Illinois Union Officials Collect Teacher Pensions

In a complicated scheme, Illinois teacher union officials can keep their teacher retirement plans even though they have only spent one day in the classroom.  Although the systems was supposed to have been reformed in 2011, union officials who have spent as little as one day in the classroom collect pensions under the same program as teachers who have spent their entire careers in the classroom, collecting pensions worth millions of dollars.

Adam Andrzejewski, who has the story in Forbes Magazine online, describes his job.  “I cover the “daily greed” of local, state and national politics.”

In 2011, the Chicago Tribune exposed a pair of Illinois teacher union lobbyists, Stephen Preckwinkle and David Piccioli, who substitute taught for one day and stood to collect nearly $1 million in state teacher retirement pensions from a severely underfunded system. The five Illinois pension systems have a $100 billion liability and the teachers fund may run out of money as early as 2029. Newspaper editorials, elected officials, the governor and citizens cried foul. Legislation was quickly passed to stop the abuse.

When Gov. Pat Quinn signed the pension “reform” legislation into law on January 5, 2012, he said. “The pension abuses unearthed were flagrant. They needed to be stopped immediately and prevented from ever happening in the future.”, but guarantee funding for the lifetime pension payouts.