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By: Mark Glennon*


No conscience, no sense of shame encumbers many workers still intent on soaking our already insolvent public pensions. “Soon-to-be retirees can effectively double or triple the value of end-of-career payouts, using them to spike the pension formula in ways that can, at times, get them an extra $10,000 or more a year in retirement checks, almost entirely funded by taxpayers.” And they don’t hesitate to do just that.


The Chicago Tribune this week documented how they do it, and gave us some names. They putting up a database showing the breakdown by community.


Where is the conscience of Illinois as a whole, to let this go on and on and on?


*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.

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It is unbelievable all the ways to game the pension systems. The Tribune has been cranking out another series of articles including this one. They previously made a series of articles into an ebook available for purchase called Illinois Pension Games – Bad Decisions and Backroom Deals in Illinois’ Public Pension System. Bill Zettler wrote a book called Illinois Pension Scam. And then there’s the 1,500 pages of Illinois Pension Code with decades of benefit hiking public acts (laws) for the rank and file plus the gamers. There are websites such as this, Open the Books / For the Good of Illinois, Better Government Association, and Family… Read more »
mark glennon

Yep, we are well aware of the frustration of the paywall for some of our links. We do try to avoid them, but link to them anyway if they are particularly good, significant or exclusives. Same with stories cluttered with ads. We also try to keep our summaries short so as to avoid stealing content. Media has enough problems making ends meet as it is. I think we help by sending more readers to the good stories.

Jerry D. Davis

New Orleans’ municipal employees’ fund eliminated this abusive practice in 1979. Any plan which allowed such spiking was/is flirting with disaster, not to mention the ever-present threat of lawsuits charging unlawful discrimination (against supervisors who refused to allow spiking).

{Btw – links to Tribune stories are useless to any but Tribune subscribers – the paper is one of the VERY few in the US which prevents any viewing by nonsubscribers}

Pension spiking has been commonplace in Illinois for decades. It’s use varies greatly depending on a wide variety of factors, namely, do we think we can get away with it and maintain political power, and, can the employees dupe the board into thinking its necessary. It’s probably not a stretch to imagine a kickback or two has occurred from an employee to a board member. One of the hallmarks of Illinois pensions is variety and exceptions, allowing for the confusion of taxpayers and deflection of any criticism. This article is about pension spiking in IMRF. IMRF is one of the 19 pension funds in the Illinois Pension… Read more »