Edwardsville Fire Department pensions underfunded by $7 million
The pension fund for Edwardsville, Illinois firefighters is now underfunded by more than $7 million, a deficit that’s jumped more than 440 percent over the past 10 years, according to a report released by the Illinois Department of Insurance.
The Edwardsville Firefighters Pension Fund had only $12.5 million in assets as of April 30, 2014 when it should have $19.5 million, the report said. In 2005, it held $8.7 million in assets but should have had $9.9 million.
The deficit equates to approximately $819 in firefighter pension debt per Edwardsville household.
Edwardsville’s 26 active firefighters haven’t been contributing enough to fully fund their pensions, the report shows. Each firefighter saved an average of just $594 per month in 2014, yet they’ll each receive an annuity upon retirement worth millions.
Total Edwardsville firefighter compensation in 2014 averaged $94,228, including $24,368 in Edwardsville taxpayer-funded retirement savings.
Edwardsville’s Firefighter Pension Fund Board includes active firefighters James A. Whiteford and Cole Schrage, retired firefighter James A. Anderson, Edwardsville City Clerk Dennis W. McCracken, and City of Edwardsville Treasurer Richard Hampton.
Whiteford currently earns $105,197 in salary and taxpayer-funded retirement savings, and had contributed $92,984 to his pension as of the end of fiscal 2014, after 18 years and seven months of service.
Schrage earns $93,525 and had contributed $40,884 over six years and 10 months of service.
Anderson retired from the Edwardsville Fire Department in 2008 after 30 years and two months of service. He contributed $95,511 to his pension over his career and is currently collecting $79,137 per year.
Over seven years of retirement, Anderson has collected $423,244. Over a 30-year retirement, he’ll collect a total of $2.76 million under the current Illinois pension system.