Share

Policy: Entitlements

Error allows Illinois to overpay state pensions

By |
Watchdog,Taxes,Illinois,Entitlements,Kelly Cohen,Follow the Money,Pensions,State Budget Solutions

How does a state worker get a pension seven times higher than it should be?

In Illinois, Bill Zettler, the director of research for the Family Taxpayers Foundation, researched the state's pension issue, according to Chicago's WGN-TV.

Zettler's book, Illinois Pension Scam, finds a simple error allowing state retirees' pensions to be way higher than they should be.

The State Employee Retirement System confirmed to WGN there has been a "mistake."

Carolyn Brown Hodge, for example, has collected $137,000 yearly since her 2009 retirement as Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's deputy chief of staff.

What should Brown Hodge's pension — she resigned after begin caught using state property for political purposes — be?

Around $20,000 a year, according to WGN; she paid only $25,000 into the system over her 10-year employment.

The State Employee Retirement System has only 35 days to correct an error — and in Brown Hodge's case, it has not only been more than 35 days, but "it's been 3 years or about $375,000 dollars," according to WGN.

Now what?

Zettler points toward a bill in the Illinois state legislature that would allow the state to go back and collect the overpaid amount, and Brown Hodge's pension would sink to $1,400 a month, Zettler said.

The bill "passed the Senate and now needs to be approved in the House sometime this week," according to WGN.

Read the full article here.

View article comments Leave a comment
Author:

Kelly Cohen

Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner