SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
SUAA and attorney general reach agreement on pension reform delay

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

* From a late Monday press release…

Today the State Universities Annuitants Association and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan reached a tentative agreement to postpone implementation of the State’s new pension law (PA 98-599).

The agreement is pending as it requires judicial approval before going into effect. The agreement delays implementation of the pension law until July 1, 2015. Specifically, the agreement protects SURS members currently eligible for retirement by allowing them to delay their retirement decision until the constitutionality of the new pension law is determined. It allows them to calculate their money purchase annuity based on the effective rates as of June 30, 2014 and allows them to avoid the skips in the annual increases if the changes to the pension are upheld. The agreement also ensures that any unnecessary pension contributions will be refunded.

* From WUIS

The SUAA request had also asked for a stay of the entire pension law, but instead of holding out for that or going through a protracted court battle, negotiated the deal with the attorney general. Those involved say time is of the essence in hopes of holding off a retirement wave they argue will harm the state’s schools through a loss of institutional memory. They say the State Universities Retirement System has been overburdened with members trying to understand how the pension law would affect their benefits, and without enough time to meet with each, people have been forced to make retirement decisions without the full scope of information.

The tentative agreement between the SUAA and the attorney general resolves problems stemming from what can be described as typo in the pension law affecting university workers’ so-called “money purchase plans.” The SURS board recently voted to interpret the law as if the typo were fixed, so as to not inadvertently further cut some university workers’ pensions.

But the SUAA deal also goes beyond that; it eliminates issues involving so-called “refunds” that would have meant some university employees would have taken big hits were they to stay on the school payroll; the original request for an injunction, filed May 2, cited a man who would lose $190,000 if he kept working rather than retire by July.

The deal would also allow retirement systems to temporarily ignores a key provision of the pension law which reduces by one-percentage point how much employees must contribute toward their retirement; under the terms workers will continue paying what they do now, so as to not create additional harm if the law is found to be unconstitutional. There are additional changes, that affect individuals under systems besides SURS.

* And in a related story

A coalition of labor unions on Monday asked a court in Springfield to prevent a new state law aimed at curbing Illinois’ public employee pension debt from taking effect next month until questions about its constitutionality have been resolved.

The legal filing in Sangamon County by We Are One Illinois came more than a week after a similar request was made on behalf of a group representing current and retired state university employees.

The pension law, approved by lawmakers and signed into law in December, sets a goal of wiping out the state’s $100 billion retirement debt within 30 years by reducing automatic cost-of-living increases for existing and future retirees while requiring workers to work longer before retiring.

“The pension theft bill must not be implemented before the courts have ruled,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan said in a statement. The coalition includes the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Service Employees International Union, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Illinois Education Association and other public worker unions.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


26 Comments
  1. - PublicServant - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    Well since the bill basically was an “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to seeing what will stick, I’d expect to hear from lawmakers who took that “agonized” vote in favor of the bill as having no problem with the requested stay.


  2. - Pete - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    “Today the State Universities Annuitants Association and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan reached a tentative agreement to postpone implementation of the State’s new pension law (PA 98-599).”
    _________________________________________________

    Does the AG have the constitutional authority to not implement laws that have passed the legislature and are signed by the governor?


  3. - Capo - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    What a mess. Still leaving May 31 because it is impossible to figure this mess out. Still don’t want to get caught on the wrong side of the June 1 effective day. Even if the stay is approved and a delay is granted the June 1, 2014 date may be material in a future court ruling. I’m not an expert on this but it’s certainly something to consider.


  4. - A guy... - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    If it’s legal (only responding to Pete’s query), it seems like a reasonable short term accommodation.


  5. - Anon - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    I don’t think the AG does, but they can reach an agreement with the plaintiffs and the Judge is the one that actually delays the implementation of the bill, or portions of it by entering the order.


  6. - Norseman - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    === Does the AG have the constitutional authority to not implement laws that have passed the legislature and are signed by the governor? ===

    The AG has the constitutional responsibility to represent the state. In this role, the AG has agreed to a position that can be implemented by the courts. It’s done all the time.


  7. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    If the state would just follow the law and pay for pensions that have been earned and make all changes to future employees there would be no need for any of this. A political solution continues playing out to solve a legal, ethical, and financial problem. It is all about how to keep power and continue being elected. Collectivly the people of Illinois have the government they deserve.


  8. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    Does this agreement with SURS pave the way for a larger agreement with SERS etc. ?


  9. - Shark Sandwich - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Pete, note this phrase from the quoted article: “The agreement is pending as it requires judicial approval before going into effect.” Doe that answer your question?


  10. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    “We only enforce laws our lawyers say are real laws!”


  11. - Rusty618 - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    =Still leaving May 31 because it is impossible to figure this mess out. Still don’t want to get caught on the wrong side of the June 1 effective day.=

    Is was the understanding in my department that you actually had to retire by April 30 to meet the June 1 implementation, because of the time to get into the retirement system. This came from an SERS representative, and several in my department did leave at the end of April. Of course, this was all speculation that any court ruling would grandfather them in to the previous pension law.
    I would think that all of the pensions systems (excluding the Judges Retirement System who were not included in the reform) would be given any delays that are granted.


  12. - pension victim - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    real estate taxes up, less available deductions, cost of living up, pension theft, higher utility bills….everyone wants their money….Sorry, everyone wants my money!


  13. - Just Trying to Survive - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    Amazed that a 3% increase is thought to be the ultimate scam. My stylist just got a 13% increase since my last visit, my electric bill went up 6% and our homeowners insurance bill increased 21%. Who’s scamming who here? My 3% increase isn’t enough to cover all those private business raises.


  14. - skeptical - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    I’ve attended several retirement parties for persons who made their decision to retire based on what they were told at presentations about the money purchase calculation. When asked questions at these presentations, the SURS representatives sometimes responded by simply saying that the question was being studied by SURS attorneys and that an answer could not yet be given. People were forced to make life changing decisions without knowing the consequences. This is more than a mess - it is shameful to put employees in such a position. Can they now revoke their “irrevocable” election to retire?


  15. - Mouthy - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Is this type of delay like on the 2%/4% insurance premium payments collected and waiting on an ISC ruling?


  16. - PolPal56 - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Rusty & Skeptical:

    According to SURS, you can submit your retirement papers just a couple days before you retire - if you’re willing to go without a pension check for up to 90 days. It takes time to process the paperwork - that’s why your coworkers were told to get their paperwork in by the end of April - so they would have a paycheck in June and a pension check in July.

    Skeptical, actually, SURS folks can technically revoke retirement up to about six months after they retire. Of course, they have no job to go back to. But some people in these months worked out with their supervisors that they were putting in papers but would revoke if the law were stayed.


  17. - Anon - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    I believe if you retire at the end of the month, the beginning of the next month becomes your retirement date. Therefore, if you wanted to avoid retiring on June 1, you needed to retire the end of April, not wait until May. So, to all of you who waited, good luck! —- it may not have done you any good.


  18. - Anon #2 - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    Anon @1206, this is true for SERS only. Each system has different provisions. In SURS, you can basically retire as of any day, provided you are no longer working at your SURS employer.


  19. - PolPal56 - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    Anon @ 12:06, when you file SURS retirement papers, you list your last day of work as the next-to-last day of the month, and your retirement date as the last day of the month.

    It all depends on what dates you put on the paperwork. You can retire within a matter of days - if you’re willing to scramble like heck and go without a paycheck OR pension check for a few months.

    NOTE: You WILL get back pay for the first two or three months of retirement. It just takes two to three months from the time you submit your retirement papers to when you receive your first pension check. That’s why everyone was pushed to file by the end of April, so there would be no gap in receiving checks.


  20. - Barry - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 8:25 pm:

    Now it is more confusing. I have been with SURS since 1987. Four (4) years ago I signed an “irrevocable” with my institution with understanding that I would get 80% (Money Purchase) as of 9/1/2014. However, I would get 74%, if I retire by 6/30/2014. I have not turned in any resignation letter yet, and I don’t know what to do. Just waiting to see what will come out of the court in the next few weeks.


  21. - RNUG - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 8:57 pm:

    - Barry - Tuesday, May 13, 14 @ 8:25 pm:

    Hopefully the judge will go along with the suggested delay. If that were to happen, it most likely would occur during the pension case scheduling conference on May 22.

    But that will just be the start of things. Even with an expedited schedule, I don’t expect us to see a ISC ruling for up to 1 1/2 to 2 years.


  22. - inslid - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 8:54 am:

    It is not easy to figure out what to do if there is a last minute stay of the pension law. It’ll depend on how long the stay is and whether it would protect those who retire between June 1 and the end of the stay: (1) Will the stay simply postpone the date of the pension law initiation, e.g., to some specific date in the future or until the IL Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality? (2) Will the stay protect those who chose not to retire before June 1, but do retire before the stay is lifted? 3) Will the stay be lifted with sufficient notice to retire before the law goes into effect? And 4)If the law is ruled constitutional, will the activation date go back to the original June 1, 2014 or will the activation date be the date of the end of the stay or the date of the eventual ISC ruling?

    The strongest motivation to retire May 30 is the possibility that the ISC might rule that the law is constitutional for current employees (because they are not yet receiving “benefits” as specified in the IL constitution), but unconstitutional for retirees (whose “benefits…shall not be diminished or impaired”)?

    RNUG your thoughts on these issues would be most welcome. Thanks!


  23. - Capo - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 9:02 am:

    Rusty618 - There are all kind of opinions out there regarding the “official retirement date.” I have heard of people retiring prior to May 1 because they were told or under the impression that your first retirement check had to be in hand before you were actually legally considered a retiree. I have found so many differences of opinion in regard to this that ultimately it was up to me to make a decision on what is best for me. I have found nobody including the retirement systems that can provide definitive answers probably because what was certain in past is now open to different interpretation under the new pension laws effective June 1. And as of now nobody knows with certainty how the supreme court will interpret this. As far as my interpretation if I leave May 31, I am retired. On June 1 I will not be an employee of the state and will begin receiving a pension.


  24. - Makandadawg - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    - Capo -
    So clearly stated from your perspective. It is the same for me. The true story here is of the many like you and me. Not the story being told by newspapers, legislators, governors and lobbyists.


  25. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    - inslid - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 8:54 am:

    Right now, without seeing a judge’s order, it’s anybody’s guess. Other than personally believing the law truly is unconstitutional and should be ruled that way based on past cases, I’m just as confused about how things will be dealt with until the ISC settles it.


  26. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 5:18 pm:

    BREAKING: Court Grants Union Coalition’s Request to Stay Implementation of Pension Changes

    http://www.weareoneillinois.org/news/breaking-court-grants-union-coalitions-request-to-stay-implementation-of-pension-changes


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed until Monday
* TrackBill update
* Caption contest!
* It's worse than we thought
* Question of the day
* Long-term debt is not short-term debt
* Today's quotable
* 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

          
        * Chainfire updates SuperSU, CF-Auto-Root, How-to SU
        * 10 excellent movies to stream on Netflix over Thanksgiving weekend
        * Opera Mini for Android gets updated
        * YubiKeys by Yubico provide two-factor authentication by USB
        * Germany’s Linshof i8 boasts 80 GB of storage
        * Take down E.V.I.L with Agent Awesome Android game
        * Twitter Experiments With Engagement Stats Directly In Tweets

        * Apple And Samsung 2014 Black Friday Deals
        * Avoid Overeating at Holiday Feasts by Sticking With Homemade Food
        * New Call Of Duty Zombie Mode Confirmed In Trailer
        * Telltale Confirms Game Of Thrones First Episode Release Date
        * Amazon's GoPro Hero 4 Bundle Includes a $50 Gift Card and 32GB MicroSD
        * Moto X (2014) Heading To Republic Wireless
        * Meizu To Launch Ubuntu Phones By Early Next Year

        * Catching up with Tadahito Iguchi
        * White Sox ACE program helps send players to college
        * Additional 2005 fan-favorite players added to '15 SoxFest
        * White Sox introduce Adam LaRoche and their plans for him
        * White Sox plan for contention a work in progress
        * White Sox officially announce LaRoche deal
        * Red Sox seize offseason driver's seat with signings

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


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

        Archives
        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


        * Will Rauner want the mansion?..
        * Let's give thanks for aldermanic elections..


        * Woman's body found near Whiteside county jail
        * Against odds, Chicago school aims for championship
        * Liver transplant recipient marks 25th anniversary
        * Woman's body found near Whiteside county jail
        * VSU chief financial officer to leave for new job
        * Collinsville man guilty of murder in fatal wreck
        * 3 arrested in Chicago during Ferguson protest
        * Clemency for man wrongfully jailed for 1991 murder
        * Illinois doctor fined over medical marijuana slip
        * Archbishop praises Obama's action on immigration

        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * State begins accepting fracking applications
        * Debt rating agencies weigh in on state pension ruling
        * Lisa Madigan to ask Illinois Supreme Court to consider pensions
        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court next
        * State to refund $60 million in retiree health care money

        * Most BP oil spill claims handled correctly, McGladrey says
        * Illinois AG Madigan files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Congressmen sound alarm over anti-Asian Carp move
        * Motorola Mobility loses bid to extend antitrust law reach
        * Chicago business activity is growing—but at a slower pace


        * Norman Schoer, viola player with Grant Park Orchestra and Lyric Opera, dies at 103
        * Cupich: Work needed to ‘repair our broken immigration system’
        * Obama 2014 Thanksgiving menu: Turkey, Ham, six kinds of pies
        * Obama guidance, press schedule Nov 27-30, 2014 Thanksgiving break
        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism
        * Decatur Classical parents want to expand into old Stewart building
        * Cupich: More must be done to ‘repair our broken immigration system’
        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism
        * Lisa Madigan appeals ruling that KOed pension law
        * Lisa Madigan appeals ruling that KO'd pension law


        * Judge reassigned after failing to follow contempt rules, officials say
        * Pre-Thanksgiving revelers in Naperville unfazed by new alcohol rules
        * Woman shot dead in apparent domestic-related shooting in Gary
        * Ferguson protester in Chicago charged with felony
        * Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at Congress and State
        * Crash-and-grab burglars hitting high-end stores in suburbs and Chicago
        * Flurries, cold expected for Thanksgiving
        * Crash-and-grab robbery in North Austin
        * Woman hospitalized after Blue Island crash
        * 3 Ferguson-related protesters arrested in Chicago


        * LLCC Offers Variety Of Community Education Classes
        * Incoming U of I President Speaks To Springfield Audience
        * Another Year Of "Messiah" For Springfield Choral Society
        * New Exhibit On Lincoln's "Undying Words"
        * Locals Organize For Vigil In Response To Ferguson
        * Illinois Hunters Kill 52,000 Deer Over The Weekend
        * Pension Ruling "Credit Negative," But No Ratings Change
        * Tim Landis: Foreclosure Sales, CIPS Icehouse and Heritage River Trail
        * Part Timers & Manufacturing in Illinois Feeling a Slow Economic Recovery
        * Notes From Ferguson: A QA With St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann


        * Our Opinion: Help combat hunger this holiday season
        * Eugene Robinson: On replacement, caution urged
        * George Will: Thanks, or something
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 27, 2014
        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * Michael Gerson: The big ‘but’ on immigration
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 26, 2014
        * State begins accepting fracking applications


        * Minonk Christmas light parade set Dec. 6
        * News in brief 11/27/14
        * YWCA Holiday Helpers program begins
        * Blue Sky Vineyard: A Tuscan hideaway in Southern Illinois
        * Illinois health officials offer turkey safety tip
        * Williamson County budget approved
        * Goodfellow Fund helps young, seniors to independence
        * Area history, Nov. 27, 2014
        * This day in history: Nov. 27, 2014
        * Edgar County hunters top results for first deer season


        * Naperville police watching for street racing on 95th
        * Fire damages Campton Hills house
        * Suburban businesses counter Black Friday with Small Business Saturday
        * Woodland Elementary District 50 in Gurnee celebrates award-winning health teachers
        * Extreme sport "gave me back my life," South Barrington man says

        * Welcome to Washington: Murphysboro’s Bost ...
        * Schneider may be back in ‘16
        * Huge win for GOP in Illinois Congressional...
        * Three-peat: Schneider eyes another race ag...
        * Illinois Republican Mike Bost, Newly Elect...
        * Mike Bost Defeats Bill Enyart In Illinois ...
        * Dold a'going to the freshman dance, again
        * Voice of the Reader: Mike Bost: Childish?
        * Mike Bloomberg takes his money local
        * Ranting And Throwing Papers: An Angry Cand...

        * We Blew It On Obamacare, Top Democrat Admi......
        * Senate committee to hold civil rights hear......

        * Iran's Supreme Leader supports extending t......
        * Chicago Tribuen: Squeeze a stalling Iran t......
        * Obama headed for defeat on Iran sanctions...

        * #HappyThanksgiving from The Sixth Ward blog!
        * In Chicago the race is on. It’s easy as ABC.
        * Lisa Madigan files her appeal.
        * The Better Government Association continues to spread the lie about public employee pensions.
        * Happy Thanksgiving. “My idea,” says Rahm.
        * Chicago parents demand answers from Emanuel after sex ed lessons revealed
        * Happy Thanksgiving
        * We're Grateful To Live In Uptown, And For You
        * Will Thanksgiving meal someday come at shopping mall food court?
        * No TIF Funds Will Be Used If Stewart School Reopens As Decatur


        * Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Help Regional Food Banks Better Serve Those in Need - Governor’s Investment Will Ensure Lower Cost and Higher Efficiency for Services Reaching Nearly 2 Million Illinois Residents
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Abner Mikva Receiving Nation’s Highest Civilian Honor
        * Department of Insurance Announces Multi-State Settlement with Symetra Life Insurance and Symetra National Life Insurance Company - Illinois will share part of a $1.2 million penalty against Symetra Life regarding Life Insurance policies
        * Avoid Foodborne Illness This Holiday Season




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