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January 4, 2013

Illinois House speaker eases pension-reform stance

By JOHN O’CONNOR

The Associated Press

Posted Jan 04, 2013 @ 02:04 PM

Last update Jan 04, 2013 @ 03:33 PM

Gov. Pat Quinn announced what could be a significant advance on pension reform, saying Friday the powerful House speaker was willing to forgo the dicey issue of some retirement costs for teachers in order to fix the worst-in-the-nation pension deficit.

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan confirmed the agreement, markedly raising Quinn’s hopes of getting a pension deal before the current General Assembly finishes its work Wednesday.

READ MORE: http://www.sj-r.com/thedome/x65624360/Illinois-House-speaker-eases-pension-reform-stance?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

from Bob Zahniser

According to Sun-Times pension reform will be hammered out Saturday but the cost shift is dead. Pension change will be higher contributions and reduced COLA:

 

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/17386108-418/quinn-says-breakthrough-reached-with-madigan-on-pension-reform.html

 

DuPage Republicans and Madigan together.

“Quinn provided few details on the pension legislation that he said is taking shape, but said it would include higher employee contributions and a reduction in retirees’ cost-of-living increases.”

 

from Patricia Herrmann

 

 

Quinn and Madigan are scheming to cut your pensions next week. (See the AP release below.)

 

CALL GOVERNOR QUINN EVERY DAY BETWEEN NOW AND THE CLOSE OF THE LAME DUCK SESSION:

Gov. Quinn: 312-814-2121 or 217-782-0244

CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR EVERY DAY

HB 6258 (or any equivalent) is the WORST pension proposal yet. IT APPLIES TO BOTH ACTIVE AND CURRENT RETIREES:

 

1) COLA would be payable only when a retiree has reached age 67 or after five years

 

2) A NEW COLA EQUAL TO $750 OR 3 PERCENT OF ANNUITY, WHICHEVER IS LESS

 

3) CURRENT RETIREES WOULD HAVE THEIR ANNUITIES FROZEN to meet the criteria of the new COLA (#2 above) and they would have their COLA reduced to the amount above (#2)

 

Changes for active workers only:

4) The age for retirement eligibility would change as follows:

Members 46 or older would see no change

Members 40-45 would have to work an additional year

Members 35-39 would have to work three additional years

Members 34 or younger would have to work five more years

 

The age of a member on the day the legislation takes effect would be used to determine how the new requirements would be applied.

 

5) PENSION CONTRIBUTION INCREASE – Members would pay 1% more of their salary toward their pension the first year and 2% the second year.

 

6) PENSION SALARY CAP: Cap pensionable salary to the Social Security Wage Base ($113,700. for 2013) or the member’s salary on the day legislation takes effect (whichever is higher).

 

7) NEW HIRES WOULD NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY STATE-FUNDED PENSION PLAN. INSTEAD, THEIR ONLY OPTION WOULD BE A CASH BALANCE PLAN WHICH WOULD GREATLY DIMINISH THEIR RETIREMENT INCOME.

 

8) Current Tier-Two members would have the option to participate in the cash balance plan. The cash balance plan applies interest to the retirement contributions by and for members. The retirement system is responsible for investing the contributions.

 

9) The proposal would shift the cost of downstate and higher education staff pensions to the state to local schools and colleges.

 

10) The proposal designates that current revenue being spent on pension bonds be used to pay down the pension debt. Pension funding would be considered a constitutionally-protected benefit under this proposal.

 

From Roger Sanders

 

————————————————————————

Illinois House Speaker eases pension-reform stance

The Associated Press

Posted Jan 04, 2013 @ 02:04 PM

 

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the Democratic House speaker have agreed to forgo the dicey issue of local schoolteachers’retirement costs in order to approve a fix for the state’s $96 billion pension deficit.

 

Quinn told reporters after a meeting in Wheaton with Republicans that he will meet with legislative leaders Saturday to try to reach a deal.

 

Steve Brown is spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan. He says the Chicago Democrat told Quinn that reform legislation is paramount and lawmakers can figure out the financing later.

 

A solution to the monstrous underfunding of state employee retirement systems has been snagged because Republicans oppose shifting some costs for teachers’ pensions to local school boards.

 

Brown says the goal is to approve a measure before the current General Assembly ends Wednesday.

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 5, 2013 8:01 am

    The bill is most likely unconstitutional. It is certainly unethical and a breach of good faith. The legislature has shut out the people affected by the bill by refusing to sit down with leaders to discuss other alternatives like funding. Is this a lesson we should teach our children in Illinois classrooms? – Do not keep your promises. Hire people and then do not pay them the full amount if you are out of money and to not feel like raising it. The whole matter has been a public realtions game – villify the unions and balance the budget on their work.

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