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Paper: Pension spikes cost city a bundle

Evanston figures prominently in a Chicago Tribune story this morning about how state and local rules let top-level municipal employees boost their pensions by postponing payouts for years of deferred vacation time until they’re about to retire.

Evanston figures prominently in a Chicago Tribune story this morning about how state and local rules let top-level municipal employees boost their pensions by postponing payouts for years of deferred vacation time until they’re about to retire.

The paper says four top-level officials who retired from Evanston during an early-retirement incentive program in 2008, took a total of $470,000 in payouts for unused sick and vacation time during the final year of their careers. The payments let them raise their pensions between 15 and 31 percent, costing the city an extra $1.2 million in payments to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

The Trib describes the practices as being widespread across Illinois and says most other states in the midwest have much tighter restrictions on such late-career pension spikes.

It quotes the city’s administrative services director, Joellen Earl, as saying the practice was city policy at the time, but that the city has reined in such perks for newer employees.

Full story

Retirement perks cost towns millions (Chicago Tribune) 

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