Rank-and-file legislators frustrated with a lack of movement on a pension overhaul will introduce their own plan in a few hours. A dozen House members are named as supporters — mostly Democrats, but also two suburban Republicans.
Key authors of the new proposal won’t say what their version includes. They’re waiting to formally introduce it this morning. But according to a fact sheet obtained by public radio, it’s different than previous attempts in several ways.
One major change: it requires the state and other government employers to pay into retirees’ pension funds – or else be brought to court. Illinois’ bad habit of not paying the states’ share is blamed for saddling it with an unfunded pension liability nearing $97 billion.
The new framework would require employees to work longer before they can get retirement benefits. But only younger employees; those 46 and older (and thus closer to retiring) could retire at the ages set up in their current plans.
Workers would get cost-of-living increases on their pensions, but with limitations. They’d also have to pay more into their pensions. And it sets up a 401k-style plan.
But it may be dead on arrival. The plan proposes shifting, over 30 years, teachers’ and university employees’ retirement costs onto the schools, a cost now picked up by the state. Republican leaders have been clear they won’t go along with that because they say it’ll hike local property taxes.