Monday, March 19, 2012

Pension News Update: Plans in the Air

Legislative action may be delayed until May or even after the November elections but pension reform is in the news again:

State senate majority leader Cullerton has been the strongest defender of the constitutional guarantee of pension. Nevertheless, he seeks a way out of the state's current obligations. One proposal is to eliminate the compounding of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). 

Another measure would shift the responsibility to pay the employer portion from the State to local school districts.

The U of I's "Institute for Government and Public Affairs" (IGPA) has issued a "hybrid" plan that amounts to a substantial gutting of the state's current obligation to state employees. Costs would be shifted to employers (like SIU), benefits drastically reduced but, hey!, we employees get to contribute 4% to a 401k style program on top of our radically reduced defined-benefit plan. I read the entire proposal and figured it would take me 54 years rather than 30 to reach 80% of my final salary to retire on.

I will be 87 at that time. Or dead. Whichever comes first.

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