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.


* Toby Keith, Buddy Guy, Boat Drink Caucus will play Rauner inauguration concert
* Question of the day
* Congress finally does something
* Two brief insights on new Kirk poll
* Today's number: $12.7 billion
* C'mon, man
* Unintentionally hilarious editorials
* *** UPDATED x2 - Emanuel retorts - Garcia responds *** Emanuel lashes out at opponents after Tribune runs critical red light cam stories
* Today's quotable
* Rauner's gonna miss JBT more than he may know
* 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

          
        * Apple issues NTP security update for OS X
        * Lumia 1320 successor rumored as major upgrade
        * Nokia’s Android tablet gets an ETA for very early 2015
        * ASUS teases dual camera setup for ZenFone, CES 2015 reveal
        * Android One expanding to other emerging markets
        * Metal unibody shell for Samsung Galaxy S6 leaked
        * Apple reopens Russian online store after boosting iPhone 6 price by 35%

        * Tunity Turns Your Phone Into a Wireless TV Audio Receiver
        * Comcast-TWC merger delayed, FCC says 7,000 docs wrongly held back
        * How to Tell People You're a Fan of Their Work (Without Being Creepy)
        * Deadspin The Scientology Christmas Catalog Is Totally Insane | Gizmodo North Korea's Internet Is Tot
        * Google’s self-driving car prototype is now on the test track
        * Show Your Expertise with Stories, Not Statements
        * Flight Cancelled? Now What?

        * White Sox out of options 2015
        * Players rejuvenated by offseason maneuvers
        * AL Central looking like one powerhouse division
        * Digging into David Robertson's reverse splits
        * The year in injuries: White Sox have been better, could've been worse
        * Williams: Make protesting voices heard through vote
        * Williams: Make protesting voices heard through vote

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


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

        Archives
        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


        * Toby Keith to headline Rauner's inaugural concert..
        * Country musician Toby Keith to headline Rauner'.....
        * Quinn set to go to Maryland to visit soldiers..
        * Quinn departs for Maryland to visit soldiers..


        * Toby Keith to headline Rauner's inaugural concert
        * O'Toole emerges to lead Illini in bowl season
        * Blagojevich brother: I was fed 'pawn' to get then-governor
        * Congressman urges completion of levee project
        * Report: Business linked to appointee saw CPS boost
        * Officials: Will County to soon allow 911 texting
        * Lake Shore Drive reopens after accident
        * Autopsies set for 4 people shot dead in Illinois
        * Cook County judge to address cameras in courtroom
        * Quinn departs for Maryland to visit soldiers

        * Toby Keith to headline Rauner’s inaugural concert at PCCC
        * Blagojevich brother: I was used as ‘pawn’ to get then-governor
        * Raising juror pay gets mixed reviews
        * Gov. Quinn set to go to Maryland to visit soldiers
        * State treasurer employees get raises, stipends as Rutherford’s term comes to end
        * Springfield-based U.S. attorney’s investigations nab 13; race questions raised
        * 2nd Illinois prison with possible chickenpox
        * Quinn signs bill increasing juror pay
        * Quinn names longtime aide Jerry Stermer comptroller until Jan. 12
        * Quinn signs law to nix deadline for asbestos lawsuits

        * Former Chicago alderman Bernie Stone dies
        * Caterpillar looking at deals, has 'lots’ of capital
        * Can one person run long frieght trains alone? Railroad execs say yes
        * Can one person run long freight trains alone? Railroad execs say yes
        * Tribune sells land holding Baltimore Sun printing facility


        * Lakeview pot dispensary on hold; Tunney opposes Halsted location
        * Despite community pleas, CPS puts Dyett HS out for proposals
        * Quinn to appoint new Illinois Comptroller today
        * Gov. Quinn appoints longtime aide as Illinois comptroller
        * Watch: President Obama's year-end press conference
        * Rewriting the Sony cyberattack script
        * time for new course in Cuba
        * Are Rahm's numbers creeping up? New internals show him near 50
        * Obama guidance, press schedule, Dec. 19, 2014. Press conference
        * A whole lot of nothing from the City Council


        * Ex-PTA leader admits stealing from Arlington Heights group, gets probation
        * Former Chicago Alderman Bernie Stone dead at 87
        * Hinsdale Central teacher resigns after inappropriate communication
        * Teen killed in Southwest Side shooting
        * 8 taken into custody in Far North Side barricade incident
        * Apple Store in Naperville reports $10,000 in merchandise stolen
        * Police arrest 3 teens in Arlington Heights burglaries
        * No charges against ex-cop in fatal Milwaukee shooting of mentally ill man
        * Lake Shore Drive reopened after deadly wrong-way crash
        * 2 dead, 10 wounded in separate West, South side shootings


        * StoryCorps: Bilingual pre-school teacher describes the state of education in Chicago
        * Long-serving Alderman Berny Stone dies at 87
        * Report Faults State For Closing Women's Prison
        * WUIS-SJR Business Report The End of Times For Bel-Aire Motel
        * Local Book Club Provides Camaraderie For Vets
        * Agencies To Ask For More, Rauner Says ... Without Giving An Opinion On If They Deserve It Or Not
        * Rauner Favors Merging Comptroller, Treasurer. Just Not Now.
        * Rauner Named Nation's Most Influential Pension Figure
        * Sangamon Auditorium: Beware Second Party Ticket Brokers
        * Illinois Republican: Cuba Agreement "Good First Step"


        * Blagojevich brother: I was used as ‘pawn’ to get then-governor
        * Quote of the day: Monday, Dec. 22, 2014
        * Raising juror pay gets mixed reviews
        * Gov. Quinn set to go to Maryland to visit soldiers
        * Quote of the day: Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner talks of dogs, housing and the work ahead as governor
        * State treasurer employees get raises, stipends as Rutherford’s term comes to end
        * Cathy Becker: Because it’s the right thing to do
        * T. Ray McJunkins: Justice, righteousness descend to fulfill dream
        * Springfield-based U.S. attorney’s investigations nab 13; race questions raised


        * Man’s body found at Waterloo elementary school during class
        * Counting down the Top 10: No. 9
        * Champaign police investigating fatal shooting
        * Illinois Football: Headed for the Heart of Dallas Bowl
        * Memorial chief named to Illinois Hospital Association board
        * Figge Mansion demolished, materials salvaged
        * Police make arrest in Sunday shooting
        * College programs open for testing
        * Williamson County grand jury indicts 19 on drug-related felony charges
        * Heart attack caused Monticello crash


        * British singer Joe Cocker dies of lung cancer
        * Bahamas Bowl Matchup
        * BC-Entertainment and Arts Digest,2nd Ld-Writethru
        * 13 primates die at South Texas research facility
        * Ohio State takes down No. 21 West Virginia 96-54

        * RPT-EXCLUSIVE-Southwest's oil swap trade w...
        * Davis on right side of Cuba question
        * Southwest Airlines Co (LUV) Swap Trade Exe...
        * Caterpillar sees Cuba relations as an oppo...
        * Champaign post office will honor black pol...
        * Cuba could be beneficial for Illinois trade
        * Ex-Gov. Ryan says new markets will open in...
        * Last frigate at Naval Station Everett retu...
        * Congressman responds to Sony hack, Cuba's ...
        * In Uniform

        * Report: Steyer, Bloomberg Topped List of 2......
        * Education Dept. OKs Sale of Failing For-Pr......

        * Lipinski, Kirk discuss manufacturing bill ......
        * Senator Demands a Sony Hack Hearing...

        * 24 Hours To Vote For Either Uptown or Streeterville
        * Police Still Looking For Owners of Stolen Property
        * The [Wednesday] Papers
        * Fire-Damaged Vintage Home Rises From The Ashes
        * The [Monday] Papers
        * Stolen Bike BOLO
        * Free Fitness Week @ Park District To Kick Off 2015
        * Rahm privatizes.
        * Mark Anderson: Chicago moving pensions to risky alternative investment schemes.
        * The Weekend In Chicago Rock


        * IDHR Reminder: Law Protecting the Rights of Pregnant Women in Illinois Takes Effect January 1st
        * Governor Quinn Departs for Annual Trip to Visit Wounded Servicemembers - Will Deliver Holiday Cards to Servicemembers on Monday; Encourages People to Donate Miles and Help Reunite Servicemembers with Families
        * Governor Quinn Appoints Jerry Stermer as Illinois Comptroller
        * Governor Quinn Recognizes First Program to Help Military Veterans Use their Training to Achieve a Nursing Degree - Bridge Program at Joliet Junior College Could Help Veterans Save Dozens of Credit Hours and Thousands in Tuition and Fees
        * Governor Quinn Calls Legislative Special Session - Governor Urges Legislature to Set Up 2016 Special Election for Comptroller




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