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Chicago Mayoral Candidate Uses Loophole to Get $1.1M Pension

April 03, 2023

Chicago Mayoral Candidate Brandon Johnson, a former Chicago Public Schools Employee, is expected to receive a $1.1 million pension, despite only teaching in the classroom for four years, according to Illinois Policy Institute.


Johnson was social studies teacher from 2008 to 2011. Since then, he’s focused on activism and lobbying for the teachers union. Johnson has made $390,000 over the last five years for his role as legislative director for the Chicago Teachers’ Union.

Typically, teachers must teach for five years to be eligible for a pension, but Illinois Policy Institute found that Johnson exploited a loophole. The Illinois Pension Code allows Johnson to accumulate creditable service towards his pension as a result of his employment with the union, despite not being a school employee.

He will be eligible to retire at age 62 with full benefits, and since his pension will be based off his much higher union legislator director salary, he is expected to collect a pension of $1.1 million, the Institute found.

Johnson’s mayoral campaign has seen substantial support from the powerful union leadership, with the union giving his campaign a $931,000 loan, which it claims will be repaid. Other powerful unions teamed up with the CTU to support Johnson, resulting in 95% of his campaign funding coming from unions, according to Illinois Policy Institute.

Illinois’ pension system is on the ropes, and people trying to game the system by exploiting loopholes to collect massive pension payouts hurts the young civil servants whose future payments are in jeopardy as a result of a problematic system.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.
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