops are coming off the street. Remember funds are fungible.
Aug 5, 2010 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterrobert tupilo
well said robert...
Aug 6, 2010 at 5:47 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Good to see that this article is still getting some interest.

To teacher lover:
The average Illinois teacher pension includes the pensions of part-time teachers, substitute teachers and teachers who retired at only 5 years on the job. Surely, the 20+ year teachers are making more than the $40,000 average and considerably more than the pay of the average Illinois working taxpayer. Given the high rate of teacher wage and pension inflation, it's conceivable that it won't be long before the average pension for full time teachers with 20+ years on the job will exceed $100,000/yr.

I don't completely understand your comments about Social Security and the teacher's pension. Are you suggesting that the pension plan is less expensive to the taxpayer than Social Security? Check out:


Bill Zettler does tend to analyze the extreme examples to make his points, but the points are clear. The Illinois pension system is both unfair and unsustainable.

Also, Illinois taxes can be high, depending on all sorts of things which aren't considered in the comparative lists. The income tax is more or less straightforward, but, in Chicago the sales tax is the highest in the country and the rest of Cook County is taxed at only a slightly lower rate.

I have no doubt the lists get the property tax for the county, but they miss the dozens of other little taxing districts which greatly inflate the bill.


I suppose it's easier to start a new taxing district than raise an existing tax. Also, there's several Cook County property tax exemptions for favored voters. Most people with jobs qualify for one or maybe two.

I had very little interest or knowledge in this subject until I bought a house in 2008. All I knew about taxes is what I heard from the mainstream media, which suggested Illinois taxes are moderate. I hadn't considered that the stories were influenced by pressure groups who want to stuff their hands even deeper into the pockets of working people.

Property taxes here are calculated in a weird and complex way. There are many taxing bodies which may or may not apply. There are several exemptions which may or may not apply. But all that really counts is the bottom line.

We bought a house in Cook County in 2008. We paid just under $200,000. The previous owner paid just under $1000/yr in property taxes. Well, we don't qualify for most of his exemptions. We are paying $5000/yr in property taxes.

OK, I can get belligerent about my situation. But the greedy cowards are those want to use the government to do murky transfers of wealth from the lower income classes to the higher income classes.

Ultimately, there isn't enough money in Illinois to sustain these transfers. I fully expect some sort of backdoor bailout for the Federally favored irresponsible local governments, particularly in Illinois.

And I recommend that people don't root themselves here. Leave Illinois to the crooks, retirees and government workers.

Aug 8, 2010 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank
Excellent comments frank i enjoyed reading your thoughts...join us more often in comments...have posted a few more pension abuse stories on the front page...
Aug 10, 2010 at 1:21 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Oct 19, 2010 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterZ
Jan 31, 2011 at 12:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterTina
What makes a person poor? - the lack of money - or because money exists?
Feb 1, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn uk
Future pensioner from Illinois here. Let's clarify a few things okay?

The people at the top are absolute thieves who should be prosecuted. No question nor debate.

But take a look at where the rest of us peons are at and a different feudal system appears. In Illinois if you work for the state you do not contribute to social security-just the pension fund. Any monies which you contributed to Social Security before youworked for the state are offset by the pension. This means you could work in the private sector for several years but receive only pennies of that Social Security you paid to the Feds and would otherwise be entitled to should you have never worked for the state. Does Social Security therefore send the state of illinois that portion of money the feds owe you to be put into the pension fund and accumulate interest? No. Those monies have nothing whatsoever to do with our SURS pension fund, however they are withheld from our retirees for no apparent reason. Only 5 states actually do this and Illinois is one. This was a sweetheart-my state wants a favor-deal cut by one of our reps to keep more money in the Feds pocket at the state contributors expense.

Now let's look at our salaries. Chicago has some of the highest taxes and inflation rates in the country but the majority of us civil servants make between 20 and 30 grand, and contribute to our benefits, pensions, etc. out of that money. Yes, you can retire at 55-with a reduced pension if you have 25 years in-you betcha. However, most of us can't live on our FULL salary in Illinois right now. We haven't seen a cost of living raise in years where I work but the benefits, the parking the dues etc. keep going up. I lose ground every additional year I work. You can retire at 55 with 25 years in if you are independently wealthy from some other source-you can't live on the pension and you will only receive a warm feeling from Social security. You don't HAVE a retirement plan. Somebody lied to you. You just keep working another year and another year and plan on being able to afford to retire soon.

In the meantime, no one took the monies you contributed for 20 or 30 years and actually deposited it into a bank to make interest. That is correct. The money was taken and reappropriated to every other project under the sun in the state of illinois for three decades. If you spend all your money instead of putting it into a bank, does the bank award you interest? THe pension fund is underfunded, because it was robbed by every governor and legislature we have had since the 50's.

Now those overpaid bloated administrators at the top collecting obscene salaries manage to retire at 55 just fine you understand. Who couldn't retire on one tenth of their obscene salaries let alone most of it? And they skim that money off the top of the already wildly underfunded pension fund whose contributors monies were stolen and not allowed to grow.

Then the State legislature gathers together and claims the state is broke because there are too many of us. Do the math. If all the money put into the fund by "too many of us" were actually left in the fund to grow interest all this time, we would be in a position to make loans to the state. The state made itself loans out of our money and never paid the principle back let alone the interest lost for decades instead, and now is pointing at the pension fund saying, "You're out of money. That is why we're in trouble."

All the rest of the country hears is the overpaid at the top of the pension pyramid saying "You stole our contributions" and the state legislators who spent our contributions saying, "You make too much." No one cares what happens to us at the bottom of the food chain at all.
Feb 9, 2011 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterKELLY
Kelly, thanks for taking the time to give your perspective on this. There's often a local aspect to things that gets lost in the reportage. So many criminals, so much crime, so hard to keep on top of it all. Best of luck in Illinois.
Feb 9, 2011 at 7:27 PM | Registered CommenterDr. Pitchfork
Well done KELLY. As good as, well, as good as gold.
Feb 9, 2011 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave

Your numbers don't match the numbers from the link above. Salaries are much lower. Perhpas some further research is needed.
Mar 12, 2011 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterPoppy

Your numbers don't match the numbers from the link above. Salaries overall are much lower. Perhaps some further research is needed. Salvo Marks is not a teacher. He is a district supt. with a PhD. From this I would guess anyone on this list actually making the amount listed is in administration. Not teachers. Not union.
Mar 12, 2011 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterPoppy
If you think that's bad, you should have seen my 2 foot long itemized real estate tax bill in Naperville Ill 1/3 of it was all pensions, every department you could think was for pensions, it used to make me scream because my employer and I paid into my own non tax payer funded pension. <>< ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<>< Joseph Michael 2012rage.com
Mar 14, 2011 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered Commenter2012Rage.com
are these supertendants union or not no body has mention question it . and I doubt very much if they are UNION next time someone should check and report all facts. there are NLRB ruleings about jobs or personal that says you can't belong to a Union
Apr 15, 2011 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterwayne
In a small Southern ILL town of about 1700, and the surrounding county there are: 6 elementary schools and 2 high schools. Each school has a superintendent, usually a principal, and several secretaries. Now our Sup's earn about $75K with anither $75 "pkg" for IMRF vacation sick days health ins etc etc etc. Total just the superintendents salaries and their supplemental "benefits. All that money COULD be used to improve the schools, computers intense math and sciences etc. But try and talk to the idiot taxpayers about consolidating all the schools under on school board with equal representation from eqach school, ONE overall superintendent, a principal in each school and even a centralized record system, you'd think you were attempting to firrebomb their particular school or shortchange their representation or lessen the per capita spent on each child when in fact it would be the opposite. BUT the taxpayers dedmand to pay all these bloated NON-Teachers to burn up that tax money and demand more every year to "improve their school their curriculum etc. Simple minded idots have no clue even when explained on a level a 5 yr old could do the math. They simply will not even consider the thought of not having a damned superintendent in each and every school to do what? One school granduated 4 8th grade studentsw to one of the two high schools. FOUR students. Why is there even a school for that many students? 25 kids in all grades K-8 yet they have to have a superintendent, a principal, and staff beyond a teacher for each grqade and usually an assistant.

Madness ssimply madness!
Jun 16, 2011 at 4:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Bohannon

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