Report: Bourbonnais firefighter pension debt jumped 900 percent over 10 years
A funding deficit in the Bourbonnais Fire Protection District firefighter pension fund approached $1 million in 2015, more than nine times what it was a decade ago, according to a report issued by the Illinois Department of Insurance.
The 2015 Biennial Report on government employee pension funds summarizes the financial health of all state and municipal pension funds. It says that Bourbonnais property taxpayers are now on the hook for $916,000 in unfunded fire department pension fund liability in 2014, up from $99,000 in 2005.
That liability is the difference between the amount that professional actuaries hired by the state say would be in Bourbonnais fire pension investment accounts if they were on track to fund all future obligations, and the amount that actually is.
According to the report, the burden for funding these benefits has increasingly been falling upon Bourbonnais property taxpayers, who covered 80 percent of fund contributions in 2014, or $232,419.
Each Bourbonnais firefighter received $1,614 per month in 2014-- or $19,368 per year-- in contributions from property taxpayers toward their pension. Their individual pension contributions were just $402 per month.
The average Bourbonnais firefighter received a record $73,499 in total compensation in 2014. According to the U.S. Census, the median household income in Bourbonnais is $63,376.
According to the state report, Bourbonnais’ police pension fund also saw its funding deficit skyrocket, nearly tripling from $4.032 million from $1.391 million.
The Bourbonnais Fire Protection District Pension Fund Board of Trustees in 2015 included firefighters James Keener, John Hendrickson, and Mileen Joines, Pharmaceutical executive Randy Myers and police officer Vern Mitchell.
Keener earned $84,842 in salary in 2015 plus $19,368 in taxpayer-funded pension contribution for a total of $104,210 in compensation. He has contributed $64,333 towards his pension over eight years and four months of work.
Hendrickson earned $39,520 in salary in 2015 plus $19,368 in taxpayer-funded pension contribution for a total of $58,888 in compensation. He has contributed $4,088 towards his pension over one years and one month of work.
Joines earned $56,733 in salary in 2015 plus $19,368 in taxpayer-funded pension contribution for a total of $76,101 in compensation. She has contributed $37,073 towards her pension over eight years of work.
Mitchell earned $91,794 in salary in 2015 plus $17,794 in taxpayer-funded pension contribution for a total of $109,588 in compensation. He has contributed $146,401 towards his pension over 29 years of police work.
Mitchell also serves as secretary on the Bourbonnais Police Pension Board.
Myers has been a quality assurance specialist with CSL Behring in Bradley since 1986.
Organizations in this Story
320 W Washington St
Springfield, IL 62767
1080 Armour Road
Bourbonnais, IL 60914