Thursday, March 14, 2013

HB 3411, the Cross, Nekritz Pension Bill Voted Out of Pension Cmte

Bi-partisan bill saves $160 billion and pension system for government workers

(Springfield) Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) passed their comprehensive pension reform legislation out of the House Personnel and Pensions Committee today. House Bill 3411, now headed to the House floor, promises to save taxpayers $160 billion and Illinois’ public pension system from complete collapse.

“Today we are one step closer to solving a pension crisis that continues to squeeze our state budget,” said Cross. “We believe this legislation offers both state workers and taxpayers alike the most comprehensive and reasonable pension solution available. I look forward to bringing this legislation the House floor for further debate.”

"We are encouraged by the support that we continue to build for a real solution to this critical problem," Nekritz said. "Leader Cross and I will continue to work to show why this bill is the sensible combination of benefit reform and payment protections to get our pension system and state back on track."

House Bill 3411 includes many components of bills filed previously, but also includes some new ideas including:

• Allows cost of living adjustments (COLA) to the first $25,000 of the employees’ pension

o These new COLAs will take effect when the employee turns 67 or five years after they retire, whichever comes first.

• Increases retirement age from one to five years, depending on current age

• Increases employee contributions by 2 percent over two years

• Caps pensionable salary

• Changes Tier 2 COLA benefits in GARS to match COLA provisions in other systems

• Creates Tier 3 defined benefit/defined contribution plan for SURS and TRS members who start work after January 1, 2014. Local Employers and employees will be responsible for funding these plans.

• Includes a funding guarantee, systems can take state to court over nonpayment

• Includes $1 billion in additional funding for systems starting in 2020 until systems are 100% funded

“Addressing our pension crisis is paramount to stabilizing our budget and ensuring we can provide the vital state services that are suffering. This legislation will allow us to do that, while also addressing the concerns of interest groups and bond houses alike,” Cross added.


No comments: