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Letters to the editor

Illinois needs to address the pension problem. Inadequate funding is caused by over-generous pension benefits. Double dipping, padding pension amounts with vacation/sick days buy-back, being able to buy time service after working only one day as a substitute teacher to get a pension are just a few examples of the problems.

The Chicago Democratic mayor says the current pension is unsustainable. The 3% automatic compounded pension boost every year is not sustainable. This 3% increase every year gives a person 51.26% more pension payout in just 15 years and 103.29% (more than doubles) in 25 years. Many pensions are $100,000 a year or more starting out.

Pensions are taking up a bigger percentage of state and city budgets. Illinois spends nearly double the national average on pensions, with government worker retirement and health care costs consuming 25% of state revenue. This means less money for basic services.

Eventually, pensions will take up an even bigger percentage of budgets. Basic services will have to be cut or even higher taxes imposed to pay for these pensions. Pensions have been over generous for years and underfunded. Vacation/sick days carryover needs to be restricted from year to year. Don't allow putting in a little money to buy years of service.

Pass a bill to change the constitution to allow pension changes and reductions. Then eliminate unused buybacks in the pension calculation.

Pensions are the No. 1 for Illinois and our elected officials have to address this NOW!

David Kobus, Bloomington

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