Learn More Open the Books

Insider Access to State Pension Systems

Title: Illinois’ Billionaire Bureaucrat Club- Q & A

“This isn’t a red issue or a blue issue… only green.”

Last year across all units of Illinois government (local to state), 3062 public employees out-earned the governor. Collectively, their total compensation is nearly $1 billion.

Do you want to join this exclusive club of government employees? My advice is to become a local school administrator, village manager, judge, college professor or a government doctor.

This year, another 1,082 government employees with 2010 salaries between $160,000 and $170,000 stand waiting to join the club. It’s a bull market for insiders.

But, taxpayers don’t owe government employees a wealthy living… just a reasonable living.

Our promise to you is “Open the Books.” On Tuesday, September 13th, the books will be open. We will fundamentally change the way the public sees government. It will be a milestone in government reform launched by a thousand mouse clicks across Illinois.

Starting last week, we began the ramp-up to our launch. Each day, we challenged you to answer basic questions regarding Illinois government. For last week’s challenges and answers, click here.

This week’s challenges and answers are below…

Challenge Day 4- Inside Access to State Pensions.
Union leadership, lobbyists, associations, and non-profits (non-governmental tax spending advocates) have gained access to our State level pension systems for local governments and teachers. Who are these groups?
Answer: The second largest pension in Illinois teacher retirement history ($20,200 a month) was calculated not off earnings as an elementary school teacher in Harvey, but off of earnings as President of the National Education Association (NEA) in Washington DC. Three of the top six largest pensions in municipal retirement fund history went to employees of these non-governmental entities: Illinois Municipal League ($15,076 per month), Park District Risk Management Association ($20,125 per month), Illinois Association of Park Districts ($18,436 per month). All participated in salary spiking to maximize their employee pension.

Challenge Day 5Nerds that glitter- School treasurers out-earning state treasurer.
Some school district treasurers are making up to 161% more in salary than the state treasurer (Bloom Township, $208,834; Bremen Township, $189,323; Worth Township, $168,611; Calumet/Thornton Townships $192,226). One monthly pension was 131% higher than the salary of the current state treasurer (Worth Township, $14,257)!

What industry associations are rewarding such behavior?
Answer: The Bloom Township treasurer just won the Monarch Award given by the Illinois Association of School Business Officials for excellence in his profession. Quite evidentially, frugality wasn’t a criteria as the Bloom Township 206 superintendent has a salary of $307,471.

Challenge Day 6Making Hay- the upper end of public service.
From the local units on up to state government, how many public employees have a salary greater than the governor? Where do they work?
Answer: 3062 employees out-earn the governor on base salary. Their total compensation exceeds $1 billion. The job categories most represented are local school administrators, county and village managers (500), judges (600), college/university professors (1350) and government doctors (600).

Stay tuned. Be a part of the transparency revolution!

On September 13th, We open the books.

Adam Andrzejewski
For The Good of Illinois | CEO
September 8, 2011


Leave a Comment


12 Responses to "Insider Access to State Pension Systems"


  1. Comment by Laurie on September 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm said:

    This does not surprise me. This is why we are broke in Ill.

  2. Pingback by Illinois’ Billionaire Bureaucrat Club | Common Sense from the Heartland on September 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm said:

    […] Illinois’ Billionaire Bureaucrat Club- Q & A | For The Good of Illinois. Link to this post!Share| […]

  3. Comment by Marjorie Jordan on September 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm said:

    Whereas I applaud your efforts to root out excessive spending in Illinois, I am not happy with your postings that imply teachers are getting too many benefits. Your “one size fits all” thinking does not let the public know that benefits vary widely from district to district because pay scales vary that way.

    I retired after 20 years from a poor (Danville, IL) school district with few benefits. I am getting about 2,000 dollars a month. I retired due to exhaustion and marginal health. I cannot get social security because, although I paid into it for a number of years, I am a teacher..

    In contrast, our retired superintendents get huge payoffs for life. I believe I worked as hard or harder than any one of them without the all expenses paid dinners, conferences, and trips.

    Don’t make it seem as if all teachers are draining the system. What did the State do with our pension funds?
    Did those funds go to pay other pensions?

    Present all of the facts, or let it go.

  4. Comment by Administrator on September 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm said:

    Majorie- we are not saying that rank-and-file teachers are over or under paid. That’s a local community decision. This post highlights the extreme pay of the “highly compensated” elite government employee. You complain of your superintendent; we would probably agree with you. Like you, my father was a public school teacher for 38 years in the Herscher school district. He wasn’t over-compensated either.

  5. Comment by Danny on September 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm said:

    I have a friend that is a retired teacher from Michigan.
    She knows someone who retired as a Superintendent in MI after 30 years. He was talked into moving to IL where he was a Superintendent for 5 years and his retirement was increased 3.5 times. This tells you all you have to know about IL retirements.

  6. Comment by Bob Ritter on September 8, 2011 at 11:55 pm said:

    Try to change the laws like Arkansas to not pay any public official more than the governor

  7. Comment by Cal Skinner on September 9, 2011 at 10:13 am said:

    Would you point me to the language that allows union leaders and association leaders to participate in govt pension systems? I remember seeing the teacher union leader language in some bill, but I should would like to find it.

  8. Pingback by Is the average salary in Illinois government over 300K? | Western Free Press on September 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm said:

    […] not Arizona, but since government waste is a national problem, I paid attention to this, from For the Good of Illinois: Last year across all units of Illinois government (local to state), 3062 public employees […]

  9. Pingback by Illinois government payroll and pension books are open « Illinois Voter Info on September 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm said:

    […] Illinois Billionaire Bureaucrat Club Q&A [For the Good of Illinois] Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  10. Comment by Jim on September 26, 2011 at 7:26 am said:

    I have an issue with not only public pension -b ut teachers as well. We ahve teachers retiring with annual pensions of $40,000-$60,000 per year. At a time of high unemployment,. stagnant wages, declining property values, and rising taxes – and these same taxpayers with a retirement of maybe $20,000 per year – half or less than a teachers pension!

  11. Comment by Rodger Schwind on May 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm said:

    Adam… Keep up the great work! I’m a retired public school teacher, 28 years, and my income is a whopping $2400 per month… Let’s expose these self seeking money grubbers!

  12. Pingback by For The Good of Illinois PAC — Why Milton Township? on August 2, 2012 at 6:53 am said:

    […] village managers out-earning all 50 governors; Cook County school district treasurers out-earning the state treasurer and here; top  local park district directors out-earning the state […]