A press release from David McSweeney:
Rep. David McSweeney Introduces Measure to Prohibit New Legislators from Participating in the Legislative Pension System
Springfield, IL – State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) has introduced legislation to end the legislative pension system for new members of the General Assembly.
“I have voluntarily opted out of the legislative pension system since I became a member of the General Assembly.
“I think it sends the wrong message to taxpayers to force them to fund legislative pensions when the state can’t pay its own bills,” McSweeney said.
“Right now, opting out of the legislative pension system is voluntary.
“My legislation would eliminate the pension system for new members.”
House Bill 293 would prevent newly appointed or elected legislators from participating in the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) beginning in the next General Assembly in 2020.
Lawmakers receive excessive benefits when compared to other public servants.
Under the GARS formula, lawmakers are able to receive up to 85 percent of their salary as of the last day of service, whereas Tier 1 teachers in Illinois can only receive 75 percent.
A lawmaker need only work 20 years to reach their maximum percentage, compared to 34 years for Tier 1 teachers.
“Being a state legislator is supposed to be about public service,” McSweeney said. “Service should not be about receiving lifetime pension benefits. If we want to end the egregious legislator pensions, we must enact legislation to do it.”
House Bill 293 has been introduced and awaits assignment to a House Committee.