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.


* Mendoza transition team responds to the Sun-Times' Madigan conspiracy theory
* Back to the future: Madigan demands "memorandums of understanding"
* Question of the day
* Shimkus loses out on plum post
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Moody's says Rauner veto is just one of many problems facing CPS
* *** UPDATED x4 - Mendoza responds - Munger calls suit "cowardly" *** Lawsuit filed over legislator pay
* The "green energy" side of the Exelon bill
* Caption contest!
* How is this "breaking our agreement"?
* Positioning, practicalities and politics weigh heavily against a House override
* Report: A decade to reach solvency, if leaders cooperate on tough plan
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Rauner goes into the lion's den
* 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

  
* Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Video Review: More than just Tango?
* You can now play Oprah Winfrey’s mobile game on your Android device
* Copy and paste trick could unlock iOS 10 devices in Lost Mode
* Apple Store App for iOS Updated With Rich Notifications, One-Tap Apple Watch Purchases
* Fitbit Blaze review
* [TA Deals] Get started with Linux at a steep discount
* Beddit 3 knows if you’ve been sleeping. It knows if you’re awake.

* White Sox plans could clear up at Meetings
* Garcia among White Sox non-tender options
* White Sox plans could clear up at Meetings
* Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal
* Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal
* In-market deals? Chicago clubs address report
* Garcia among White Sox non-tender options

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


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

Archives
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
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


* Rauner says he's 'proud' of Exelon subsidy to s.....
* Rauner says he's 'proud' of Exelon subsidy to s.....
* Rauner says he's 'proud' of Exelon subsidy to s.....
* Rauner says he's 'proud' of Exelon subsidy to s.....
* Rauner says he's 'proud' of Exelon subsidy to s.....
* The Latest: Munger: Lawmakers suing over pay ar.....
* Democratic legislators sue state over not getti.....
* Illinois lawmakers sue to get paid despite budg.....
* The Latest: Munger: Lawmakers suing over pay ar.....
* Will metro-east Dems vote for Madigan as House .....


* Illinois school districts increasingly rely on local funding
* The Latest: Munger: Lawmakers suing over pay are 'cowards'
* United Airlines will pay $2.4 million to settle with SEC
* Illinois lawmakers sue to get paid despite state budget mess
* Rauner: Money for Chicago schools still part of budget talks
* 1 dead in small plane crash in southwestern Indiana
* Chicago Fire cast sparks Bloomington boy with leukemia
* 1 dead in small plane crash in southwestern Indiana
* Illinois school districts increasingly rely on tax funding
* Victim dies 9 years after beating, charge upgraded to murder

* Electronic road signs are dark near Effingham due to budget
* State lawmakers vote to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Legislature OKs Exelon subsidy plan, goes to Rauner
* Rauner: No more stopgap budgets without property tax freeze, term limits
* Illinois shutters nation's last prison roundhouse
* Clinton nuclear plant has history of cost, job uncertainty
* AFSCME files lawsuit over labor contract
* Rauner to Dems: No budget without term limits, property tax freeze
* AFSCME files suit over labor contract
* Rauner, leaders meet again, but still no progress

* McDonald's in China is a tall order
* John Wilson, founder of art expo that began Navy Pier's revival, dies at 82
* A chicken coop for the 21st century
* Trump voter lost her home to new Treasury secretary
* CEO shuffle at Presence Health


* Time for the White Sox to trade Chris Sale and start from scratch
* Kadner: Everybody lies about school funding in Illinois
* 17-year-old boy missing from West Chicago
* Lyons: Finally, a debate about identity politics
* Person found shot to death in Gary
* Kyle Fuller ‘making progress’ but status for 49ers up in the air
* 10 Bears questions: On ‘Vikings,’ billboards and a ‘dumb’ timeout
* 2 men charged with kidnapping rideshare driver in Glen Ellyn
* Closures planned before Sunday ramp opening at Byrne Interchange
* Trevor van Riemsdyk’s return gives Hawks glut of defensemen


* Marine drove wrong way in I-88 crash that killed him, ride-share driver, passenger: police
* Jonathan Toews placed on injured reserve but could return Sunday
* Food truck ruling to decide mobile food's fate in Chicago
* Jamie Kunz, stood by attorney-client privilege for years in slaying case, dies
* During first look at wildfire rubble, residents in a daze; 13 confirmed dead
* Emanuel announces immigrant legal fund
* Police: Woman arrested after 6-year-old calls 911 to report being home alone
* Chicago tops 700 homicides - with a month to go in violent 2016
* Oak Lawn settles with firefighter dismissed following on-duty phone-sex probe
* Convicted murderer's attorney says 105-year sentence is 'cruel and unusual punishment'


The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.


* Electronic road signs are dark near Effingham due to budget
* State lawmakers vote to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Legislature OKs Exelon subsidy plan, goes to Rauner
* Our View: This Week’s Thumbs up/Thumbs Down
* Rauner: No more stopgap budgets without property tax freeze, term limits
* Illinois shutters nation's last prison roundhouse
* Clinton nuclear plant has history of cost, job uncertainty
* AFSCME files lawsuit over labor contract
* Rauner to Dems: No budget without term limits, property tax freeze
* AFSCME files suit over labor contract


* Schock wants trial in Peoria's federal court
* Judge who let clerk take bench has Alzheimer's
* 'So many smiles'
* Portillo's developer to receive sales tax break, build on Veterans
* Businesses in holding pattern when it comes to overtime injuction
* Kone tree needs to be reassembled, put back
* United Way campaign 'substantially down'
* Hordes of deer hunters expected to hit the timber this weekend
* Tom's #Mailbag, Dec. 2, 2016
* Who's in the news?


* Democratic lawmakers sue to get paid
* Daily Herald gets a visit from the Cubs World Series trophy
* Sheriff: McKnight shooting was 'road rage'; defends case
* UConn women face test of 4 ranked teams in December
* FANTASY PLAYS: No additional pressure this week (really)

* 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

* Senators drafting bill to limit Trump-era ......
* US Senators Seek to Halt Deportations Prom......
* Dick Durbin Says Goodbye To Mark Kirk - FO......

* Dick Durbin Says Goodbye To Mark Kirk - FO......

* ILGOP Launches new website, "BossMadigan.com"
* Illinois Dems sue Comptroller for overdue paychecks
* AFP-IL Exec Director says "End the Subsidies, Say No to the Bailout Bill"
* East St Louis Township Supervisor pleads guilty to wire fraud, embezzling public funds
* Serving on Mahomet Village Board worth sacrifice for Cook
* JIB files complaint against Judge Valarie E. Turner
* Next legal webinar features ‘Recent Case Reviews, Legislation and Year-end Items’
* Not enough votes for democracy in the Illinois legislature.
* Tony at the Red Line Tap.
* Patrick T. Stanton appointed to 3rd Subcircuit vacancy


* Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Brings Lowest Fatality Rate In Six Years
* Stateville Correctional Center’s F House Officially Closed
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* IEMA Highlights Safety during the Holidays - Encourages holiday shoppers to give preparedness gifts this year
* Statement on the Future Energy Jobs Bill




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