Illinois lawmakers plan new pension proposal - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Illinois lawmakers plan new pension proposal

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

After months of secret discussions, 19 Illinois House members Wednesday plan to offer their solution to the state's worst-in-America public employee pension crisis.

Sources gave some details to Fox 32 News. They said it would offer new long term pension guarantees to suburban and Downstate teachers, as well as to state employees. But it would require them to pay an additional two percent of their salaries and would raise the retirement age by one to five years. The biggest source of savings for taxpayers, though, would be a proposed reduction in annual cost of living raises. Under the current system, state government pensions double in about 20 years. It's a big reason Illinois taxpayers now face an unfunded pension liability of up to $140 billion or more.

An advisory about Wednesday's 10 a.m. Springfield news conference in the State Capitol identified Northbrook's Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz as a prime mover of the proposal.

Among co-sponsors in the House:

Rep. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston; Rep. Kelly Burke, D-Oak Lawn; Rep. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago; Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago; Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston; Rep. David Harris, R-Mt. Prospect; Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago; Rep. Karen May, D-Highwood; Rep. Chris Nybo, R-Lombard; Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago; Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Summit.

The proposal would impact pensions paid to suburban and Downstate teachers by the Teachers Retirement System; to members of the General Assembly Retirement System; to higher education employees by the State University Retirement System and to rank and file state workers by the State Employees Retirement System.

A source said the group of 19 legislators hope the Illinois House will vote on their pension reform proposal in the first few days of 2013. The lame-duck General Assembly will convene Jan. 3rd. Newly-elected members of the House and Senate are scheduled to be sworn in at noon on Jan. 9th.

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