Better Government Association updates payroll, pension databases

• Access salary, retirement data on 1.5 million public-sector workers, retirees in Illinois

Staff Report

CHICAGO — Want to know how much government employees are being paid in Illinois? Or how much public-sector retirees are collecting in pension benefits? Or who stands to collect a taxpayer-subsidized pension some day? Then visit the BGA’s free “Payroll,” “Pension” and “Pension Outlook” databases — all newly updated with the most recently available information and, in the case of the Payroll Database, greatly expanded.

What’s more, new search functions make it easier for visitors to search by name, agency and salary range.

They are all available through the BGA’s home page,, under the “Resources” heading, or at the following direct links:


•; and


All told, about 1.5 million government employees and retirees are included in the databases.

Taxpayers shell out a lot of money for government in Illinois, and a large part of those tax dollars go toward salaries and benefits,” said BGA President and CEO Andy Shaw. “We created these databases so people can see where their tax money is going — and so taxpayers can judge whether public agencies are being fair and frugal in their personnel spending.”

The Payroll Database was expanded considerably, now with nearly 450 public agencies, and about 650,000 public-sector workers. That’s up from roughly 100 public agencies in the database’s last iteration.

The Payroll Database also now includes payrolls for all 102 Illinois counties, and nearly every municipality in the six-county Chicago region.

The Pension and Pension Outlook databases continue to offer retirement information from the largest public-sector pension funds, including those covering retirees and current and former employees from the City of Chicago, State of Illinois, Cook County, Chicago Transit Authority, and other agencies.

These databases complement the BGA’s other web offerings, including the “FBI Files” portal, which includes FBI files on deceased government-related officials with ties to Illinois. That database was recently updated as well. It can be accessed at the following link — — or through the BGA’s home page.

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.

From the July 9-15, 2014, issue

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