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House pension roundup

Friday, Mar 22, 2013

* The Daily Herald’s Mike Riopell properly understood the significance of yesterday’s House action

Supporters of big public employee pension cuts approved by the Illinois House Thursday say they’ve gotten past the hardest vote on the long-festering issue.

As they’ve debated for more than a year, lawmakers had been waiting for an indicator showing how powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan would want to move forward.

He provided some direction Thursday just before the House voted 66-50 to limit the annual cost-of-living increases to teachers’, state workers’ and lawmakers’ retirement benefits.

“I think we’re in a position to finalize preparation of a bill and move a bill from the House to the Senate that treats all aspects of the problem,” Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, said in a rare speech from the House floor.

Last week, the House voted to raise the retirement age and cap how much of a retiree’s salary could count toward his or her pension.

Approving the most controversial parts of an eventual pension reform package could symbolize an easing of gridlock on the issue.

* Speaker Madigan during debate

* What the bill does

Currently, retirees receive a 3 percent compounded annual increase in their pension benefits. The bill approved by the House limits that 3 percent increase to the first $25,000 of pension income.

After that limit is hit, retirees will get only a flat $750 a year increase in benefits. The House bill also delays the start of COLAs until age 67 or five years after a person retires. If the bill is enacted into law, current retirees who do not fit either category would get no further COLAs until they met one of those two standards.

* More

According to the Illinois Teachers Retirement System, here’s how the cost-of-living adjustment change proposed in House Bill 1165 would effect a retiree who currently receives the average annual pension amount of $48,216.

*Current COLA: Pension grows to $49,662 in the second year and $51,152 in the third year

*Capped COLA: Pension grows to $48,966 in the second year and $49,716 in the third year.

* Savings

Nekritz said HB 1165 would save the state $100 billion by the year 2045. It would cut well over $1 billion from the state’s pension payment next year, she said.

* Unfunded liability

Supporters estimate the changes would reduce the unfunded liability by as much as $19 billion. There would be savings of as much as $2 billion more in the other two bills the House approved last week. One would cap the salary on which benefits are based to the limit set for Social Security, currently about $113,000 a year. The other would delay the retirement incrementally, based on workers’ ages now. Younger workers would have to retire later.

All three measures are part of larger legislative solutions backed by Cross and Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook – and the one that failed in the Senate on Wednesday, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss, an Evanston Democrat. The jubilation stems from the fact that together, according to Cross, the approved House measures account for two-thirds of the $30 billion reduction in unfunded liability the Cross-Nekritz proposal aims to create over the next three decades.

* And it’s quite interesting that Rep. Reis, a conservative on pretty much everything else, is completely with organized labor on this one

Opponents to HB 1165 say it is an unconstitutional reduction in employee benefits and unfair to retirees who planned their finances around the benefits they were promised when they left their jobs. “What’s not fair to do is to go to them and say, ‘You have to make up the entire liability,’ when over half the liability is because the state of Illinois never made its payments,” said Rep. David Reis, a Willow Hill Republican. He said lawmakers should instead accept a union coalition offer for employees to pay a larger percentage of their wages toward their pensions. “There are other avenues out there that have been negotiated with the various unions that may prevent a lawsuit, that I think would help us accomplish what we’re trying to do.”

And he’s not the only one. 21 House Republicans voted against the pension bill yesterday, many of them conservatives.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Frenchie Mendoza - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    My prediction:

    - 2 to 3 years of court challenges.
    - Tens of millions of dollars spent in litigation.
    - Ultimately, COLA change is found to be diminshment.
    - Health insurance *is* found to be part of a pension contract and can’t be diminished.
    - Two ways forward: additional contributions by current employees and increased taxes.

    My sense is that if we’re here in 2 to 3 years, we’ll be here saying three things: (a) a waste of time, (b) a waste of money, and (c) Madigan should have taken the union seriously when they offered additional contributions.

  2. - Steamer - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    Is there any requirement for the State to make their end of the pension payments…or will we be back to this in a few years?

  3. - Kasich Walker, Jr. - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 10:57 am:

    Maybe a judge from another universe can rule that there is no diminishment in benefits because the COLAs are on autopilot rather than based on CPI.

    Dummy me, thinking that COLA was not automatic but based on a misleading CPI that excludes energy and too much food.

  4. - T.O. - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:11 am:

    In terms of percentages, the unfunded liability in 1970 was roughly equal to what it is today. The pension systems haven’t missed a payment to anyone in the pat 40+ years. How is that possible? According to the chicken littles the pension system may be insolvent in a decade or so. If they are correct how did the same circumstances in 1970 not lead to insolvency by 1990?

  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    ===If they are correct how did the same circumstances in 1970 not lead to insolvency by 1990?===

    Real wages have gone up is one big reason.

  6. - Skirmisher - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    No inconsistency with Reis’ position. If you are truly a conservative, then a contract is sacrosanct and must be honored. The so-called conservatives who think they can renege on a contract when it benefits them to do so are more properly termed jacobins or radicals.

  7. - TiredofMike - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    Will Mike give up his 3% annual inservice COLA?

    It would be nice if the Retirement systems ran some projections using real numbers for the next 5 years to see more accurate savings.

    Then factor in legal costs and possible retoactive payments plus interest.

  8. - T.O. - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:20 am:

    I understand that, but shouldn’t the percentages level that? It’s easy to say it’s 96B…but I could also say “In 1970 the pensions only had 10B in assets. Now we have 40B. We are 400% better funded.” I just gave myself a headache.

  9. - have issues? - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    Love him or hate him, MJM once again shows his Jedi Knight mastery of building coalitions and winning tough votes. A very bipartisan vote on a very difficult problem.

    He is the Yoda of the IL General Assembly.

    I’m not sure if I agree or disagree with the proposal, but anyone interested in how legislative assemblies at any level move and work would do well to study this man’s career and methods.

  10. - JackBo - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    Would someone tell me what social service programs would be reduced if no cola adjustment, and were these social service programs created by the State with funds that should have covered pensions.

  11. - Other - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    One important thing which I haven’t heard mentioned is that the $100 billion in savings through 2045 is based on the assumption that the GA won’t increase the maximum amount of COLA a retiree can get. I imagine the reason the sponsors chose 20,000 and 25,000 were they were reasonable maximums. However, what about in 10 years, 20 years, 50 years? How reasonable will a $750 annual increase be in 2045? I would say that the 20,000 and 25,000 amounts should be linked to CPI, or even half of CPI. And then calculate the savings from that. Otherwise, we pass this, save $100 billion and make payments based on the assumption the GA is never going to increase this maximum COLA amount. Then in 5 or 10 years, the amounts get increased slightly, and then it’ll be called a unpaid benefit increase.

  12. - cassandra - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    Would retroactive payments be needed, or will the plaintiffs get an injunction. Reducing the cola would seem to meet the criteria for an injunction.

    Even if an injunction were to be granted, I suppose Quinn and the legislators could proceed as planned and devote fewer monies to pension repayment next fy. But what will they do with the “extra” money? Given that it’s Illinois, I fear it won’t be spent wisely–or, at least, a lot of it will be spent on politically appealing projects that bolster Quinn’s re-election prospects. Not on unpaid bills.


  13. - Lookingforajob - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:29 am:

    —Real wages have gone up is one big reason.

    If you look at the actual numbers, the pension problem was not caused by salary and cola. This problem was caused from the GA not paying their share. Changing COLAs will not solve this problem. Work done by Martire is clear evidence of this FACT.

  14. - Palos Park Bob - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    What may be interesting here is the difference between the state employee retirement funds and the TRS. Remember, for a contract to be valid it most involve a meeting of the minds and some sort of “consideration” for goods or services provided.

    In the case of the suburban and downstate teachers in the TRS, the benefits given are not due to the teachers and administrators being employees of the state and providng services to state government; they are employees of the local school districts. What “consideration” are the teachers providing to the state government for things like COLAs and health insurance premiums?

    It would seem an argument could be made that since the TRS participants give no “consideration” to the state, the benefits given them from the state, including state contributions, are, in fact given as an entitlement as for welfare and Medicaid recipients, otherwise the contract of giving “something for nothing” could be ruled unconscionable and voidable.

    Perhaps it could also be argued that TRS participants contribute about half of the value of their benefit, and if their relationaship isn’t as employer/employee, giving someone double what they contributed as a benefit may be “inconscionable”.

    Anyone know if there is an Illinois case addressing this argument?

  15. - Madison - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    The place to send these clowns home is the Primary. If enough teachers, state employees and other government workers get organized in a low turnout election it will be enough to send most of them home. Mail out the ballots and watch em fall…

  16. - Palos Park Bob - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    “If you look at the actual numbers, the pension problem was not caused by salary and cola. This problem was caused from the GA not paying their share. Changing COLAs will not solve this problem. Work done by Martire is clear evidence of this FACT”

    Martire is a representative of the public unions of Illinois, and gives arguments for them as he would for a guilty client. If you follow what’s he’s been pitching, you’ll find that he NEVER opposed things adding cost without value such as the ERO and end of career spiking.

    He’s quite open about his agenda; he wants to get as much money out of private sector pockets into those of the union members who fund his organization as possible and get tax policy in Illinois to the point where about 60% of the voters pay no or little income tax so he has the political base to raise taxes on the remaining 40% (until they leave Illinois) to distribute more to the public employee unions.

    He’s an excellent, bright attorney who is an exceptional advocate for the public employee unions. Don’t make the mistake of believing you’re hearing the whole truth or necessary facts when you listen to him. Solving the state’s problems are not his concern. Protecting the public employee unions is.

  17. - Calico Jim - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    I thought this answer by Cross as to why the judges are excluded was insulting to the judges
    “However, House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego said there is a practical reason for excluding judges, since a lawsuit challenging the law is inevitable if it passes.
    “The school of thought is, if you put them in there, you’re asking for an almost automatic rejection of this,” Cross said.
    I guess it is ok for the Generaly Assembly to cut legislators pensions (thus there own pensions) but the judges are not trustworthy enough to do the same. Amazing.

  18. - Toynbee Doob - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    And now, after voting against saving billions of dollars through pension reform, Rep. Bill Mitchell and Dwight Kay call for a balanced budget amendment. Classic hucksters.

  19. - Lookingforajob - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 11:59 am:

    – And now, after voting against saving billions of dollars through pension reform, Rep. Bill Mitchell and Dwight Kay call for a balanced budget amendment. Classic hucksters.–

    The vote was not on saving. It was on stealing money from people who agreed to and followed a contract.

  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===Rep. Bill Mitchell and Dwight Kay===

    Kay voted “Yes.” Mitchell did, however, vote “No.”

  21. - Jasper - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    I don’t think Madigan has any intention for the state to make the contributions. They will still raid the funds when it is convenient. I am waiting to for the legislature to revoke all the pension sweeteners they established for themselves. I guess it depends on the weather….when hell freezes over.

  22. - Lookingforajob - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    Palos Park,

    I’m sure the truth as always is in the middle, but you think cutting a retirees earnings and living wage increase is an acceptable answer?

  23. - dave - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    **Don’t make the mistake of believing you’re hearing the whole truth or necessary facts when you listen to [Martire]. Solving the state’s problems are not his concern. Protecting the public employee unions is.**

    You know what would be better than attacking Martire? Attacking his numbers.

    Based on your preference to attack the messenger rather than the message, it would seem to mean that you cannot attack the message.

    What, exactly, is Martire leaving out, and what, exactly, is he wrong on regarding the pension issue?

  24. - titan - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    The maximum increase would be $750 a year (3% of 25,000). The written description (excepted from the link) says 3% of first 25,000 then a cap of $750 says that “after that” there would be a cap of $750. The example makes clear that $750 is the max increase. So “after” the first $25,000 there is no AAI (COLA) increase.

  25. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    Perhaps it could also be argued that TRS participants contribute about half of the value of their benefit, and if their relationaship isn’t as employer/employee, giving someone double what they contributed as a benefit may be “inconscionable”.

    That’s why pension contributions from employee and employer are “invested” in instruments that have a reasonable rate of return that will hopefully compound and stay ahead of the game, rather than a CD that would get 1% in todays market. You could’ve thrown a dart at stocks in the 1990’s and gotten 20% RoR. In the, say, 30 years that someone is employed, the investors are having use of the money that employee and employer forego to fund the pension, so a direct comparison of pensioners getting more “gozouta” than “gozinta” is not really comparing apples to apples.

  26. - Lookingforajob - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:08 pm:


    I agree. Numbers are a funny thing…you can’t really make up simple math.

  27. - Small Town Tax Payer - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    I fully agree that the solution approved by the House will result in several years of court challenges. It will also result in millions of dollars spent on litigation and in the end the COLA change is found to be diminshment and thrown out. However, ending health insurance will be found not to be part of a pension and it can be diminished or even terminated.

    Following that Illinois will need to probably pay the teachers and others lots of money for partial retoactive payments and some interest. Where will the money come from? Increased taxes will probably not fly with many seeing that it follows the largest increase in income taxes in the states history.

    The “well over $1 billion from the state’s pension payment next year” has many people dreaming how to put some of it toward their pet project. However, when the COLA change returns, via the courts decision, it appears to me that state spending will need to be cut by several billion a year to fund the pension systems. Why wait? Lets just cut about 15% of the current spending and fund the pensions. This will also save millions on legal fees and interest.

  28. - G'Kar - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:19 pm:

    Palos Park Bob, irt your 11:33 comment, you do realize that TRS members automatically pay for their future COLA and health care with each paycheck? And not one TRS member has ever missed a payment.

  29. - Chi - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:29 pm:

    ===If they are correct how did the same circumstances in 1970 not lead to insolvency by 1990?===

    “Real wages have gone up is one big reason.”

    The State’s failure to collect increased revenue relative to the increased production output we have experienced is a bigger reason.

  30. - reformer - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    If the IL Supreme Courts upholds this diminishment, then what’s to prevent the legislature — when the next crisis hits in 2015 or so — from going back to the same well and diminish benefits even more?

  31. - funny guy - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:57 pm:

    Include the state judges in the pension grab and have the dispute resolved in federal court. You know, the judges that can’t be thrown out by the Democratic bosses that put the state judges in the robes in the first place. Do you know how rich the judges pensions are–unbelievable. If they do two terms–they are vested at 80% of at least $175,000. The bosses have them rotate out once they get their pensions to make room for the next group of the connected.

  32. - funny guy - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 12:59 pm:

    Do you believe that Operation Greylord–that indicted about 30 judges—a few years back—really cleaned out the courts?

  33. - funny guy - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    While they stick it to the middle class–the GA just sent Quinn the ComEd legislation giving ComEd $100 million in rate increases by overruling the state regulatory body that actually heard the evidence. Let’s vote Republican–at least they shove the knife in your belly and not your back.

  34. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:06 pm:

    funny guy @ 12:57 pm:

    You’re way off. Go read the handbook on the JRS web site. They get 21% after 6 years if age 60, they only get 80% after 26 years.

  35. - kimocat - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:19 pm:

    reformer — you are absolutely right. If the GA gets away with this there may be no limit on the ways state retirees can be exploited in the future. And that goes for judges too.

  36. - Madison - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    I live in Dwight Kays area. He only won by a couple of hundred votes as it is. I predict that hes made enough public employees mad to send him home permanently now.

  37. - iThink - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    === What “consideration” are the teachers providing to the state government for things like COLAs and health insurance premiums?===

    Part of a teachers the 9.4% is expressly tied to COLA. Teachers also pay monthly into a program called TRIP to prepay part of that insurance cost. I would payment is part of that thing called consideration. But, don’t let facts get in the way of a good rant PPB.

  38. - fedup - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    I guess the State of Illinois doesn’t plan to conduct any business which requires any professional or skilled employees. Pension capped in the $20,000 range and no Social Security? When the job market comes back, there will be an enormous brain drain into the private sector.

  39. - iThink - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    ===Perhaps it could also be argued that TRS participants contribute about half of the value of their benefit,===

    If you look up the normal costs of TRS, the real value is right around 18% of employee annual compensation. Guess what 9 is half of?

    Only about $1.5B of the TRS payment is the normal actuarial cost. The rest of the $5-6B is primarily due the state not making their full payments so they could hide the deficiencies of their tax structure.

  40. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    ===Pension capped in the $20,000 range===

    Um, no.

  41. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    fedup @ 1:25 pm:

    I agree there will be another brain drain but you are overstating the limits.

    The pension isn’t capped at $20K/$25K, that is just the ‘cap’ for calculating the COLA.

    Depending on some of the bills, there might be a initial pension cap in the $80K to $90K range.

    With the exception of some holdovers from the early 1970’s, all active SERS participate in SS.

    With some exceptions, most SURS also participate in SS … it depends on whether you work for a university or community college.

    Judges, elected politicians and TRS teachers are not in SS.

  42. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    Not very relevant to today’s discussion but interesting factoid:

    According to the FY12 annual report, 4% of the current SERS employees are non-coordinated (do not participate in SS)

    I think I remember the last time you had a choice on SS participation was between 1970 and 1972, so that 4% has at least 40 years of service time at the State.

  43. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 1:50 pm:

    =I think I remember the last time you had a choice on SS participation was between 1970 and 1972, so that 4% has at least 40 years of service time at the State.=

    You guys, just like CMS often does are forgetting the alternative formula folks included in SERS. Those in dangerous occupations. Police, prison guards, ect. None of them have 40 years on.

  44. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    Leave a Light on George @ 1:50 pm:

    If they were around in 1972 to make a choice, they are already retired. The post was about people still employed under SERS.

  45. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    RNUG, that’s an interesting statistic. Thanks.

    Folks, it’s easier to just ignore Pee Pee Bob than to debate him. He thinks all teachers are greedy loafers who are looting the State treasury because 2 people in his neighborhood gamed the system.

  46. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    Leave a Light on George @ 1:50 pm:

    forgot to add …

    Your point is valid if we were talking about non-coordinated retirees.

  47. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 2:07 pm:

    PP Bob,

    While you may like to dismiss Martire because of your anti-union views, he’s right. You don’t have to believe him, you can review the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability’s Report on the Financial Condition of the State Retirement Systems, FY 2012.

    On page 28, the report states:

    “The above chart [Chart 3], provides an analysis of the causative factors for the increase in unfunded liabilities since FY 1996 [to FY 2012]. The largest factor was the insufficient employer contributions which caused a $32.7 billion unfunded increase during the period under review. Investment returns at a rate lower than the actuarial assumption caused an addition increase of $15.4 billion.”

    Of the six causative factors listed in the chart (Salary Increases, Investment Returns, Employer Contributions, Benefit Increases, Changes In Assumptions, and Other Factors), the effect of salary increases on the unfunded liability was cited as -0.631 billion. Benefit increases represented the next least causative factor of the unfunded liability over this period was at 5.803 billion.

    The COLA does represent a significant cost of the annuities, which is why it’s on the hit list. However, as the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability points out, the major factor in the unfunded liability is the failure of the state to make it’s necessary contributions.

  48. - Anon - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    State troopers are in the alternative formula and don’t receive SS. I remember early in the academy a SERS employee spoke to our class about the pension. When he told us we didn’t pay into, or receive SS, someone asked why not. His response was “Because the state saves money by having pensions instead.” The next question was “So the money goes into the pensions instead?” His answer was kind of telling. He said “I suppose it could.”…but it obviously didn’t.

  49. - Rusty618 - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 3:23 pm:

    “The school of thought is, if you put them (the judges) in there, you’re asking for an almost automatic rejection of this,” Cross said.
    Don’t you think this is going to be an automatic lawsuit anyhow, because it obviously diminishes the pension amount. This is a no brainer. Why would they even try to get this by?

  50. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 4:14 pm:


    Thanks. There are quite a few exceptions and variations and it’s hard to track every combination.

  51. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 4:16 pm:


    Do we have about 2,400 troopers? That’s about the number of non-coordinated SERS …

  52. - Frustrated - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 4:37 pm:

    What will happen in the interim while the SC hears the inevitable appeal. If there is an injunction, will retires receive their annual increase and will retroactive increases be allowed?

  53. - funny guy - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 4:41 pm:

    RNUG 1:06

    Sorry about the judges retirement figures I previously used–but still at age 60 with 12 years of service (2 terms) Judges receive 47.5% of FINAL salary–its not averaged over the last 4 years. Illinois judges have the 2nd highest salaries in the country–with 12 years in–they must be making close to $200,000. Not bad at all.

  54. - Anon - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 4:55 pm:

    I think there’s currently about 1600 sworn personnel with ISP.

  55. - Anon - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 4:58 pm:

    There were right around 2000 when I started 19 years ago. We lose 100 a year to retirement. Hiring hasn’t kept up, although there are around 240 new troops to be hired this year.

  56. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 5:00 pm:

    RNUG and Anon-I’m late to the party, but is that 2,400 actives or retirees? If it’s the latter, it sounds light, because of all the additions to the alt formula over the past 10-15 years.

  57. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 5:03 pm:

    funny guy @ 4:41pm,

    yeah, judges have a generous pension and rules. But they also contribute 11% for it.

  58. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 5:04 pm:


  59. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 5:05 pm:


    we’re talking active

  60. - Anon - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 5:14 pm:

    I know IDOT highway maintainers and some DOC guards are included.

  61. - Anon - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 5:16 pm:

    Also RNUG, I’m not sure what the others contribute, but troopers are sending 12.5% to SERS.

  62. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 5:23 pm:

    RNUG, then 2,400 is light for the total number of actives in the alt formula. Do the non-police (DoC, IDOT) alt formula people pay SS or am I distracted with the Illini game?

  63. - Seriously - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 6:20 pm:

    The comment by Cross about leaving the judges out has to be about the most ridiculous comment ever made by anyone claiming to be a “leader”. Are there two Constitutions, one for judges and one for others? Actually, very insulting to the judges. These people took an oath to the Constitution and simply brush it aside? We wonder what is wrong in State Government? Those sworn to uphold the Constitution simply ignore it and then claim Judges have some special dispensation or different set of Constitutional interpretation? Kwame and Cullerton have too much respect for the rule of law and the Constitution to let this version stand.

  64. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 6:20 pm:

    If you are in the alternative formula you don’t pay SS. Also, consider that a trooper I think is forced to retire at 60yrs of age. He/She does so admittedly with a good pension but now no COLA until 65! I suppose you could do away with the mandatory age 60 retirement but do we really want 67yr old troopers out there? It’s a young man’s game.

  65. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 22, 13 @ 9:13 pm:


    I’m more confused now than I was before on the SERS Alternate Formula re SS.

    Just went back and looked at the SERS Tier 1 Handbook Alternative Formula. On page 9 it clearly shows two formulas, coordinated and non-coordinated, with different contribution levels. On page 20, again, it shows two formulas. Page 21 lists the positions eligible for the Alternate Formula, but it doesn’t define which are coordinated and which are non-coordinated.

    The Alternate Formula Brochure has the identical somewhat ambiguous information.

  66. - facts are stubborn things - Monday, Mar 25, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    Leave a Light on George @ 6:20 pm:

    I was in the Alternateve formula with IDOT and I paid into SS. Paid 8.5% into Pension.

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* US Steel to invest $750M in Gary Works plant in Indiana
* Chicago Tribune: Low-income south side housing neglected
* Late lawmaker’s husband charged in attorney’s slaying
* Railcar manufacturing plant to close in Illinois
* Railcar plant to close in Illinois
* Chicago couple makes scrapbooks to preserve history, memory
* Chicago suburb settling lawsuit over officer pinning teen
* Teens stabbed and burned 18-year-old to death, then ran over his body, Illinois police say

* Rauner signs bill to educate students about loans
* Doris Kearns Goodwin coming to Springfield for fundraiser
* Davis staffer arrested after altercation at Londrigan fundraiser
* Illinois Democrats say downstate counties can go their way
* Rauner appoints GOP official Shaw to retirement board
* Illinois Democrats talk of importance of fall elections
* AP fact check: No Pritzker plan to increase taxes 26 percent
* Rauner: 2018 election is 'one of most important' in Illinois history
* Rauner, Republicans go after Madigan, taxes
* Joe Biden ill, cancels trip to Springfield

* DuPage pushes fight for O'Hare western terminal
* United sheds punching-bag status with biggest U.S. airline rally
* Northern Trust looks to get into crypto custody
* Redbox gears up for its first major ad campaign
* Whither the Kraft Heinz ketchup packet?

* Mueller recommends no more than six months in prison for Papadopoulos
* Cuomo on his ‘inartful’ remark: ‘Of course America is great’
* Justice lawyers try to halt Trump financial records release
* Trump warns he’ll revoke clearance of Justice Dept. official
* 3-year-old boy among several wounded in Englewood shooting
* Flowers, candles; sidewalk shrine for woman fatally shot in West Englewood home
* Teenager shot himself in the head as officers chased him in Lawndale: police
* Mel Reynolds’ prison gripe: Treated like ‘animal’ — blames ‘Trump people’
* Man shot in Little Village
* Anderson holding head high for White Sox

* White House drafts more clearance cancellations demanded by Trump
* Trump administration is stopping funding for Syria reconstruction efforts
* Mueller prosecutors say prison is optional for George Papadopoulos in Russia probe
* Police: Boy, 3, among 7 shot in West Englewood during single attack; teen shoots self in head after police pursuit
* The 2018 Chicago Air and Water Show
* 14-year-old in 'extremely critical' condition after trying to swim Lake Michigan channel: Waukegan fire official
* Kyle Schwarber's HR springs Cubs to 1-0 lead after 1 hour, 47 minute rain delay
* Cupich responds to Pennsylvania sexual abuse report: Catholic Church ‘grievously failed’ victims
* Jurors hear of gang rivalry to explain motive behind Hadiya's slaying
* With Cubs clinging to NL Central lead, their rotation remains in a state of flux

» New Law To Address Police Officers' Mental Health
» Chicago Musicians Remember Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin
» Deep Fried Politics
» State Week: Both Democrats and Republicans Assert Party Unity At State Fair
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Editorial Boards Push Back
» The Week in Review: Campaign Season ‘Officially’ Kicks Off at State Fair
» #664 Remembering Aretha Franklin
» Dems Vow Down-Ballot Effort, Red-State Reach
» Aug. 16, 2018 - Full Show
» Live From The State Fair: Ag, Food, Entertainment, And President Lincoln

* Rauner signs bill to educate students about loans
* Doris Kearns Goodwin coming to Springfield for fundraiser
* Counterpoint: It's another Trump idea that belongs on a Hollywood launch pad
* Point: Space Force, done right, will move US ahead
* Eugene Robinson: All hail the queen
* Our View: An unfortunate political encounter
* Davis staffer arrested after altercation at Londrigan fundraiser
* Illinois Democrats say downstate counties can go their way
* Rauner appoints GOP official Shaw to retirement board
* Illinois Democrats talk of importance of fall elections

* MidState Soccer celebrates past, present and future during 'milestone celebration'
* Taste of C-U 2018
* Illinois football 2018
* Sessions, in Iowa, laments federal judges’ rulings against administration
* Decatur Korean War veteran receives Combat Medic badge during surprise ceremony
* Former Congressman Leonard Boswell has died
* Carbondale to force vacation rental websites to provide address of all rentals in city
* Carbondale man faces federal charges of conspiracy to deal more than 50 grams of meth
* UI Football Camp 2018: Day 13
* Marion man gets 3 years in federal prison for possessing gun after felony conviction

* ECC's backpack fair benefits about 2,000 students this year
* Gurnee man charged with car burglary
* Scouting Libertyville: High expectations, low-key approach for Wildcats
* Davis Webb bounces back and helps Giants beat Lions 30-17
* Scouting Mundelein: Mustangs are making numerical strides

* Democrats Are Only Backing 3 Black Women o...
* Hultgren said election security starts wit...
* Rep. Hultgren says America's 'immi...
* Pelosi Talks of 'Bridge' to New Le...
* Pelosi, Under Threat in Her Own Party, Say...
* Don't Invite Me to a Party if It's...
* 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' Director on...
* Ant-Man and the Wasp: How Those Post-Credi...
* What if Nancy Pelosi Doesn't Have the ...
* Knox County GOP neutral on Fawell

* Norris Perne & French Llp Has Lowered ......
* Pritzker calls for infrastructure bill in ......
* Rauner is running away from his record – a......
* Pritzker promises to help improve Decatur,......
* Pritzker Determined To Bring Blue Wave To ......

* Sen. Tammy Duckworth On How Her Dau......
* Durbin, Duckworth support Trump's Cent......
* John Milhiser nominated to be US attorney...

* What if A.I. is coming for jobs faster than we thought?
* LMS market after Blackboard-Moodle breakup
* Building Tomorrow’s Talent: Collaboration Can Close Emerging Skills Gap
* Colleges and Universities Woo Once-Overlooked Transfer Students
* 10 Ways That Edtech Has Transformed Libraries
* Panicked universities in search of students are adding thousands of new majors
* The Week In Chicago Rock
* Our Aretha
* Classic Rock Concert Saturday Night At Buena Park Circle
* Hutchinson Mansion Sidewalk Tours Return On Saturday

* Bicentennial announces plans for Aug. 26th Constitution Day
* Gov. Rauner proclaims Traffic Fatality Awareness Day, urges public's help in making Illinois roads safer
* Illinois Department of Human Rights Honors "Dream Builders"
* Gov. Rauner signs public safety legislation
* Illinois Payrolls Up for Sixth Straight Month

* Tesla eyes cost savings so it can make $25,000 cars in three years, Elon Musk tells MKBHD
* Huawei nova 3 goes on open sale on August 23, nova 3i Iris Purple on August 21
* ZTE is officially back, may announce Axon 9 at IFA 2018
* Valve unveils its Twitch competitor Steam TV
* iPhone X + Huawei P20 = Motorola P30 | #PNWeekly 318
* The company’s all cold, but the HTC U12+ is flamin’ hot
* Samsung Brazil caught passing stock photos as Galaxy A8 camera samples

* Williams has full confidence in Renteria, staff
* White Sox MiLB Report: Michael Kopech Continues Dominating T...
* White Sox reinstate Leury Garcia from DL
* Eloy Jimenez has White Sox fans eager for MLB debut
* Suspended catcher Welington Castillo working his way back to Whi...
* White Sox catcher Welington Castillo to begin rehab assignme...
* Hawk: I Did It My Way

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