“I’m a retired teacher with limited income and I don’t want it to cost me money to be a public servant. I don’t think it should be an expense to me.”
So said College of DuPage Trustee Dianne McGuire in response to a Daily Herald investigation that discovered taxpayers paid $970 in mileage reimbursements over two years to get McGuire from her home to campus meetings and back again some 69 times. She lives 13 miles from campus.
Reporter Jake Griffin wrote an interesting story, and I wanted to look more closely at McGuire’s “limited income” using data we obtained from the pension system.
McGuire started work as a teacher in 1968 and retired in 2006 at the age of 60. Her salary during her last year as a teacher was $109,000.
Her starting annual pension was $65,500. Her current annual pension as of December 2013 was $79,400 — more than the median income of working DuPage households.
If she lives to the average female life expectancy, her total takings from the pension system would be about $2.3 million.
During the course of her career, she put $147,000 in pension contributions to the Teachers’ Retirement System — equal to 6.4 percent of what she’s on track to take out.
Be your own judge to see if this constitutes a “limited income.”
Kristina Rasmussen is Executive Vice President of the Illinois Policy Institute