Joe Topinka, son of late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, has filed a lawsuit in Sangamon County Circuit Court seeking more than $60,000 in contributions she made to her state retirement system while serving as comptroller.
The suit seeks to overturn a ruling by the General Assembly Retirement System that because Topinka was paid more in retirement benefits than she contributed to the system over her life, no refund is due.
But Joe Topinka, 48, the late comptroller’s only child and a married father of a 6-year-old daughter, said his mother had said the money she put into her pension fund could help her grandchild with education expenses. […]
According to the written decision of the retirement system’s board, after Topinka’s death, the board issued an interpretation of state law. That interpretation stated, in part, that when a retiree goes back to work and becomes a participant in the system again, the death benefit “will equal total contributions made by the participant during all periods of active service, less the total amount of retirement and survivor’s annuity payments received by the participant and the participant’s survivor. If the total amount of … benefits paid is greater than the total contributions, no death benefit is payable.”
JBT’s total payments into the GARS pension system were about $262,000 and she collected almost $533,000. GARS has by far the worst unfunded liability of all the state’s pension systems.
Bernie also reports that Joe Topinka filed suit over his mother’s campaign fund, but that was dismissed and he’s appealing. He also filed suit in probate court to gain control of the campaign fund, but that, too, was dismissed and he’s appealing it as well, Bernie writes.