About Half of Legislative Pensions Increased 3% July 1st, Health Benefit Deductions of 1% Begin for All State Retirees

Illinois State Capitol on a late May afternoon.

Illinois State Capitol on a late May afternoon.

It’s unlikely that many, if any, current members of the Illinois General Assembly know it, but their delaying pension reform past the end of June benefited about half of their retired colleagues.

Who won?

Those with birthdays in the first half of the year.

That includes me.

So my pension, which was about $80,000 before the so-called Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (inflation went up 1.7% during 2012) will increase about $2,400.

My pension (for sixteen years in the Illinois House, four years as McHenry County Treasurer and four years in the Department of Central Management Services) increased 3% with the start of the State’s Fiscal Year, which is July 1st.

Ninety-two legislative retirees got the pension bump.  You can see who here.

You will see that past statewide elected officials are given benefits under the General Assembly Retirement System.  It’s an interesting list, including a former Governor, Congressmen, past and present, a Federal Judge and legislators.  The “Ryan,” by the way, is not George.  It’s former Attorney General Jim Ryan.

The cost will be about $13,000 per month or $156,000 for twelve months.

The increase was offset by the requirement for all those receiving state pensions to pay 1% of their pension amount for health insurance.  Next year, the law the General Assembly passed last year will require a 2% payment.

There are also large increases in deductibles for those with state retiree health benefits.

I assume all state retirees are forced to sign up for Medicare upon reaching age 65.  I was.


About Half of Legislative Pensions Increased 3% July 1st, Health Benefit Deductions of 1% Begin for All State Retirees — 1 Comment

  1. Well that link contains an eye opening list.

    State pensions should be for retired folks.

    Whatever rules apply to Social Security about working and receiving the benefit should apply to State Pensions.

    Apparently Jan Shakowsky and Randy Hultgren are current US Congressmen receiving a GARS pension.

    Peter Roskam is not on the list

    Judy Biggert (defeated last election) is on the list and the date next to her name is 6/29/2000, does that mean she was receiving a General Assembly Retirement System pension from then till her defeat in 2012.

    Allowing public employees (teachers, state employees, University employees, county, municipal, park district, etc.) to retire early in most cases is ridiculously expensive to taxpayers.

    Not only is there the pension which in most cases far more generous than the vast majority of private pensions and 401k’s and social security.

    There is also the special early retiree healthcare insurance not available to taxpayers outside those special interest groups.

    Such early retiree healthcare insurance typically has very generous benefits at low or no cost to the retiree.

    And then the taxpayer has to foot the bill for the employees down the food chain promoted due to the retirement, or the employee that is ultimately hired due the retirement.

    So adding all that up early retirement rarely saves the taxpayer a dime.

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