Due to its poor financial health and lagging economy, Illinois carries unique economic and fiscal risks from a prolonged market downturn or recession. The state must act now to mitigate harm from COVID-19.View Report
Consolidating downstate and suburban police and fire pension systems is a start, but both fixes and Illinois’ pension problems go much deeper.
The average six-figure retiree contributed just over $160,000 toward their own pension over the course of their career.
Large pension payouts in the face of flat incomes for taxpayers raise questions of fairness.
Despite regional struggles and a shrinking population, taxpayers in southern Illinois have been saddled with rapidly growing pension costs.
Voted out of office in 2017 amid allegations of patronage and waste, Algonquin Township’s former highway commissioner has since found work at neighboring townships – while collecting a handsome pension from his former employer.
More than a dozen city and park district retirees in Highland Park have received more than $1 million in pension benefits each.
Among the 23 former city of Springfield employees who retired at age 50, five have accumulated more than $1 million in pension benefits.
Active Des Plaines Park District pensioners – including two pension millionaires – have put taxpayers on the hook for more than $7.6 million in pension payouts since 1996.
Lake County residents pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation – a burden driven by the growth in pension costs over the last 20 years.
Less than 50 cents of every additional property tax dollar over the last 20 years went to pay for services that raise home values. Instead, the primary driver of the rise in property taxes was pension costs.