The Family Taxpayers Foundation recently published a chart of the various numbers associated with the 5 state pension systems called “Illinois State Pension Systems Numbers Matrix” and it can be found at the link below:
Pension Systems Numbers Matrix
You may want to print it out so you can refer to it in the future.
What the numbers show us is 761,000 plus public employees are involved in one of the five state pension systems. Since there are only about 4.8 million households in IL that comes out to about one public employee being supported by every 6 households. So take your house and the houses on each side of you and the three neighbor’s houses right across the street from your house and you can visualize who is paying for that one public employee.
If you live in a condo just divide the number of units in your complex by six and you will get the answer.
Some other interesting facts pop out at you when reviewing the Matrix:
1. For SERS (State Employee Retirement System) there are more retirees (62,788) than current active workers (62,729). This is a serious problem with all of the pension systems as more people retire and live longer the amount of money entering the system via employee contributions compared to the amount being paid out in pensions. Guess who has to make up the difference if there is any? Right, us taxpayers.
2. Note that GARS (General Assembly Retirement System) requires a taxpayer contribution of 95% of the GARS active payroll meaning that the cost of employee compensation almost doubles when you add in the state contribution.
3. The cost of pension Annuities paid out is $8.3 billion but the employee contributions are only $1.45 billion. The difference, if not made up by investment returns, is the sole responsibility of the taxpayer. Employees never pay any extra no matter how bad the investment results are.
You can probably go thru the Matrix yourself and find many more strange and taxpayer-costly items in the chart. On the other hand maybe you don’t want to.