Gov. Pat Quinn won’t say whether he’s behind the pension plan being considered by the conference committee, but says their progress is “positive.” “Well, you got to see the final result,” Quinn said “I think we have to erase the pension liability.” The outline of the conference committee’s plan would save the state about $145 billion over 30 years, mostly by ending automatic 3 percent cost-of-living increases for retirees.
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Increases would instead be tied to the rate of inflation. Employees would also contribute 1 percent less to their own pension. Their annual benefit, however, would become based on their lifetime salary, rather than the higher amount made in the years immediately before retirement. As for what that means for restoring legislators’ pay, Quinn says they should be focused on passing a bill first. “It has to get to my desk,” said Quinn. Quinn says if legislators appear ready to act on the conference committee’s recommendations before the next scheduled session in October, he’s ready call a special session.