Pension Tension

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Eric Zorn has a good column today about a potential career move by Joe Birkett—from DuPage County state's attorney to workaday Circuit Court judge—that would allow him to take two pensions when he retires. Plus, he can bring his pension from 15 years as an unelected official up to the level of his pension as an elected official by essentially post-applying his current level of investment to his old job (I'm not explaining it well, but Zorn does).

This raises questions about Birkett's motivation, which Zorn doesn't know, and perhaps no one but Birkett can know—since we're speculating, it's possible that at this point in his career Birkett wants a lower-stress or less depressing job than state's attorney—which Zorn addresses in a separate post.

Just trying to be fair: if Birkett really does want to switch jobs, it's not his fault that Illinois's pension system has serious problems, though being judgmental about it is tempting in light of some of Birkett's rhetoric. Either way, the column and follow-up are worth reading if you want to follow the pension crisis.

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