Here is a riddle for you. In Illinois, how long do you need to work as a teacher to be entitled to a very generous teacher pension?
Choose the correct answer:
A. 20 years
B. 10 years
C. 5 years
D. 1 year
E. 1 day
While you are thinking, I’ll share that the pensions are, indeed, very generous, which is why the teacher pension fund is already $75 billion short of what it needs to fulfill its obligations. Nobody knows how to keep paying these pensions without bankrupting the state.
OK, so is your answer ready?
Did you say E?
Good. Because that’s the correct answer.
A pension bill signed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2007 allowed Piccioli to retroactively count his years lobbying toward a teacher pension if he taught for one day in the public schools. He bought service credits for his years lobbying and began collecting a pension when he retired from the IFT in 2012.
Blagojevich, of course, is the Illinois governor who was jailed for corruption. The courts have upheld this loophole and are allowing everybody and his uncle (including lobbyists like Piccioli) to draw teacher pensions.
Legally, the state is obligated to pay these teacher pensions and make up the shortfall at any cost. The seventy-five-billion-and growing shortfall. A family I know are lifelong teachers in Illinois and they say every teacher they know (which is everybody in their circle) agrees that teacher pensions are ridiculously generous and often given out to people who don’t begin to deserve them.
The courts in Illinois are dead-set against closing any of the loopholes:
The court will continue to protect pensions of any variety, even those gained through an obscurity or loophole or special deal, as long as the workers got away with it.
Illinois is the most eagerly abandoned state in the nation, with people moving out in droves to get away from the impending financial collapse. Why the collapse is imminent must be clear from this post.