Patrick Rehkamp (312) 386-9201

Robert Herguth (312) 821-9030

CHICAGO—The Better Government Association has updated and upgraded its publicly available pension databases, which contain financial information on hundreds of thousands of public-sector retirees and others who stand to collect taxpayer-subsidized retirement payouts someday.

The BGA’s popular “Pension Database” – which includes information on nearly 500,000 public-sector retirees and survivors receiving benefits from 16 of the largest government pension funds in Illinois – was just updated with 2015 data.

The BGA’s related “Pension Outlook Database” – which includes information on more than 500,000 current and former government employees who may qualify for public-sector retirement benefits from the same 16 pension plans down the road – was also updated with 2015 data.

Meanwhile, the BGA has launched a new pension offering, called the “Public Safety Pension Portal,” which includes pension-related information on current and future retirees from hundreds of smaller retirement funds covering police and fire departments across the state.

Between these three databases, nearly everyone from Illinois who is – or will be – drawing a taxpayer-subsidized retirement check is now listed on the BGA web site,

“The purpose of these portals is simple: Transparency – showing the taxpayers where a large chunk of their money is going,” said the BGA’s CEO and president, Andy Shaw. “Many pension systems have gotten so badly out of whack – in terms of finances and debt – in part because they operated in the shadows, without public monitoring. These databases aim to shine a light on the billions of dollars of taxpayer-subsidized payouts and obligations.”

The databases are free for the public and contain data obtained under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

They also complement the BGA’s Collective Bargaining Database and Schools Databases.

The Better Government Association is a Chicago-based nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog group that works for integrity, transparency and accountability in government by exposing corruption and inefficiency; identifying and advocating effective public policy; and engaging and mobilizing the public to achieve authentic and responsible reform.