Illinois pension reform gets the gong
Republicans declined to vote on any of the proposals
By Kevin Olsen | March 1, 2013 1:05 pm
The Illinois House of Representatives resoundingly rejected four pension reform proposals on Thursday put forward by House Speaker Michael Madigan.
The House voted 66-2 against a proposal to terminate cost-of-living adjustments for retirees; 62-5 to stop automatic COLA payments until a pension system is 80% funded; 66-1 to raise the retirement age to 67 for state employees hired after Jan. 1, 2011; and 61-3 to raise employee contributions by five percentage points.
Republicans declined to vote on any of the proposals. And some Democrats didn't vote on every proposal.
Earlier this week, House Republican Leader Tom Cross and Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz, also introduced a comprehensive reform bill that would create a hybrid plan for members of the $38.1 billion Illinois Teachers' Retirement System, Springfield, and $14.2 billion State Universities Retirement System, Champaign, hired after Jan. 1, 2014. Local employers and employees would be responsible for funding the plans.
The bill also limits COLAs to the first $25,000 of a pension, increases the retirement age for state employees by one to five years depending on the current age, caps pensionable salary and increases all employee contributions by two percentage points over two years. The bill also includes a state funding guarantee so pension funds can take the state to court over non-payment.
The bill is currently in the Rules Committee.
The state has the worst aggregate funded status, at 40%, for its pension plans in the country with $96 billion in unfunded liabilities.