Illinois senators have taken a turn listening to the pros and cons of a pension restructuring package. The legislation, which in its Senate form is in three bills, is similar to the bill which has passed a House committee. Members of a Senate committee Wednesday deferred a vote until all of the senators could digest it.
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The changes proposed affect four of the five state retirement systems: the General Assembly Retirement System, the State Employees Retirement System, the State University Retirement System, and the Teachers Retirement System. The pension plan for judges is not part of it. Employees would be given an option of a higher cost-of-living adjustment if they opt out of the state’s health insurance plan. Most controversially to members of both chambers is the shift to local school districts the cost of teachers’ pensions. The goal, said budget director Jerry Stermer, is to correct an estimated $83 billion unfunded liability.
The bills are HB 1447 (SERS), HB 3076 (SURS), and HB 3865 (TRS). All three involve GARS.