Lake Forest unfunded Police Pension debt balloons 90 percent
The pension fund for Lake Forest police officers is now underfunded by nearly $23 million, a deficit 90 percent higher than 10 years ago, according to a report released by the Illinois Department of Insurance.
The Lake Forest Police Pension Fund had only $26 million in assets as of April 30, 2014 when it should have $49 million, the report says. In 2005, it held $16 million in assets but should have had $29 million.
The deficit equates to approximately $3,400 in police pension debt per Lake Forest household.
Lake Forest’s 39 active police officers haven’t been contributing enough to fully fund their pensions, the report shows. Each firefighter saved an average of just $738 per month in 2014, yet they’ll each receive an annuity upon retirement worth millions.
Total Lake Forest police officer compensation in 2014 averaged $130,328, including $40,101 in Lake Forest taxpayer-funded retirement savings.
Lake Forest’s Police Pension Fund Board includes active police officers Robert Copeland and Mark Senger, retired police officer Jim Athanas, Lake Forest investment advisor Colleen Chandler, City of Lake Forest Finance Director Elizabeth Holleb, and Lake Forest investment portfolio manager Jay Trees.
Copeland currently earns $153,081 in salary and taxpayer-funded retirement savings, and had contributed $103,284 to his pension as of the end of fiscal 2014, after 13 years of service.
Senger earns $130,609 and had contributed $135,200 over 21 years of service.
Athanas retired from the Lake Forest police department in 2009 after 26 years of service. He saved a total of $122,916 and is currently collecting $61,765 per year.
Through seven years of retirement, Athanas has collected approximately $400,000. He’ll collect more than $1.9 million over a 25-year retirement.