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House committee endorses new pension plan

January 8, 2013

capitol-inner-domeA committee of lawmakers in Springfield endorsed a proposal Monday that would enact sweeping changes to the state’s employee pension system.

Under the plan endorsed by the House Personnel and Pensions Committee (on a 6-3 vote) the changes would include:

  • A six-year suspension of the annual 3 percent cost of living increase currently given to retirees.
  • After the six-year period, increases would only apply to the first $25,000 of a retiree’s pension, and those increases would not kick in until a retiree turns 67 years of age.
  • Employees also would have to chip in an additional 2 percent of their salary toward their retirements. The increase would be phased in over two years.
  • The state would be legally compelled to pay its full share of its annual pension payment every year

The full amendment is available online.

Supporters of the plan say that without the change, funding for state programs, including universities, will continue to be squeezed. However, for the bill to have a chance at being approved, lawmakers will have to act quickly. A new Illinois General Assembly will be sworn in at noon Wednesday.

Gov. Pat Quinn held a news conference today urging action on the issue, but as of noon Tuesday, there appeared to be no progress toward a resolution.