In another attempt to grab headlines, McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks has proposed a resolution to prevent current countywide elected officials from participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension program
According to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, a County Board does not have that power.
Already two such officials, Sheriff Bill Prim and Recorder of Deeds Joe Tirio are non-participants.
I remember another, Coroner Dr. Anne Majewski, telling me she didn’t want to be in IMRF, but, perhaps the way some County Board members joined without realizing they had, she apparently signed some paperwork at the beginning of her service that she didn’t realize authorized her participation and now can’t get out. (She told me she would rather manage her own retirement money.)
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Anne Majewski post correcting comment, which you can read below:
Cal, you are uninformed and Joe Tirio abd Bill Prim have not signed papers to opt out of IMRF.
There are no papers to opt out only to opt in.
All their W 2s show they,are pension eligible.
I inquired in Jan 2013 discussing with County Admin Sarbaugh and,assistant and witH IRMF,and was told I cannot opt out because of resolution signed by Chairman Tryon.
You misrepresented me.
I never,signed the wrong firm I also do not take County,Health insurance,as I do not believe government should fund or control that for electeds.
Get the facts straight.
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It seems to me that by not signing up, the Sheriff and Recorder opted out, as did County Board member Andrew Gasser. See “Andrew Gasser Fulfills Two Campaign Promises” in which are posted his waivers of health insurance and IMRF pension participation, the later of which is posted below:
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Here’s the law:
Sec. 7-137. Participating and covered employees.
(a) The persons described in this paragraph (a) shall be included within and be subject to this Article and eligible to benefits from this fund, beginning upon the dates hereinafter specified:
1. Except as to the employees specifically excluded under the provisions of this Article, all persons who are employees of any municipality (or instrumentality thereof) or participating instrumentality on the effective date of participation of the municipality or participating instrumentality beginning upon such effective date.
2. Except as to the employees specifically excluded under the provisions of this Article, all persons, who became employees of any participating municipality (or instrumentality thereof) or participating instrumentality after the effective date of participation of such municipality or participating instrumentality, beginning upon the date such person becomes an employee.
3. All persons who file notice with the board as provided in paragraph (b) 2 and 3 of this Section, beginning upon the date of filing such notice.
(b) The following described persons shall not be considered participating employees eligible for benefits from this fund, but shall be included within and be subject to this Article (each of the descriptions is not exclusive but is cumulative):
1. Any person who occupies an office or is employed in a position normally requiring performance of duty during less than 600 hours a year for a municipality (including all instrumentalities thereof) or a participating instrumentality. If a school treasurer performs services for more than one school district, the total number of hours of service normally required for the several school districts shall be considered to determine whether he qualifies under this paragraph;
2. Except as provided in items 2.5, 2.6, and 2.7, any person who holds elective office, unless he or she has elected while in that office in a written notice on file with the board to become a participating employee;
Another county, Will County, tried to do what Franks is proposing in the Human Resources Committee tomorrow at 8:30. (Listen to it here. One has to wait until 8:30 for the audio to start.)
The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office gave its opinion on a similar proposal.
You can hear the Assistant State’s Attorney in the following YouTube recording (which, one can notice is not only audio, as is the case in McHenry County, but video.)
If you don’t want to listen to the recording, the relevant opinion from the Will County Assistant State’s Attorney is below:
“Whether you act of not, there is no way you could in any way affect the ability to receive a pension…[for countrywide elected officials].
After hearing the opinion, the County Board removed that item from its agenda.
Given the likelihood that the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office would come to the same conclusion, it is difficult to characterize Jack Franks’ efforts to take pensions away from those countywide mentioned in the 1970 Illinois State Constitution as anything other than a publicity stunt.
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I remember being given the option of participating in IMRF when I took office as McHenry County Treasurer in December, 1966.
At age 24, I declined.
A year or so later, I changed my mind.
After buying in the time I had missed, those four years of credit were added to my legislative pension credits (which were augmented by four years working for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services) to provide me with twenty-four years of pension credit leading to the generous pension for which I thank you.