Durkin Votes for Significant Pension Reform

Springfield… State Representative Jim Durkin (R- Western Springs) voted to approve long overdue reform to the public pension systems in Illinois and start to heal the state’s financial crisis.

"This is the largest fiscal crisis Illinoisans have ever seen and I will not stand by and wait for our pension systems to implode,"€ said Durkin. "€œHouse Bill 1165 will save the state $100 Billion by 2045. This legislation will ensure the viability of our public pension systems. The current overly generous benefits can no longer be sustained."

The legislation changes the cost of living adjustments (COLA) to the first $25,000 of the employees'€™ pension. These new COLAs will take effect when the employee turns 67 or five years after they retire, whichever comes first. This applies to all employees and retirees who are currently receiving COLAs in the General Assembly Retirement System, State Employee Retirement System, the State University Retirement System, and the Teachers Retirement System.

"€œToday'€™s vote will not disrupt the defined benefit for the employees but rather it ensures that we can continue to provide a pension for those state retirees and future retirees,"€ said Durkin. "€œHouse Bill 1165 continues the cost of living adjustment (COLA) but no longer allows for the annual compounding factor for a majority of retirees. Today's legislation does change the tax free status of pension income and will continue to provide for state employees and their dependent after retirement."

House Bill 1165 to reform the pension system passed 66-50-0 out of the Illinois House.