SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Two dozen legislators aren’t signed up for a pension

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013

* This trend is obviously not a positive one for public employee unions

A review of candidate campaign pledges and data from the General Assembly Retirement System shows at least two dozen of the 177 members of the House and Senate have opted out of the General Assembly pension system.

One of the things that the unions rely on is legislators voting to protect their own pensions and benefits. But the more opt-outs we get, the fewer legislators who will care.

* Even so, some legislators who’ve opted out are still eligible for other pensions. For instance

State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, decided not to take a legislative pension when he first took office in the mid-1990s.

“What motivated me to do it was I didn’t want people to think I was doing this for the money,” Luechtefeld said.

Luechtefeld, a former teacher and basketball coach, is a member of the Teachers Retirement System. He said his TRS pension is not large.

“It may not have been the best financial decision, but I’m certainly going to get by. I’m happy. I’m satisfied,” Luechtefeld said.

People have been predicting a Luechtefeld retirement for years. We may now know at least one reason why he’s decided to stick around. Luechtefeld is 72.

* For some members, no pensions might mean even less turnover if they simply can’t retire. Simple “solutions” never produce simple results.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


34 Comments
  1. - Billy - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 12:16 pm:

    Does not matter! The legislation they put forth will go to the courts, and it will be ruled unconstitutional! Only an agreement with the unions, will avoid a negative ruling by the court!


  2. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    Most that refused are already receiving a pension or are in line for one.


  3. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 12:27 pm:

    ===Most that refused are already receiving a pension or are in line for one. ===

    Out of two dozen refuseniks, Lee Newspapers reported that three were getting another pension. That ain’t most.


  4. - cassandra - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 12:28 pm:

    Not good financial planning, I think. I’d be surprised if pension participation would be a deal breaker for most voters. The size of the pension, perhaps, given the decline in private sector pensions in the US in recent decades.

    But I’m wondering-if they change their minds, can they buy back in?


  5. - Eileen left - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 12:44 pm:

    I wouldn’t vote for anyone dumb enough to refuse a pension. I wonder what their family thinks about refusing a benefit that would be of significance for them down the road.


  6. - Rat - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 12:45 pm:

    I am a State employee. Give us the money back that we paid in and let us opt out of our pension system. This pension system is a big Ponzi scheme. I don’t see this as one of our choices. Why not?????


  7. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===I am a State employee. Give us the money back that we paid in and let us opt out of our pension system. This pension system is a big Ponzi scheme. I don’t see this as one of our choices. Why not????? ===

    I’m pretty sure you can do that today. Cash it in, opt out of the system.


  8. - Fred's Mustache - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    ===Only an agreement with the unions, will avoid a negative ruling by the court!===

    Don’t think the unions have anything to do with it. The contractual obligation to pay pension benefits is not limited to union employees.

    ===I wouldn’t vote for anyone dumb enough to refuse a pension. I wonder what their family thinks about refusing a benefit that would be of significance for them down the road.===

    Maybe some are refusing the pension because it WOULDNT be of significance down the road, and the political benefit of refusing the pension outweigh the benefits of accepting it. Legislators may have other business on the side or have other wealth to cover their families’ needs.

    ===I am a State employee. Give us the money back that we paid in and let us opt out of our pension system. This pension system is a big Ponzi scheme. I don’t see this as one of our choices. Why not?????===

    Why in the world would you want to? Cmon man, look at what you put in over the years, and what you would serve to get at retirement from the system. Even IF your pension benefits are significantly reduced, your pension income would be far greater than the income you would gain from investing your returned contributions yourself.


  9. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:31 pm:

    Rich,

    It depends on the system. If it’s one that allows self-directed or “cash balance” (believe that is only SURS and, maybe, TRS), the employee can opt to participant in that version of the state retirement fund. Don’t believe they can opt out completely while still employed.

    For the typical SERS employee, as far as I know, there is no way to opt out of the defined benefit plan and keep working; you have to quit. And if you quit and withdraw from the system, all you get back is your original contributions … no interest, no match, none of the money the state was supposed to have been putting away for you. And unless you properly roll the money to an regular IRA, you’ll be paying both taxes and early withdrawal penalities. Definitely not a good financial choice if you have very many years in.

    The only “good” thing about quiting is if you have also been contributing money to the State’s optional Deferred Compensation (457) plan. Last time I checked the rules on it, once you have left your government job, you can withdraw money from it without penalty regardless of age; just have to pay normal income tax.


  10. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Did not know that about Luechtefeld. That nugget only furthers my respect for him.


  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    You can’t deny those folks are putting their money where their mouth is. It might be a campaign tactic, but it’s one that costs you real money.


  12. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    I kinda like the idea of the part time legislators not being eligible for a pension.

    No other jobs have a pension or benefits for part time positions that I know about


  13. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:17 pm:

    - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    “I kinda like the idea of the part time legislators not being eligible for a pension.?”

    Agreed. Just like any other part-time state or private worker, however in the case of the private company, it really is up to them.


  14. - iThink - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    RNUG,

    As far as I know there is no ‘cash-balance’ plan for TRS, just SURS.


  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:23 pm:

    –No other jobs have a pension or benefits for part time positions that I know about–

    You should get busy with the Cicero Township Republican Organization.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-05-25/news/ct-met-0526-cicero-benefits-20100525_1_cicero-president-larry-dominick-cicero-town-trustees-animal-welfare-board


  16. - Allen Skillicorn - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Where can we verify who is enrolled and who isn’t?


  17. - Roadiepig - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    Not sure if I have this exactly right but… In the case of my new Rep. Sue Scherer, accepting a legislative pension would likely cause her to stop drawing her over $60,000 a year teacher’s pension (because she would be reentering the state workforce, or at least that’s the way it works in any SERS or recipricol government retirement system according to the SERS web site). Wouldn’t her accepting a new pension also make her subject to the tier 2 system and all of the lesser pension benefits, including higher retirement age ? Sounds like she is making the smart financial decision, even though she did tell reporters it was for “other” reasons.


  18. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    iThink @ 2:20 pm

    Thanks. That’s what I thought, but I wasn’t 100% sure.


  19. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    RNUG has it right, Rich. Once on the payroll, any participant in a State pension system-TRS, SERS, and SURS is committed to membership in the System and may only receive one’s contributions by fully terminating service.
    Oldsters may recall the “one-day resignation” game played by a number of folks in the 80s wherein they would resign, go off payroll for a day, withdraw their SERS money, and be reappointed to their job the next day. That loophole was securely closed shortly after the press found out.


  20. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:28 pm:

    AA @ 3:22pm

    Forgot about that trick. If I remember right, they did it by having a gap between their 4 year term appointments.


  21. - Anyone Remember? - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:33 pm:

    Is there an actual list of which legislators aren’t participating, and then cross referenced against ALL public pension plans? (For example, Rep. Saicia is retired from the FBI, and Rep. David Harris is eligible for a military pension.)

    The Reform Party in Canada (they eventually merged with another party) in 1993 had a class of 52 MPs that promised not to take a pension. Only 3 stuck with the promise. Just like the 1990s GOP Congressmen and term limits, this will eventually end (like John Shimkus).


  22. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:44 pm:

    RNUG, many of the one-day people were “4d3 exempt” (which may really show how old AA is) meaning they were exempt from certain provisions of the Personnel Code and were basically at-will employees. I think this predated term appointments, but could be wrong. I’m thinking 1982-83.


  23. - Dirt Diver - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:56 pm:

    Let’s also not forget that many of these new legislators that are rejecting a GARS pension are Tier 2 participants. The Tier 2 GARS benefits are fairly paltry. So the financial benefits that are being forfeit are probably worth the perceived political gain. Let’s see these new members give up other legislative perks that the public and media don’t fixate on.


  24. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 5:26 pm:

    AA,

    Don’t remember for sure when term appointments came in. Now that I think about it, might have been a bit later.


  25. - geronimo - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 6:06 pm:

    It’s all very nice that these people are refusing to take a pension. Obviously, they have other means to support themselves in their later years. In the case of many public servants, if their pensions were severely cut the state would be paying for their financial welfare in a different manner………..food stamps and welfare. Many of these public employees never made enough money to save significant amounts for retirement. They thought that’s what their pension WAS! In my early years, one of my colleagues, whose wife was also employed in our field,——his 3 children qualified for free school lunches. Both parents working. So, most don’t have the luxury of saying no thank you to their earned pensions.


  26. - Makandadawg - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 6:30 pm:

    All this pension talk is not about the money. It is about who has political power over the money. The law is very clear. I earned my pension, give it to me. Remember, I was forced to give up my social security entitlements to join this pension system.


  27. - thunder - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 6:43 pm:

    If the state wants to change there benefit package when they hire someone for a position then, so be it. But, the employees that are already on board and was promised benefits, including a pension, must receive it or pay the consequences through the courts. It is not just for the union employee’s, it is for all state employees. Exempt included.


  28. - Liberty_First - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 6:58 pm:

    You cannot refuse to enroll in SURS as it is automatic.


  29. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 7:51 pm:

    “Cicero Township Republican Organization”

    Oi…. I hope there is a very special place in hell for those who abuse the public purse like these people.


  30. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 8:01 pm:

    –“Cicero Township Republican Organization”

    Oi…. I hope there is a very special place in hell for those who abuse the public purse like these people. –

    It’s a trippy place.

    Lot of hard-working people. Salt of the earth. The homes, in the Bungalow Belt, are magnificent, and will be there after the Pyramids are gone.

    My old mother-in-law was treated like a queen when she retired, the township services were magnificent.

    But the old-school vices are apparent on Roosevelt, Cermak and Ogden, too. Lot of money in those vices.

    And The Outfit, whether it’s Betty, or Fast Eddie, or Larry, rule.

    Don’t expect anyting better from Juan Ochao.

    The Outfit hedges its bets. They can rob the place blind whether it’s Dominick or Ochao,


  31. - wishbone - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 10:57 pm:

    At the end of the day the courts will not mandate the tax increases necessary to meet future pension liabilities. Taxes are the exclusive prerequisite of the legislative branch, and no court will venture there, the state constitution notwithstanding. The pensions will ultimately be shorted by some percentage, there is no avoiding it. The best possible outcome is an across the board sharing of the needed cuts to minimize the pain to any one group of state beneficiaries.


  32. - mushroom in the dark - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:18 pm:

    Legislaters that refuse the pension also can and probably do elect not to pay into the system the 11.5 % of their salary required to be in the system. SURS also has an alternative 401 (k)type system with an 7.6% employer match that allows employees to not be in a defined benefit system.

    So some of those refusing the pension also are not paying into it. This exacerbates the cash flow shortfall into the particular system.


  33. - Smitty Irving - Thursday, Jan 24, 13 @ 12:26 am:

    wishbone -

    State courts, you are probably correct. Federal courts, maybe, maybe not. In 1969 Dick Oglivie had the courage to propose an income tax for Illinois. In PA, Milton Schapp did not, and the courts forced the issue. That was a few years ago, but could happen again.


  34. - Health benefits - Thursday, Jan 24, 13 @ 1:22 am:

    …. Now if they agreed to pay $500 - $700. Per month for their state subsidized health insurance as they voted for current retired state workers to do…. Now that would be something to write about.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Maybe not
* Question of the day
* Stating the obvious
* Oy
* US Chamber plots Zopp support, 10th CD intervention
* Today's quotable
* A $650 Million Day for Exelon
* Potential candidate: Unions "spreading propaganda" about Rauner
* Illinois Mayors Know What's Best For Their Communities
* First Lady's group blasts Gov. Rauner for "devastating policies"
* McCann: I was elected to serve my constituents, not Madigan, Cullerton or Rauner
* Arduin heads for the exit door
* Today's number: 1.1 percent
* Dealing with Pat Quinn's mess
* Today's must-read
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Turing Phone looks like it’s actually happening, as manufacturer sets date for shipments
        * Tiny Empire is Angry Birds, without the birds and more orcs
        * Samsung Pay now available in the US, but as a beta
        * iPhone 6s might borrow some Apple Watch motion wallpapers
        * OnePlus 2 home button sensitivity problems may be hardware flaw
        * Possible iPhone 6s camera feature improvements get detailed
        * Fight for the survival of humanity in The Battle of Sol

        * Rest of 2015 vital for Avisail Garcia's case for 2016
        * Red Sox 3, White Sox 0: Chris Sale can't do it himself
        * Sale sets career high with 227th strikeout
        * Cooper hopes stint with Sox never ends
        * Boston, Thompson share special bond
        * Sale's solid outing goes for naught vs. Boston
        * Sale sharp over 7, but bats fall silent in finale

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        August 2015
        July 2015
        June 2015
        May 2015
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Fed judge: Verdict in Chicago lawyer's case Monday
        * Fed: Lies Chicago lawyer coached an 'assault' on justice
        * 8 treated for Legionnaires' disease at Quincy veterans home
        * US judge will privately review disputed Schock documents
        * Budget expert leaves Illinois without state spending plan
        * Jobless rates fall in all Illinois metro areas in July
        * Illinois State Fair manager: Past attendance data inflated
        * Suspect in Bloomington stabbings spits on judge at hearing
        * Diocese: Peoria priest removed for prior abuse allegations
        * Peoria airport aiming for more international flights

        * Budget consultant may get second contract extension from Rauner administration
        * Judge will privately review disputed Schock documents
        * Budget expert leaves Illinois without state spending plan
        * Gov. Rauner approves Springfield railroad oversight commission bill
        * Federal judge blasts Illinois for not making all ordered payments
        * Rauner approves rail commission bill
        * Illinois State Fair manager: Past fair attendance numbers were inflated
        * Buchen: Past state fair attendance numbers were inflated
        * Health Central makes preparations to open Springfield's first medical marijuana dispensary
        * State layoffs could shut down community garden at Illinois State Fairgrounds

        * United to replace Hospira in S&P 500 next week
        * Do patients held for observation skew performance on quality measures?
        * Union wins closely watched labor case over who's the boss
        * Deal to develop parkland near Indiana Dunes riles conservationists
        * Rauner CFO leaves Illinois without state spending plan


          * Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose accused in lawsuit of rape
          * 2 dead, 4 officers injured in suburban hazardous materials incident
          * Second City performances canceled through Sunday after fire destroys offices
          * Chicago man accused in bomb threat against Concordia University
          * CPS exec says can't offer hunger strikers a Dyett decision yet
          * Plaintiff in Tinley Park water meter suit seeks class action
          * Man robs Lakeview bank
          * Prosecutors: Gang dispute over stolen bike fueled fatal shooting
          * Family mourns Gary father, son found dead after house fire
          * Chicago Catholic Schools names new superintendent


          * Budget consultant may get second contract extension from Rauner administration
          * Judge will privately review disputed Schock documents
          * J. Fred Giertz: Illinois government: dysfunction by incompetence or by design?
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Tom Madonia Jr. may run against Rep. Sue Scherer
          * Write to us: Tell us your volunteer story
          * Eugene Robinson: How would market chaos affect the 2016 race?
          * George Will: The havoc that Trump wreaks
          * Gov. Rauner approves Springfield railroad oversight commission bill
          * Federal judge blasts Illinois for not making all ordered payments
          * Illinois State Fair manager: Past fair attendance numbers were inflated


          * Trooper to be tried on weapons charges over Steak 'n Shake drive-through incident
          * SportsTalk 08-27-15
          * MJ's take on 2015-16 Illini men's basketball schedule
          * Illinois basketball conference schedules released
          * A closer look at the state possibly being held in contempt
          * PODCAST: Dr. Robert Olshansky on disaster recovery 10 years after Katrina
          * PBL schools on soft lockdown after students hear possible threats
          * 08-27-15 News-Gazette Prep Sports Podcast @ngpreps
          * Police trying to help man with car discover gun, 30 pounds of marijuana, $21,000
          * Police - trying to help man with car - discover gun, 30 pounds of marijuana, $21,000


          * Bartlett men lose $13,630 in scams
          * Police put on extra patrols start in Arlington Heights
          * Two men found dead at hazardous materials situation near Des Plaines
          * Fall festival showcases downtown Cary
          * Lawsuit accuses Rose of raping ex-girlfriend; Bulls star's attorney calls claims 'outrageous'

          * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
          * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
          * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
          * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
          * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
          * CBD Oil, and politics
          * Simon considering state Senate bid
          * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
          * Shutdown? State may not notice
          * Rep. Bob Dold

          * Bustos to back Iranian pact: 'best path fo......

          * US Chamber plots Zopp support, 10th CD int......
          * An unrealistic plan for wastewater overflo......

          * Di Leo: Government's Wasteful Spending, from the Forest to the Trees
          * Senator Duffy endorses McConchie over Sauer to succeed Rep. Ed Sullivan
          * New study reveals that Illinoisans pay a second mortgage in property taxes
          * Multiple sex allegations ... and counting; Josh Duggar turns to Illinois for help
          * Q2, 2015 Top Lobbying Organizations
          * DuPage County Board member Tonia Khouri to challenge Foster for 11th CD seat
          * Televangelists Gonna Televangel
          * The [Thursday] Papers
          * Proft: Illinois By The Numbers: 66
          * Thorner: Illinois Forum prods Illinois Government in New Direction - Part 1


          * Governor Rauner Requests SBA Assistance for Grundy, Iroquois Counties - Declaration would help people and businesses affected by summer storms with low-interest, long-term loans to help with recovery
          * Respiratory Illness at Illinois Veterans’ Home-Quincy
          * Governor Takes Bill Action
          * Honoring Illinois' Fallen - United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Thursday, August 27, 2015 until Sunset, Saturday, August 29, 2015.
          * Honoring Illinois' Fallen - United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Friday, August 28, 2015 until Sunset, Sunday, August 30, 2015.




              Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller