A bill in the Illinois Legislature that would increase benefits to participants in state funds is ``a very wise and reasonable improvement,'' said James F. Ward, executive director of $6.75 billion Public School Teachers' Pension & Retirement Fund of Chicago. Benefits haven't been changed since 1970, he said.
The bill speeds the rate at which employees accrue pension benefits. The bill would increase the actuarial liability of the Chicago Teachers' fund by about $275 million, he said.
Similarly, the bill would increase the liability of the Teachers' Retirement System of Illinois, Springfield, by about $979 million, a spokesman said.
A version of the bill passed the state Senate. Passage in the current session of the House, which is expected to close May 28, hinges in part on getting additional contributions from employees.