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Senate Executive Committee hears separate but similar pension reform bills

May 30, 2012

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Executive Committee of the Illinois State Senate heard testimony regarding House Bill 3076, which would apply technical elements similar to those presented in Senate Bill 1673, heard yesterday in the House, to the State Universities Retirement System. Additionally, the committee heard summaries of amendments to House Bills 1447 and 3865 before taking testimony in favor of and in opposition to the bills. The committee recessed without taking a formal vote on the amendments.

Northern Illinois University filed written testimony with the committee:

NIU has appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with legislative leadership and representatives of the Governor’s working group. The following clarifications are consistent with statements made in discussion with legislative leaders on pension stabilization proposals and alternatives:

1. NIU opposes the magnitude of reduction in benefit provisions for retired and current employees contained in the legislation. The core benefit reductions proposed in this legislation exceed the scope necessary to accomplish the stated objectives.
2. NIU is supportive of a consistent and phased-in approach to the normal cost shift to universities, community colleges, and school districts as drafted. Universities were prepared to invest additional resources to future normal cost obligations to mitigate participant benefit reductions.
3. The normal cost shift process must include and be applied consistently among school districts, community colleges and universities. NIU would oppose any legislation that creates a differential cost transfer process among the three sectors.
4. NIU especially endorses implementation of a durable state funding plan for unfunded liabilities, as proposed.

Recent amendments regarding pension legislation are listed below, along with links to the appropriate page on the Illinois General Assembly website.

SB 1673-HA#5-Madigan

SB 1673-HA#6-Cross

HB 1447-SA#3-Cullerton

HB 3076-SA#3-Cullerton

HB 3076-SA#4-Radogno

HB 3865-SA#4-Cullerton

HB 3865-SA#5-Radogno