Pensions - WUIS Special Coverage http://wuis.org en U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake http://wuis.org/post/u-i-illinois-pension-overhaul-had-costly-mistake <p>University of Illinois officials have worried for months that state pension reforms will push employees to retire early. But they say language inadvertently placed in pension law may provide even stronger<br />incentive.<br />&nbsp;<br />Avijit Ghosh is a senior adviser to university President Robert Easter. He said at a trustees' meeting Friday that the pension law passed last year would effectively take away a year of pension benefits from about 4,000 University of Illinois employees if they don't retire before July 1. Those pensions would be reduced by up to 35 percent.<br />&nbsp; Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:38:47 +0000 Associated Press 23306 at http://wuis.org U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake Pension Savings Estimate Lowered — But Is It A Big Deal? http://wuis.org/post/pension-savings-estimate-lowered-it-big-deal <p>A new <a href="http://cgfa.ilga.gov/Upload/SEGAL_Actuarial_Analysis_PA98-0599(SB1).pdf">report (PDF)</a> says Illinois' pension overhaul will save less money than advertised. Some politicians are trying to make hay out of that. But it might not be such a big deal.</p><p>The pension vote came with promises of big savings — $160 billion. Then, after it was already law, a new analysis of the bill said, well, maybe we'll save $145 billion.</p><p>This latest report puts savings even lower, at $137 billion.</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Brian Mackey 21714 at http://wuis.org Pension Savings Estimate Lowered — But Is It A Big Deal? What Do Pensions and Concussions Have in Common? http://wuis.org/post/what-do-pensions-and-concussions-have-common <p>WUIS stories on pensions, concussions, crop insurance, and tornado recovery are being recognized with four 2013 Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters awards:&nbsp;</p><p><strong><u>Local Radio</u></strong>:</p><p>Best Investigative Report: WIUM-FM, “50% Plus One,” Rich Egger<br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">2nd Place: WUIS-FM, </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://wuis.org/post/there-justice-leaving-judges-pensions-unscathed">“Judges' Pensions”, Amanda Vinicky</a></strong></p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 17:27:21 +0000 Randy Eccles 20381 at http://wuis.org What Do Pensions and Concussions Have in Common? Fifth Lawsuit Filed Against Illinois Pension Law http://wuis.org/post/fifth-lawsuit-filed-against-illinois-pension-law <p>A fifth lawsuit has been filed by state employees challenging Illinois' new pension law. &nbsp;<br />The lawsuit from current and former employees at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and Parkland Community College was filed in Champaign County Circuit Court Thursday. &nbsp;</p><p>It says the legislation passed by the General Assembly in December violates several provisions of the state constitution, which says retirement benefits should not be diminished or impaired and private property should not be ``taken or damaged for public use.'' &nbsp;</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 00:04:49 +0000 Associated Press 20335 at http://wuis.org Fifth Lawsuit Filed Against Illinois Pension Law GOP Governor Candidates Argue Pensions http://wuis.org/post/gop-governor-candidates-argue-pensions <p>The Republican candidates for Illinois governor are arguing about pension reform and the state's finances in the second-to-last debate ahead of the March 18 primary. &nbsp;</p><p>State Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, businessman Bruce Rauner&nbsp; and Treasurer Dan Rutherford attended the debate Wednesday hosted by WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune. &nbsp;</p><p>Brady is the only one who supported a recent pension overhaul that cuts benefits for state workers and retirees. Dillard voted against it, which has been the reason that several unions have endorsed him. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 12:15:27 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 20272 at http://wuis.org GOP Governor Candidates Argue Pensions Springfield Pension Problem Worst in State According to Think-Tank http://wuis.org/post/springfield-pension-problem-worst-state-according-think-tank <p>A conservative think tank recommends the City of Springfield switch its employee pension system to a 401K style plan rather than a defined benefit.</p><blockquote><p>"First and foremost you need to make sure the data is pure." -- Budget Director William McCarty</p></blockquote><p>The&nbsp;Illinois Policy Institute presented aldermen data that indicate the city of Springfield has the worst funded pension system among larger cities in the state.</p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 17:30:49 +0000 Lee Strubinger 19740 at http://wuis.org Springfield Pension Problem Worst in State According to Think-Tank Effort To Consolidate Pension Lawsuits http://wuis.org/post/effort-consolidate-pension-lawsuits <p>Efforts are underway to consolidate four lawsuits challenging Illinois' new pension reform law. &nbsp;</p><p>Lawyers representing the respective groups of state retirees who filed class-action suits have asked the Supreme Court to allow them to present their cases as one. &nbsp;</p><p>The groups share the common claim that the new pension reform plan violates the state constitution, which says benefits may not be diminished. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:49:30 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 19721 at http://wuis.org Effort To Consolidate Pension Lawsuits Arizona Pension Case Could Chart Course for Illinois http://wuis.org/post/arizona-pension-case-could-chart-course-illinois <p>A court case <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/20140220arizona-pension-judges-supreme-court-ruling.html">decided in Arizona</a> Thursday could have implications for Illinois' ongoing legal battle over pensions. The <a href="http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/OpinionFiles/Supreme/2014/CV-13-0005-T-AP.pdf">decision (pdf)</a>, by the Arizona Supreme Court, struck down an attempt to reduce Arizona officials' retirement benefits.</p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 06:05:46 +0000 Brian Mackey 19402 at http://wuis.org Arizona Pension Case Could Chart Course for Illinois How Large Is Illinois' Pension Debt? Depends On Who You Ask http://wuis.org/post/how-large-illinois-pension-debt-depends-who-you-ask <p>The controversial new law that overhauls pensions for Illinois public workers is now facing legal challenges.</p><p>But even before it was passed, experts had been fighting over exactly how big the state’s pension crisis really is. The answer to that math problem could have a big impact on your wallet.</p><p>When pundits and politicians and reporters talk about Illinois’ monster pension problem...there’s this number that keeps coming up.</p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 12:46:00 +0000 Alex Keefe 18480 at http://wuis.org How Large Is Illinois' Pension Debt? Depends On Who You Ask Unions Sue Over Pension Law http://wuis.org/post/unions-sue-over-pension-law <p>Illinois labor unions have filed a lawsuit seeking a new plan to reduce the state's $100 billion pension shortfall declared unconstitutional. &nbsp;</p><p>The We Are One Illinois Coalition of public employee unions filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Sangamon County Circuit court. &nbsp;<br />The long-anticipated legal challenge comes weeks after Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure into law and ahead of his annual State of the State address. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 17:48:59 +0000 Associated Press 17814 at http://wuis.org Unions Sue Over Pension Law Democrat Cullerton Wants To Meet With GOP Nominee For Governor http://wuis.org/post/democrat-cullerton-wants-meet-gop-nominee-governor <p>The President of the Illinois State Senate - John Cullerton - says he wants to meet with the eventual Republican nominee for governor about the state’s finances.&nbsp; It comes as the state’s income and corporate tax rates are scheduled to go down in a year.</p><p>The governor’s office predicts the tax decrease will create a nearly $2 billion hole in the next budget. Cullerton - a Chicago Democrat - says he’d like to hear from the Republican nominee about the state’s budget.</p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 23:57:07 +0000 Tony Arnold 17529 at http://wuis.org Democrat Cullerton Wants To Meet With GOP Nominee For Governor U Of I To Consider Pension Cut Offsets http://wuis.org/post/u-i-consider-pension-cut-offsets <p>University of Illinois President Robert Easter and other administrators will consider ways to help university employees make up for some of the money they will lose when state pension reforms begin June 1. &nbsp;</p><p>University trustees on Thursday directed Easter to assess the changes coming to the state pension system and options for preserving benefits that will be lost. The president is expected to make recommendations to the trustees before June. The board of trustees oversees the university's three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 23:41:31 +0000 Associated Press 17522 at http://wuis.org U Of I To Consider Pension Cut Offsets Budget Gap To Increase Despite Pension Overhaul http://wuis.org/post/budget-gap-increase-despite-pension-overhaul <p>Illinois' pension overhaul is tied up in a court challenge.&nbsp; But even if it remains law, cuts to state employees' and public school teachers' retirement benefits will not solve the state's budget problem.&nbsp; That's the forecast from a report issued today by the University of Illinois' Institute for Government and Public Affairs. Amanda Vinicky spoke with the report's principle author, economist Richard Dye.</p><p></p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 13:15:00 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 17328 at http://wuis.org Budget Gap To Increase Despite Pension Overhaul Quinn Signs Another Pension Measure http://wuis.org/post/quinn-signs-another-pension-measure <p>Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a pension-reform measure for the Chicago Park District. &nbsp;</p><p>The legislation Quinn signed Tuesday is designed to deal with a $971 million deficit in the district's pension program. When lawmakers approved it in November, experts hailed it as example of compromise for what was then an elusive solution to the five state pension systems' $100 billion hole. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 08 Jan 2014 13:23:48 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 16506 at http://wuis.org Quinn Signs Another Pension Measure Don't Bank On Pension Savings Just Yet http://wuis.org/post/dont-bank-pension-savings-just-yet <p></p><p>With the new year comes the annual process of crafting a new state budget.&nbsp; Money will be tight, despite a pension law that's supposed to save $160 billion dollars over the next 30 years.</p><p>Legislators who voted to cut state employees' and teachers' retirement benefits say they had no choice. Nearly a fifth of the state budget was going into Illinois' pension systems. Meaning there was less money to spend elsewhere. The pension law is supposed to ease that so-called "squeeze."</p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 13:20:00 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 16429 at http://wuis.org Don't Bank On Pension Savings Just Yet Listen To State Week - January 3, 2014 http://wuis.org/post/listen-state-week-january-3-2014 <p></p><p>This week's topics include the state's system for accepting Concealed-Carry applications, the many lawsuits filed against the recent law changing the state's pension system, and a look back at some top stories from 2013.</p><p></p> Fri, 03 Jan 2014 19:26:34 +0000 Bob Meyer 16235 at http://wuis.org Listen To State Week - January 3, 2014 State Retirees Sue Over Pension Law http://wuis.org/post/state-retirees-sue-over-pension-law <p></p><p>A group of retired state employees has filed a lawsuit challenging a new Illinois plan to eliminate the state's $100 billion public pension shortfall. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 20:10:37 +0000 Associated Press 16159 at http://wuis.org State Retirees Sue Over Pension Law Justices Get Campaign Money From Groups Involved In Pension Battle http://wuis.org/post/justices-get-campaign-money-groups-involved-pension-battle <p>A published report says groups with ties to the pension-reform law adopted last month have contributed close to $3 million to Illinois Supreme Court justices who might decide its fate. &nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1aqJQ5n ) that six of seven justices have taken money in the past 13 years from labor unions, business groups and a political committee controlled by Chicago Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. &nbsp;<br />Retired teachers have sued to stop the pension-reform plan that cuts retiree benefits to reduce a $100 billion debt. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 16:55:23 +0000 Associated Press 16146 at http://wuis.org Justices Get Campaign Money From Groups Involved In Pension Battle Illinois Pensions Don't Sell Assets In 2013 http://wuis.org/post/illinois-pensions-dont-sell-assets-2013 <p></p> Fri, 20 Dec 2013 12:39:06 +0000 Associated Press 15402 at http://wuis.org Illinois Pensions Don't Sell Assets In 2013 Preparing To Implement Pension Overhaul — And Not To http://wuis.org/post/preparing-implement-pension-overhaul-and-not <p>Illinois’ biggest and most indebted pension system is beginning to implement changes tied to the pension overhaul passed this month. But officials are also making plans in case the new law is struck down.</p><p>The Teachers Retirement System is by far the biggest of Illinois’ five pension systems, with well over 360,000 members. TRS is also the biggest factor in the pension funding problem, accounting for more than half of the combined $100 billion shortfall.</p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Brian Mackey 15161 at http://wuis.org Preparing To Implement Pension Overhaul — And Not To Listen To State Week - December 13, 2013 http://wuis.org/post/listen-state-week-december-13-2013 <p></p><p>This week, among the topics of discussion: corporate tax incentives, interest on state bonds, and more on state pensions.</p><p></p> Sat, 14 Dec 2013 00:15:48 +0000 Bob Meyer 15001 at http://wuis.org Listen To State Week - December 13, 2013 Madigan: Resist Temptation To Cave To Corporate Officials' Demands http://wuis.org/post/madigan-resist-temptation-cave-corporate-officials-demands <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>A day after Office Depot announced it would stay in Florida rather than move to Illinois, the speaker of the House says Illinois needs to end its practice of offering tax incentives on a case-by-case basis.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:19:54 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 14830 at http://wuis.org Madigan: Resist Temptation To Cave To Corporate Officials' Demands How The Pension Lawsuits Could Play Out http://wuis.org/post/how-pension-lawsuits-could-play-out <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Several state employee unions are expected to file a lawsuit contesting Illinois' new pension measure.</span></p><p>A University of Illinois law professor says that action will start a process that could last as long as two years.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">John Colombo said any decisions will ultimately come from the state’s Supreme Court, but the process has to start in circuit court.</span></p><p>He expects unions to seek an injunction that would keep the reform plan from taking effect while the legal process plays out.</p> Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:48:53 +0000 Jeff Bossert 14774 at http://wuis.org How The Pension Lawsuits Could Play Out Listen To State Week - December 6, 2013 http://wuis.org/post/listen-state-week-december-6-2013 <p></p><p>This week, a discussion of the changes made to the state's pension system.</p><p></p> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 20:32:43 +0000 Bob Meyer 14476 at http://wuis.org Listen To State Week - December 6, 2013 Pension Overhaul Signed Into Law http://wuis.org/post/pension-overhaul-signed-law <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>A major overhaul of Illinois' pensions is now law. Gov. Pat Quinn held a private bill-signing ceremony this afternoon in Chicago. A court challenge seeking to stop it from taking effect is certain.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The new law will cut state workers' and public school teachers' retirement benefits.</span></p> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 01:12:00 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 14421 at http://wuis.org Pension Overhaul Signed Into Law CapitolView: Pension Reform Analysis http://wuis.org/post/capitolview-pension-reform-analysis <p>WUIS&nbsp;State Week host, Bill Wheelhouse, guests on the latest CapitolView regarding the pension reform passed in Illinois.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="390" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2Zz_JCF0XYE" width="640"></iframe></p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 17:59:59 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 14620 at http://wuis.org After Pension Vote, Gov. Quinn Will Get His Back Pay http://wuis.org/post/after-pension-vote-gov-quinn-will-get-his-back-pay <p></p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn is set to get about $74,000 in back pay now that Illinois lawmakers have finally approved a pension deal. &nbsp;</p><p>The governor used his line-item veto power this summer when he halted legislators' salaries, saying they shouldn't get paid until they addressed the nearly $100 billion pensions crisis. He also stopped accepting his own paychecks. &nbsp;<br />A judge disagreed with Quinn in September and the comptroller began issuing checks to lawmakers. But</p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 14:38:57 +0000 Sean Crawford 14359 at http://wuis.org After Pension Vote, Gov. Quinn Will Get His Back Pay A Day After Passage, Pension Legislation Sent To Governor's Desk http://wuis.org/post/day-after-passage-pension-legislation-sent-governors-desk <p>A bill aimed at fixing Illinois' hundred billion pension crisis is before Gov. Pat Quinn. &nbsp;<br />A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton said Wednesday that the bill had been sent to Quinn. &nbsp;<br />The move came a day after the Illinois General Assembly approved the bill that is estimated to save the state $160 billion over the next 30 years. &nbsp;</p><p>The plan reduces benefits for current and retired public employees. Among other things, it also raises the retirement age on a sliding scale for some employees. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 02:56:00 +0000 Associated Press 14341 at http://wuis.org A Day After Passage, Pension Legislation Sent To Governor's Desk Pension Changes More Common Among Governments http://wuis.org/post/pension-changes-more-common-among-governments <p>Illinois is just the latest state to vote on legislation to overhaul public pension plans.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Heather Kerrigan is a contributor with Governing Magazine.&nbsp; She says this year alone, state and local governments around the country have proposed more than 1,000 pieces of legislation to shore up pensions.&nbsp; And she says almost all of them face the same challenge.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 01:22:00 +0000 Scott Cameron 14337 at http://wuis.org Pension Changes More Common Among Governments Madigan: Courts Could Pick And Choose On Pension Plan http://wuis.org/post/madigan-courts-could-pick-and-choose-pension-plan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Illinois legislators may have passed a pension overhaul, but unions representing teachers and public employees have vowed to sue to stop it from taking effect. If they're successful, that could force lawmakers to go back to the drawing board.</p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 22:52:28 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 14334 at http://wuis.org Madigan: Courts Could Pick And Choose On Pension Plan