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House Passes Pension Reform
UPDATED May 2, 5:24 p.m.
The Illinois House has taken a major step to address the nearly $100 billion unfunded liability in the state's pension systems.
In a narrow 62-51 vote, lawmakers approved a comprehensive plan for pension reform. The plan passed with bipartisan support.
Here's what the plan does:
- Requires employees to contribute 2 percent more of their salary toward retirement.
- Raises the retirement age by 1-5 years for workers 45 and under.
- Caps both cost-of-living adjustments and the salary a pension can be based on.
- Requires the systems to reach 100 percent funding by 2044.
"I still am not confident that passing this bill is going to fulfill the promise to the workers who are counting on it," Rep. Thomas Morrison (R - Palatine) said.
"We are putting necessity ahead of political expediency and doing the right thing over the easy thing," Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D - Buffalo Grove) said.
The changes apply to four of the state's five pension systems. Judges are not included. Madigan said that's to avoid a conflict of interest if the reform is challenged in court.
We reached out to the We Are One Illinois coalition of unions for reaction. We did not hear back, but the group's website says the plan "slashes" pensions, and urges members to contact their lawmakers immediately.
Madigan said he plans to propose shifting the cost of teacher and university worker pensions to schools at a later date.
The plan passed today and now heads to the Senate for consideration.