Justin Kabbes, Illinois Capitol Bureau

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – After paying into the pension system throughout their careers, Illinois’ retired teachers are afraid the payout will come up short.

Joe Eble, a retired teacher who taught in Cahokia, says he tries not to worry about the news that the director of the Teachers Retirement System wants to cut benefits for retirees such as himself.

“I try to keep my sanity also. I can’t go through life fearing something like that unless it becomes a legitimate fear and it’s really facing me like a brick wall,” Eble says.

He says it’s unfair that he paid his share, which is 9 percent of his paycheck for 33 years, but lawmakers didn’t always pay their part, and now he could pay for their mistakes. He says his wife doesn’t have a good pension and wonders how he could support the household with less money.

TRS director Dick Ingram shouldn’t be talking about policy anyways, Eble says.

“It’s up to the board to come up with its position and its proposals,” Eble says. “I really don’t think that’s his position to do that.

The unfunded pension liability in the Teachers Retirement System is $44 billion.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network



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