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Saturday, October 01, 2011

Contrast this with public employee pensions

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The headline above speaks for itself.  Remember, severance is payment you get WHEN THEY ARE FIRING YOU. 992 weeks of severance? 894 weeks of severance? 500 weeks? And remember, these weeks of severance are weeks of very high salaries

Full story here. Graphic here.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

When I’ve pointed these out, some people have pointed out the corruption in the Illinois pension system. They have an excellent point – at the executive levels of the state and local government (or the well-connected levels) there is substantial corruption.  School superintendents, for example, have their last days very highly compensated, so that the state pension fund will therefore give them a pension at much higher levels than they would rationally qualify for.

The Chicago Tribune has had many article on this, such as this one.

Calculating labor leaders' city pensions on their union salaries means Liberato "Al" Naimoli, president of Cement Workers Union Local 76, draws an annual city pension of $157,752 for a city job that paid him $15,264 a year. Then there's Dennis Gannon, former president of the Chicago Federation of Labor. He resigned from his city job, which topped out at $55,474, in 1993. But, because an accommodating Chicago City Hall rehired him for one day in 1994, he's drawing a city pension of $158,258.

Sure, that article deals with union leaders drawing city pensions rather than school superintendents drawing state pensions. Want more Trib articles on this? Search on “pension corruption”.

Meanwhile, rank-and-file teachers, police, firemen, and other government employees get painted as the problem. If they are a problem, it is in large part because the state never funded the pensions on a pay-as-you-go basis except when Edgar was governor.  Remember, that state contribution to pension is a form of compensation – just as your company’s contribution to your 401k is a form of compensation.  If they say they are doing it, but don’t do it – year after year after year – some would call that fraud rather than bad judgment.  The government pensions ARE pretty good (at least compared to my complete lack of pension). But that’s deferred compensation, not some sort of optional payment.