Former Lake Forest administrator pension at university levels

June 30, 2013


 Updated: June 27, 2013 4:56AM


Lake Forest and Lake Bluff typically pride themselves on being at the top of lists, but one might not be pleased to know that the former district 115/67 superintendent, Harry Griffith, ranks 48th out of the top 200 of all Illinois pension recipients.


Stats for Griffith (according to research done by Champion News) include: annual pension of $231,109; retired at age 61; total pension collected to date of $168,418; estimated lifetime pension payout of $7,668,570; employee contribution of 4.4 percent of that estimated payout.  (Lifetime payout assumes a life expectancy of 85 and a 3 percent cost of living raise compounded annually.)


Griffith’s pension is among mostly people who worked at the university level, which demonstrates that most towns understand superintendents need not be paid such a high-figure salary.


Consider also pay scales of Lake Forest High School teachers and administrators (collected from Freedom of Information requests): 10 now earn salaries in excess of $150,000; 30 earn between $125,000 and $150,000; all will join the ranks of $100,000 plus pensioners upon their retirements.


Taxpayers have a right to know how much Illinois’s government retirees are being paid and the astronomical accumulations of those payments over an average lifetime, with payouts dwarfing actual contributions.


In the meantime, Illinois has the worst credit rating and the highest unfunded pension liabilities of any state, with a pension system that could collapse by 2015.


Yet in Springfield Democratic leaders of both houses are crafting so-called pension reform which offers little other than favoring union bosses who keep them in power.


Contact state Sen. Julie Morrison at 847-202-6584 and state Rep. Scott Drury at 847-681-8580 or your own representatives.  Tell them real pension reform must include: raising the retirement age to 67; increasing employee contributions by 10 percent; increasing health care contributions to 50 percent; cost-of-living increases in line with those given to Social Security recipients; replacing the defined benefit system with a defined contribution system for all new hires.




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