Illinois Mayors Offer Pension Reform Solutions - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Illinois Mayors Offer Pension Reform Solutions

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Mayors across Illinois are urging state lawmakers to reform local pension systems heading into the fall veto session.

At a meeting of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus on Monday, city officials across the state pressed for the need for comprehensive pension reform and to protect future retirement benefits of municipal employees.

The Pension Fairness for Illinois Communities Coalition, made up of Illinois municipalities and business interests, says it hopes to curb increases in police and fire pension obligations that local communities must cover through property taxes.

The PFICC is offering its own solutions aimed at reforming the public safety systems and protecting future benefits. They include:

1) Requiring public safety employees to contribute more toward the cost of their pensions. Currently, employees only contribute about one-third while taxpayers and investments fund the remainder.

2) Adjusting cost-of-living-increases from the current 3 percent so they are not compounded annually.

3) Increasing the retirement age for public safety employees, who can now retire with full benefits at the age of 50.

4) Consolidating the 638 individual public safety pension funds into a multiple employer pension system similar to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund to expand investment opportunities and lower overall operational expenses.