Editor's note: Patch does not know the exact amount of Nicholas Wahl's pension. Based on the District 86 contribution, which is a known number, we walk through a couple of steps, based on how TRS pensions work, that lead to a figure around where one might expect Wahl's pension to end up. Comment if you see anything fishy.
Superintendent Nicholas Wahl may have left District 86, but that doesn’t mean he’s done getting paid for his work here.
As an educator in Illinois, Wahl, who resigned suddenly earlier this month, will receive a Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) pension in the future that will equal a significant chunk of the money he made during the time he worked as superintendent.
In accordance with Wahl’s contract, the District 86 Board of Education covered the employee contribution to the superintendent’s pension, acting Superintendent Bruce Law said. Over the eight years Wahl served in the district, Law said, the board has set aside a total of $189,398.30 for the administrator’s retirement.
That figure does not include the contribution for his final days in August.
The Illinois TRS website says an educator—or in Wahl’s case, the board—contributes 9.4 percent of each paycheck to his or her pension, and the employer is obligated to chip in another .58 percent.
On top of that, according to WBEZ Chicago, the State of Illinois contributes the equivalent of 28 percent of each paycheck to an educator’s TRS pension. Based on the fact that $189,398.30 represents 9.98 percent of Wahl's salary over eight years, the state's 28 percent contribution over the same time period would equal $522,961.16.
“All told, then, an Illinois teacher outside Chicago that participates in this program has the equivalent of 38 percent of his or her salary put aside,” WBEZ reports.
If that’s the case, then for Wahl’s eight years in District 86, he’s accumulated a pension worth a total of $709,359.46, or about $88,669.93 for each year worked.
Beyond the more than $189,000 paid by the board, District 86 officials said they are not sure exactly how much Wahl’s Illinois pension will be. He was the superintendent of District 201 in Westmont before his arrival in Hinsdale.
When Wahl will start receiving his Illinois pension is up to him.
“Illinois TRS pensions start when the individual chooses to take retirement from the pension system and it is paid monthly,” Law said.
Aside from a pension, it was stipulated in Wahl's resignation agreement with the board that he would be paid and receive benefits as a District 86 employee through Aug. 5, he would be reimbursed for any accrued-but-unused vacation days, and unused sick days would be reported to TRS.
Catch up on the Wahl resignation with these Patch stories:
- Wahl, D86 Board Banned From Bad-Mouthing Each Other
- Manley on Wahl Resignation: 'Unexpected Change' Brings Opportunity
- Ex-D86 Superintendent Wahl Takes New Job in Indiana
- Board Member Has 'Serious Concerns' About D86 After Wahl Resignation
- Bruce Law Takes Over As Acting D86 Superintendent
- D86 Superintendent Nicholas Wahl Resigns