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Is “consideration” still alive?

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016

* From today’s pension ruling

Notwithstanding our holding in Heaton, that the annuity reducing provisions plainly violated the pension protection clause, and that exigent circumstances cannot serve as a basis for the General Assembly to unilaterally override those constitutional protections, defendants contend that Public Act 98-641 survives constitutional infirmity for two reasons: (1) the Act, when read as a whole, does not diminish or impair pension benefits but, instead, saves them in a manner that confers a “net benefit” or “offsetting benefit” to members; and (2) the Act was the result of a bargained-for exchange supported by consideration.

* The Supremes flatly rejected both arguments, but did leave one tiny door open on the second point

Even taking as true the facts advanced to support the City’s claim, we hold that as a matter of law, members of the Funds did not bargain away their constitutional rights in this process. To be sure, ordinary contract principles allow for the modification of pension benefits in a bargained-for exchange for consideration. Buddell v. Board of Trustees, State University Retirement System, 118 Ill. 2d 99, 104-05 (1987) (pension rights can be modified “in accordance with usual contract principles”). As we explained in Heaton, the pension protection clause was not intended to prohibit the legislature from providing “additional benefits” and requiring additional employee contributions or other consideration in exchange. Heaton, 2015 IL 118585, ¶ 46 n.12. Likewise, nothing prohibits an employee from knowingly and voluntarily agreeing to modify pension benefits from an employer in exchange for valid consideration from the employer. Kraus v. Board of Trustees of the Police Pension Fund, 72 Ill. App. 3d 833, 849 (1979); see also York v. Central Illinois Mutual Relief Ass’n, 340 Ill. 595, 602 (1930) (“one party to a contract cannot by his own acts release or alter its obligations. The intention must be mutual.”).

So, now the big brains have to figure out how they can use the concept of consideration in a way that is voluntary and doesn’t involuntarily diminish benefits. Not gonna be easy.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

64 Comments
  1. - illinois manufacturer - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    Bargained for….not passed by Rauner and Culerton.An example is SURS. SURS agreed many years ago to pay more and get more


  2. - Formerly Known as Frenchie M - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    Unless it’s codified in the existing constitution or in (presumably) a new amendment — anyone (IMHO) would be a fool to take any kind of modification — even if it’s voluntary.

    You’ll get a governor like Rauner come in and take whatever you agreed to away — yet still claim that because you got some of it during your working tenure, you’ve permanently modified your “contract”. No going back.

    So, yeah, modification of the contract with consideration? Nope. Not now, not ever.

    The constitution is the only — only — thing standing in the way between promised pension benefits and (what all politicians will want moving forward) zero benefits.


  3. - El Conquistador - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:40 am:

    About the only thing the state can offer for consideration is time. Offer a 5 and 5 buyout. People will take it but does it save anything? It would replace tier 1s with tier 2 employees.


  4. - Cold - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    Cook county had an optional plan for many years. Paid in 3% of salary to get 1% extra benefit. There are constitutional voluntary individual consideration agreements but not gonna happen unless it’s a fair deal for the employee. Which is the last thing any “reform” is going to propose.


  5. - illinois manufacturer - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:42 am:

    Or something like the buyout Bill. Its a choice of keeping what you have not a choice between 2 cuts. So this is over.


  6. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:47 am:

    After all the attacks on State employees / retirees, at best, consideration is on life support. Doubt any employee would take any offer made by this administration.


  7. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    == About the only thing the state can offer for consideration is time. Offer a 5 and 5 buyout. People will take it but does it save anything? It would replace tier 1s with tier 2 employees. ==

    It was a net loss for the State back in 2002. It increased the State’s pension obligations and Health Insurance expenses. About all it saved was immediate payroll out of GRF.


  8. - Todd - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:53 am:

    Eric Madiar was vindicated again today. He can say I told you so.

    that being said, we now have the issue of walking a tight rope to find a solution. Which means that there is going to be pressure to amend the Constitution, which would pass by wide margins if it hits the ballot.

    Will there be a new tier 3 401K plan since the state has little means to pay for what has been promised.

    Options are shrinking and time is not their friend.

    I would expect that the Rauner people have a whole new message to spin on Edgar’s failed fiscal policies and pitting social service agencies against AFSCME/SEIU and the voters


  9. - Lovie - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:53 am:

    I’m not very clear if the Cullerton proposal passes muster with today’s decision. Can someone chime in, please.


  10. - Archiesmom - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    I saw the crack in the door, too. But Rich’s assessment is completely correct - practically, it’s going to be hard to do.


  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    How about increasing the spouses benefits after death of the retiree in exchange for reduced benefits today?


  12. - Cook County Commoner - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:59 am:

    In my view, the most important part of the decision is at paragraphs 45,46 where the ISC essentially finds section 22-403 (enacted prior to the 1970 state constitution) essentially unconstitutional. That section states that pensioners have a right to only the money their plans have. I suspect that the state and local governments thought their last line of defense was to allow the pension plans to go insolvent and be off the hook for future payments.

    The opinion appears to have reduced to rubble the last musings of over-paid attorneys hired by state and local governments.

    The only issue left appears to be how to pay the pensions and other retirement benefits without further damaging the state and local economies with more taxes and further diminution of services.


  13. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    == Will there be a new tier 3 401K plan since the state has little means to pay for what has been promised. ==

    Why? The current Tier 2 costs the state nothing, zero, nada and actually brings in additional revenue to slightly offset some of the Tier 1 debt. How do you beat free?


  14. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    == I’m not very clear if the Cullerton proposal passes muster with today’s decision. ==

    No.


  15. - illinois manufacturer - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    Rauner or Cullertons plans of 2 diminished options is gone. So is any attempt to cut retiree health in an imposed contract is too. The court said the Consititution is supeme….except when it runs into federal law of course.


  16. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:07 am:

    == How about increasing the spouses benefits after death of the retiree in exchange for reduced benefits today? ==

    Possible, if it is just a choice. But so far any proposed change has had a negative impact on the retiree, so why would they agree to it? And if it benefits the retiree, then it won’t save any money, it will actually cost money.


  17. - Hit or Miss - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:07 am:

    ===use the concept of consideration in a way that is voluntary and doesn’t involuntarily diminish benefits===

    Lets say that someone comes up with a solution that is voluntary and yet diminishes benefits. I would be surprised if many people due a pension would accept any such offer. It appears that any such plan would make any meaningful impact on the existing unfunded pension liabilities. As I see it, the only viable solution to the unfunded pension problem is to raise taxes and pay the agreed upon pensions.


  18. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    Collective bargaining is the key. Well, Rauner doesn’t do collective bargaining. Thus, no pension changes folks.


  19. - formerpro - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:21 am:

    Rich, what you are suggesting will prove to be a giant waste of time….which won’t stop the elected officials from trying to dream up something. Which they will do. But it won’t save the State anything significant because very few employees or retirees will volunteer for a demonstrably bad deal. And the retirement systems will have a fiduciary duty to explain the choice to their members. The only real issue is how is Illinois going to pay it’s bills. Everything else is a distraction!!!


  20. - Robo - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:23 am:

    Well that settles it, we’ll just have to change the state constitution.


  21. - illinois manufacturer - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:24 am:

    What big brains? In the other 2 branches of government?


  22. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:24 am:

    With the tax rate at it’s previous level, progress was being made–pension payments were being made. This is not difficult. However, the theatrics and draconian (and very well publicized sky is falling warnings) cuts have made so many believe that we are now at Armageddon and there is no way out. They are just plain wrong. There are solutions but this agenda Rauner has does not allow him to consider solutions. Rather, it’s much more important to have us believe that we are doomed so that he can force his will. And folks are buying it! Some representative of the people, isn’t he?


  23. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:24 am:

    -Norseman-

    Tsk, tsk. I understand the point you are trying to make but you KNOW the unions can’t bargain away any pension rights. All they can do is bargain a framework that can then be proposed to the employee / retiree wherein the employee / retiree can make a voluntary decision to change their deal with the state or keep what they already have without repercussions.


  24. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:41 am:

    RNUG, I don’t disagree. Unlabeled snark. My apologies.


  25. - Reformed Public Servant - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    Madiar’s analysis should be REQUIRED reading for all state executives and legislators…better yet, I think everyone should write in Eric Madiar for Governor next go around - this guy really understands the scope and potential solutions to the problem.


  26. - Reformed Public Servant - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    Not much “consideration” left to bargain with, as the ILSCT’s Weems decision took health benefits off the table…


  27. - Ill_Will - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    RNUG:
    Am I misstating your view?
    Pay the current pension tab, by taxes or however.
    Change the pension law going forward for new employees.
    Wait for those in the system to quit before vesting or if vested die?

    To be clear, I intend no snark nor disrespect.
    It seems to be the only avenue.


  28. - OswegoTim - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    - Robo - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:23 am:

    Well that settles it, we’ll just have to change the state constitution.
    —————————–
    Won’t help lower what is owed. Look up Ex Post Facto in the Constitution. Use the google! I think at least one drive by comment of this is on each pension thread.


  29. - DuPage - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    @RNUG 11:07

    SURS already has the “reduce pension now and increase survivor benefit”. The retiree has to choose it at time of retirement. It goes by actuary tables of age of retiree and age of the spouse. It is revenue neutral, it costs the state nothing. I think some of the other systems have something similar.


  30. - casual reader - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 12:02 pm:

    I don’t see any discussion about increasing the contribution rates for employees, am I missing something or is that constitutional?


  31. - bwana63 - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 12:37 pm:

    Diminished benefits, under the guise of reform, won’t cut the mustard. Consideration is stlll in play, but cannot diminish benefits. Ergo, the vast majority of consideration plays are dead. Rock and a hard place.


  32. - Cassandra - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 12:47 pm:

    Why must we go around and around and around some more.

    Significant savings in the pension plan can only come from diminishment of those pensions. Diminishment-that is, dinging the pensioners-is unconstitutional. Tinkering around the edges is a waste of time. Taxpayers will have to pay for the, er, miscalculations of past political leaders. We’ll have to pay up or move out (of state). Entirely up to us. Of course, there is still the question of which taxpayers do the paying. But both parties seem reluctant to talk about that part. Easier to pretend that there is another magic solution out there. There isn’t.


  33. - DPGumby - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 1:16 pm:

    “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”


  34. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    == Pay the current pension tab, by taxes or however.
    Change the pension law going forward for new employees.
    Wait for those in the system to quit before vesting or if vested die? ==

    Basically correct.

    However, the term “vest” doesn’t necessarily apply in the same way it does in the private sector. You have a property right in it from day 1 of employment based on the formula for calculating the pension. There are certain minimums you have to meet to actually collect it, such as at least 8 years of service or being age 60 or Rule of 85, but you always have the right to it.

    And as far as changing things going forward, I’m going to start sounding like -OW- on another subject:

    How are you going to do something cheaper than Tier 2? With it’s reduced benefits and increased contributions, Tier 2 is completely paid for by the employee contributions. What is cheaper for the State than free?


  35. - Lucien - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    Could pension debt be privatized?

    Could we structure a system where people volunteer to take buyouts that are handled by private companies? For example: you want to explore buyout options due to medical expenses or other large expenses that you have. You reach out to a private financial company, who offers options for you using realtime financial data from the state. If you choose a buyout option, the state funds the buyout and ceases pension payments, or just accelerates your payments at a lower overall cost. This is all voluntary, of course. The company gets a small cut for the work of structuring the buyouts so that the pension members have an incentive to bite, but the state pays out less overall.

    This could all be done over the web with a low overhead for these companies. The tech industry in Chicago could be players in this industry.

    The private companies could compete, and the ones that create the most savings for the state could be given the highest reward. In theory it would solve the problems of past buyout plans that were too expensive for the state.

    I would think buyout plans could be structured that many people have a real incentive to take advantage of them, but also on the whole are less expensive for the state to fund than it would be to continue to pay the pension.

    Isn’t that the principal that the consumer loan / credit card market is based on? People love those. Give me money now, and I’ll pay you back more than I borrowed. If the person had just waited until they had the money, they would have been better off, but for whatever reason, they needed or wanted the money up front.

    If structured properly, couldn’t the state take advantage of this fact of life? And it would be truly voluntary. I get the risk involved and the past failures of plans like these, but man, someone out there should be able to strike this financial balance. Especially given the alternatives.


  36. - ERI – Response - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 1:37 pm:

    I dont think you can compare past ERIs to one now.  Why?  There were no TIER II employees with the last ERI.

     

    An Early Retirement Incentive (ERI) option would help resolve the issue of moving State employees to TIER II and help reduce the financial issues with the pension funds.  Isn’t that what the Governor wants to do?

    An ERI could drastically reduce the number of TIER I employees. 

    All new hires are TIER II and would be hired at lower salaries.  They cannot draw their pensions until age 67; there is an earning cap; no rule of 85; Final Average Compensation calculation lower and the COLA is reduced.

    People say that it’s not financially feasible.  Have the calculations been made adding the TIER II employees into the equation?      

    An ERI would not cause lawsuits or raise any constitutional issues. 


  37. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 1:39 pm:

    == SURS already has the “reduce pension now and increase survivor benefit”. The retiree has to choose it at time of retirement. It goes by actuary tables of age of retiree and age of the spouse. It is revenue neutral, it costs the state nothing. I think some of the other systems have something similar. ==

    Wasn’t aware of that. Don’t remember that being an option offered under SERS. All I remember is that if you were unmarried at retirement and not subject to a divorce court order, you were refunded the extra money you paid in for the spousal benefit.

    Question: how does that affect the government pension offset state rule that reduces the survivor’s State pension by a portion of the increased survivor’s SS benefit?


  38. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 1:40 pm:

    == I don’t see any discussion about increasing the contribution rates for employees, am I missing something or is that constitutional? ==

    Unconstitutional unless there is an increased benefit to go along with the increased contribution.


  39. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 1:45 pm:

    == Could we structure a system where people volunteer to take buyouts that are handled by private companies? ==

    Take is the essence of the Rauner “pension theft” plan … but only at a much reduced benefit level. One proposal is to base it on 75% of current value without including survivor benefits. Another is worse in that it doesn’t include the value of the 3% AAI.


  40. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 1:58 pm:

    As a State employee, the last voluntary thing I gave up was deferring a negotiated pay raise. The gov. then proceeded to reneg and even fought it in court. No thanks!


  41. - State Engineer - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 2:40 pm:

    As a 20yr state employee I can take some consideration say 2,500 acres of Panther Creek deeded to me free and clear. /s


  42. - Steve - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 2:55 pm:

    Madiar and Cullerton had a bad day, assuming one thinks there is more to life than simply being “right.” I’m not sure why people seem to think otherwise. They have been loudly proclaiming for years now that they have the one true answer: Consideration. Everything else is unconstitutional. And today the court said ordinary contract principles allow for modification of pension benefits. It specifically stated “nothing prohibits an employee from knowingly and voluntarily agreeing to a modify pension benefits from an employer in exchange for valid consideration from the employer.” So they were correct after all that consideration is the method needed to alter benefits.

    But Cullerton’s plan (with Madiar as architect) based on their consideration theory, as I understand it, is to give workers essentially two options that would be unconstitutional on their own and tell them to pick. Somehow the magic of this “choice” creates consideration they believe would pass constitutional muster.

    The problem, however, is that those two choices would be unconscionable under ordinary contract principles, thereby negating the “deal.” An unconscionable contract is one that is totally one-sided or oppressive. Under the Cullerton plan, workers can’t keep the pension benefits they currently have (which are constitutionally protected) because the state really needs to reduce benefits. So workers are forced to decide which of the options is least bad for them. This isn’t valid consideration: it’s duress. And any first-year law student will tell you a contract made under duress is unenforceable.

    There is simply no way the Supreme Court, after Kanerva, Heaton, and now Jones, is going to say basic contract principles allow the state to force workers to pick from two worse alternatives from what they currently have. The court has said consideration may be used. But consideration gives the state no leverage to change benefits.

    So, Madiar’s consideration theory may have been right all along. Cullerton may be vindicated for insisting he was correct. But at what cost? At this point the state is left three options: (1) raise taxes to cover the pension hole; (2) offer valid consideration to each pension fund member individually for changes in their future benefits (basically that means a cash buyout or giving them time to count towards their pension); or (3) amended the constitution. I suppose there is a fourth option: do nothing and see if the pension systems dries up.

    Madiar and Cullerton have been insistent, and, it appears, their theory has finally carried the day. But it has carried the day with such overwhelming force that the state is now left in a very uncomfortable corner with no good options out. I assume both men care about the future of this state. So I can’t imagine they feel “vindicated” today.


  43. - Ratso Rizzo - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 3:45 pm:

    Give me 5 years of age and 5 years of time and I will leave tomorrow and forego compounded interest for simple interest in retirement. That’s the only consideration Id ever consider. Anything else would be a waste of time and effort.


  44. - Andy S. - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 3:47 pm:

    In answer to RNUG’s question on the GPO in Social Security, there is no offset if you are receiving payments not based on your own work record. So you can get survivor’s benefits from SURS and the GPO does not apply for the widow’s benefit based on your spouse’s earnings record.


  45. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 4:29 pm:

    - Ratso Rizzo -

    Do the math and you will change your mind. You’ll probably be forfeiting over $100K for a normal life expectancy.


  46. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 4:31 pm:

    - Andy S. -

    Thanks. It didn’t work that way under SERS as it was explained to me in 2002.


  47. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 4:34 pm:

    -Steve-

    Nothing has changed from several years ago except the hole got a bit deeper and some more legal bills were incurred. The State still has to pay it sooner or later. And changing the State Constitution won’t make any difference tonanyone already in the systems.


  48. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 4:37 pm:

    -Steve-

    Actually, there is a very valid option. Make the Edgar ramp payments as scheduled and everything will be fine. It’s not that we can’t; we just don’t want to.


  49. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 4:39 pm:

    ===It’s not that we can’t; we just don’t want to. ===

    Yep. Doing it requires more revenue. Period.


  50. - Super - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 4:47 pm:

    — RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 4:29 pm:
    – Ratso Rizzo -
    -Do the math and you will change your mind. You’ll probably be forfeiting over $100K for a normal life expectancy.

    If the math includes using those extra years to work at another job, maybe even part-time, then it could work out that you make more.


  51. - Steve - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 4:57 pm:

    RNUG, you’re right. That was my option 1.


  52. - Ratso Rizzo - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 4:57 pm:

    - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 4:29 pm:

    - Ratso Rizzo -

    Do the math and you will change your mind. You’ll probably be forfeiting over $100K for a normal life expectancy.

    I don’t disagree with you, but $100k for 5 years of my life would be worth it to me. It would also allow me to do something else at 5 years younger. This is a true “consideration” scenario.


  53. - DuPage - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 6:05 pm:

    @RNUG 1:39 ==government pension state rule==

    SURS employers, for all but a handful of recipients, do not pay into the social security system. Any social security most SURS retirees get is from work for non-SURS employers.
    For most SERS the state also pays into social security.


  54. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 7:12 pm:

    - DuPage -

    Thanks. Coordinated (state pension & SS) SERS survivor’s take a ding on their state pensions because of the GPO rule.


  55. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 7:24 pm:

    RNUG, the option to “take less-leave more for surviving spouse” is generally called the reversionary option. I don’t recall at the moment if it’s in the SERS Article-utilization is pretty rare under SURS and TRS.


  56. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 8:27 pm:

    RNUG makes some great points, let me offer this view:

    Any plan that provides employees with true voluntary consideration of either the compensation they are already guaranteed or some other compensation scheme is going to be a money loser, it is only a question of how much.

    Individually, public employees have already self-selected as a group that is inheritly risk-averse financially. Any enticement to give up the bird in the hand is going to be significant on average to try to move the herd.

    But the herd will split, and only those who will see a benefit that is extraordinarily large will take it.

    RNUG, I agree, it is impossible to think that the Cullerton bill, as written, would pass muster.

    BTW, a constitutional amendment is not gonna pass.

    You all couldn’t even get half of the House Republicans to vote for SB 1. Republicans will vote to raise taxes before they will undermine the pensions of every school district, city, county, university and state employee and retiree.


  57. - noname - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 9:14 pm:

    I read earlier that some think they should a 5/5 buy out. If they did it I would accept 1 1/2% cola for the amount of years I buy then have it go to the normal 3%. They say that 36% of the IT employees will be eligible to retire in 2 years. I am one of them and I would do the deal if it was offered.


  58. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 9:46 pm:

    == I read earlier that some think they should a 5/5 buy out. If they did it I would accept 1 1/2% cola for the amount of years I buy then have it go to the normal 3%. ==

    -noname-, That is an interesting twist that lowers the overall cost slightly, both up front and long-term. Don’t think anyone has made that specific suggestion before.

    -AA- & -Norseman-, what’s your thoughts on it?


  59. - X-prof - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:27 pm:

    - Steve - Cullerton is right that consideration-based changes can be constitutional (this is well known), but judging from the content of his bill, he has no idea what consideration means. A coerced choice between two diminishments, where retaining the status quo is off the table, is not consideration. Cullerton’s proposal does not pass constitutional muster –– end of story. On balance, he’s wrong. That’s not winning the day in my book.

    Is it really possible that our Senate President or someone on his staff doesn’t get this?


  60. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 10:36 pm:

    RNUG, this is an approach I’ve never seen before. The big question would be the percentage rate for the years of purchased service. We know from experience that 20% per year (plus 4% from a few employers) was insufficient to cover the old ERI. The problem with the estimates for the “old ERI” was not just the rates, though-participation was woefully underestimated. I am “SWAG-ing” here but I’m guessing that a rate of 30% or more may be required to break even here, not allowing for any costs/benefits related to the temporary reduction in AAI.


  61. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:13 pm:

    RNUG, I have to defer to AA and your superior knowledge on the subject. I’m not sure the minor savings would be enough to make the effort worthwhile. Besides, who knows whether any legislation of significance will pass the GA given the current environment.


  62. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 24, 16 @ 11:22 pm:

    - X-prof - ,

    Eric Madiar was Fullerton’s legal expert; he’s no longer on staff. That’s all you need to know …


  63. - X-prof - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:02 am:

    Thanks, RNUG. That was all I needed to know … at least after I googled a bit to learn about Madiar. I still have a lot to learn about who’s who in Springfield, but a few more pieces fell into place.


  64. - ERI – Response - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 7:11 am:

    All

    It’s not about the short term cost of an ERI, it’s about getting more TIER II employees and less TIER I employees. It’s about the long term benefits to the pension fund. The power is in the TIER II pension rules.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo marks 150th anniversary
* EXCHANGE: Pitcher's ordeal ramps up look at protective masks

* Illinois GOP chairman re-elected; Republicans display unity
* GoFundMe makes saving Lincoln artifacts modern, accessible
* Gov. Rauner ally Ken Dunkin given $70K Chicago post
* Madigan wants information on governor's Legionnaires' fix
* State lawmaker to SIU president: 'Go to hell, sir'
* Bill permitting medical marijuana use in schools goes to Rauner
* Madigan: Rauner's death penalty proposal to get hearing Monday
* Illinois Senate approves $40,000 minimum salary for teachers
* Justice Charles Freeman announces retirement from Illinois Supreme Court
* Under the Dome Podcast: Death penalty. Guns. ERA. GOP unity.

* Trump taps Ron Gidwitz to be Belgian ambassador
* Art Institute uses data to give visitors what they want
* Crain's wins 4 Chicago journalism awards
* A tougher carjacking law is about crime, not race, says police chief
* Crain's largest publicly traded companies


* Let Illinois towns pass assault weapons bans
* Woman struck and killed by car on Southwest Side, driver arrested
* The great eatdoors: 20 spots to eat al fresco this summer
* 10 wounded overnight in city shootings
* Chicago archdiocese still evaluating what to do with ‘cardinal’s mansion’
* Man shot in middle of street in Austin neighborhood
* Woman, 25, shot on South Side
* The Chicago Sun-Times guide to summer
* 2 motorcyclists injured in south suburban hit-and-run crash
* Shooting wounds man inside Lawndale business


* Tina Fey brings famous friends and her Sarah Palin impression to 'SNL' finale
* 'Saturday Night Live' parodies the royal wedding reception
* Woman hit, killed by car in alcohol-related crash
* 13 hours in Chicago: 17 shot, 1 fatally, including 13-year-old boy
* What happens when the bully apologizes 60 years later and the story goes public? 'Amazing grace.'
* After Lombard teen severely burned in bonfire explosion, friends bring prom to her
* Expectant parent worries about 'thirdhand smoke'
* Why it's so hard to help with your kid's math homework
* Duplex-down condo in Lincoln Park: $965,000
* CTA to add new HD security cameras, using ride-share money


» The Quandary Behind A Quincy Legionnaires’ Victim’s Death: ‘Where The Heck Was She?’
» State Week: Gun Bills And The Death Penalty, GOP Leadership Fight
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Biss Endorses Pritzker
» The Week in Review: Obama Presidential Center Gets City’s Approval
» Should The Voting Age Be Lowered?; ‘Hamilton: The Exhibition’; Food As Medicine; Rescuing Tortoises
» Voices Of Chicagoland's Opioid Crisis: Nick Kanehl And Marty Cook
» How To Stop Gun Violence? Just Ask
» #651 John Prine, Opinions on Courtney Barnett & Scott Hutchison
» May 17, 2018 - Full Show
» Obama Presidential Center Clears First Hurdle


* Our View: Another disappointing lack of transparency in Illinois government
* Ralph Martire: Illinois can't afford Rauner's budget 'savings' rhetoric
* BGA: Redistricting reform can't be blocked forever
* Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln: Forging ahead to serve those who came before us
* Statehouse Insider: Is the happy talk for real?
* Illinois GOP chairman re-elected; Republicans display unity
* GoFundMe makes saving Lincoln artifacts modern, accessible
* Our View: Support legislation that would halt newsprint tariffs
* Guest View: National infrastructure initiative must meet the needs of rural America
* Lisa Madigan: Illinois must continue to invest in vital legal aid organizations


* Vermilion County church bombings 20 years later
* Lewis Elementary School students write about what is important to them
* 'In the blink of an eye'
* Service to honor survivors of bombing
* DACC names Pate as Distinguished Alumnus
* Decatur and Macon County neighbors: Obituaries published today
* On the Town: Women's Building Clinic
* Do It Yourself Concert
* North Ridge student wins state award
* Local family heirloom unveiled amid royal wedding buzz


* Prince Harry, Meghan Markle's wedding combines British reserve, American verve
* British royal family thanks those who celebrated wedding
* Cougar kills 1 mountain biker, injures 2nd near Seattle
* Rozner: Chicago White Sox games not great, but Steve Stone is
* Facts Matter: Manure dumped on boss's suburban lawn ­-- false

* Hultgren talks gun control after St. Charl...
* Lobbying intensifies for advance refunding...
* Letter: Hultgren isn't good for the enviro...
* PPP: Rodney Davis up by only 3, Hultgren a...
* Letter: Let's fix the Trump issue - Northw...
* Blockchain Is 'World-Changing', Says US Co...
* Congressional Hearing on UFOs Suggested by...
* Paulsen initiates bipartisan request on pr...
* How the Public Finance Network will push C...
* Congressional town halls: Old-fashioned an...

* Sunday Extra | War with Iran is a bad idea...
* Halpin named to passenger rail commission...
* Figuring out alternatives to prison...
* How area members of Congress voted last week...
* Our View: Support legislation that would h......

* Halpin named to passenger rail commission...
* Senators urge Trump to combat anti-Semitism...
* Legion legislation a good first step to he......
* Bill would make attack aboard train federa......
* Legislation Would Make Attack Aboard Train......

* Free Digital Badge Toolkit Helps Students Show Off Their 21st Century Skills
* Why One Professor Prefers Electronic Ink Over Fancy Tablets
* 7 Roles for Artificial Intelligence in Education
* 2018’s Cities with the Most & Least Student Debt
* It’s time to break silos, look at education as a continuum, leaders say
* Connecticut calls its new Cybersecurity Action Plan a ‘call to arms’
* Are Etextbooks Affordable Now? In a bid to gain market share, publishers have slashed the cost of digital textbooks
* Campus network security officials step up fight against cyberattacks
* Can I get a witness? Illinois has not paid the teacher retirement health system in 17 months. $10 million short a month.
* Milwaukee. 1968.


* Rend Lake Water Conservancy District Water Main Break
* Statement from Gov. Rauner
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May
* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield

  
* Counter-terrorism police get real training from virtual terrorists
* Here are the winners of the 2018 Nebula Awards
* 6 things I learned marketing for startups (and early stage companies)
* This is what really happens in a Verizon store, according to a store veteran
* The new phones of week 20
* Tinder terms take away your right to sue or file a class action suit
* Got a Snapdragon-powered PC? Sprint has free LTE with your name on it

* Jimenez racks up season-high 4 hits
* Methup X, success! Chisox nip Texas, 5-3
* White Sox Minor League Update: May 19, 2018
* Palka's 2-run triple helps lift White Sox to win
* Palka's 2-run triple lifts White Sox to win
* Security guard catches foul ball in net
* Palka's 2-run triple helps lift White Sox to win


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