State closer to pension reform?

Lawmakers in Springfield are going to be back at it again tomorrow, trying to sell a plan designed to fix Illinois’ broken pension system.

The plan put forth has bi-partisan support. Those against it say the plan is not constitutional.

Lawmakers sponsoring this latest bill say the ideas represent the wave of the future and make it harder to retire and requiring teachers and other state workers to give more with every paycheck.

The stacked hybrid plan is supposed to dig Illinois out of the $96 billion hole that’s been getting deeper over the years. 30 plus sponsors in the House so far, but is it enough?

Suburban and downstate teachers, as well as state workers hope it’s not.

Some details include:

For salary caps:

  • Cost-of-living adjustments apply only to the first $25,000 of the employees` pension
  • Retirement age increases 1-5 years depending on your current age
  • Employees would be required to contribute 2%  more toward their pensions

The newest component is new employees would contribute 4% of their salaries toward a 401-style plan for university workers and teachers who start work after Jan. 1, 2014.  This puts the burden of funding these new employee plans on local school districts and universities rather than on the state.

Whatever is passed under the capitol dome in the coming days will most likely end up in the courts.  The bill’s constitutionality is what’s being questioned.

The pension debate gets picked up again on the house floor tomorrow.



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