* Jake Griffin at the Daily Herald…
Most people have to wait until they’re out of a job to begin collecting retirement benefits they accrued while working there.
That’s not the case for at least 13 part-time suburban county board members who are receiving as much as $82,124 in annual pension payouts from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund for jobs in which they’re still getting salaries of $21,000 to $43,018.
Six Lake County Board members are receiving the pensions, as are three each in McHenry and Will counties and one in Kane County, a Daily Herald examination of IMRF beneficiaries shows. A fourth Will County board member just filed paperwork this month to begin collecting his pension while still on the board and receiving a $23,000 annual salary, IMRF officials noted in a response to a public records request to the agency.
So… wait. They’re being paid pensions for their county board service while they’re still serving on the same county boards?
* How the heck did this happen?…
They get the retirement benefit while still working as a result of a 2016 law aimed at pension reform, which eliminated their ability to keep working toward a pension if they don’t provide documentation proving they worked at least 1,000 hours a year, or about 19 hours a week.
Many elected leaders chose not to submit timesheets and were kicked out of the retirement plan — but their previous participation in the plan allowed them to begin collecting their pensions even though they were still on the job.
If county board members “chose” not to submit their timesheets, do you think that means they might not have been able to justify their previous claims of time they supposedly put in? Or, I suppose it’s possible that they just don’t like filling out paperwork to receive a pension.
Either way, never underestimate the determination of people to take full advantage of “reforms.”
Go read the rest, particularly the bit about Will County board member James Moustis.