Ill. House Reconsiders Closing Pension Loopholes

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Some Illinois lawmakers are having second thoughts about cracking down on pension abuses by union officials, including two lobbyists who qualified for teacher pensions by spending a single day in the classroom.

The General Assembly approved legislation last month that was meant to take pension benefits away from those lobbyists and others who are getting government pension benefits for time they spent working in unions.

But now, key House Democrats say the legislation may be unconstitutional. They say it’s not legal to take benefits away after someone has earned them, even by questionable means.

An Illinois House pension committee voted 5-3 Sunday for a new bill closing such loopholes in the future but doing nothing about people who have already taken advantage.

Republicans opposed the change.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Wolf

    What a farce these public sector pension are a total fraud closing the loopholes does not address the problem that is destroying America …this corruption and fraud is conducted by both the Dems and Repubs as they rape and rob the citizens…with their multi-millionaire pension scam…

  • Just the average Joe

    Lets see, union official substitute teaches for one day, retires at 59, gets 3% COLA as guaranteed by state, starting pension 125K per year, lives to be 85. So what has this person earned in pension? Try this on for size, an ending year pension at 85 of $ 269,573, for a lifetime pension cost of $ 4,963,704.00. Thats right, almost five million dollars, not a bad days work if you can get it. Which legislature member see the justice in this? At least allow these guys to contest their poor treatment in court. They got to earn it somehow, right.

  • tom Sharp

    Why is it illegal? Maybe because Madigan and Cullerton made it that way? Hey Lisa, your old man is the biggest crook in the world, what are you doing about it? Can’t wait til you run for governor!

  • LOTD

    “But now, key House Democrats say the legislation may be unconstitutional” KEY WORD, democrat!!! Fuking b@ st ards!!!

  • Linda

    What ever happened to having to work at least twenty years before drawing a pension ? These subs can fill-in one day and collect a pension, what the heck is that about ?

  • tj

    OK, lets name these key democrates and then vote them out of office, when they come up for reelection. I agree with average Joe, pass the bill and let them hire lawyers to get it back.

  • Just the Average Joe

    The state constitution must be changed, and this really isn’t going to be a choice. The state of IL has the least percentage of funding for promised benefits of any state in the union. The 3% COLA, has got to be stopped, not because we dislike public employees, but because it is not finically sustainable. The example above was from a spread sheet I configured using a starting pension and the 3% raise each year. If taxes are raised, either property or income, then we are going to see some additional job movement out of state. Many of us will retire in the next few years, and we are under no requirement to continue to live here, with the taxes that will be needed to pay for the rich benefits of public employees and their unions. Beyond the fact that we can’t afford them, it’s simply not fair to ask the average citizen that works in the private sector to pay additional tax to support the golden pension plans that are only in the public sector. I can’t, I won’t, and you can’t make me pay it, and it is not reasonable, fair, or equitable, even if it is constitutional.

    • Mike W

      I wish these “golden pensions” existed to the extent most of you think they do. I’d sign up for it in a heartbeat. Most of your front line teachers (you know, the ones who actually TEACH, rather than trying to game the system) aren’t going to be seeing ANYTHING near that level of pension.

      • Just the Average Joe

        Mike, most of the teachers will not see 100K plus pensions, but many will. I appreciate the teachers and the jobs they do, but that doesn’t justify the excessive pensions and certainly not the 3% COLA every year, not just for teachers but all state workers. Those pensions are golden, by any standard. The teachers don’t pay into SS, which the private sector does. The contributions the state workers contribute to their pensions doesn’t come anywhere near close to paying for the benefits they receive. The taxpayer is on the hook for the cost, and it is excessive, wrong, unfair, ridiculous, and the biggest scam with the largest net of any state program.

  • mike mike

    Why is this article so vague? “some lawmakers”, “key democrats” just give us the names so we can vote these idiots out on the next election.

  • Jim Hamilton

    They say it’s not legal to take benefits away after someone has earned them, even by questionable means.


    another key word “EARNED”

  • Sickened

    This is just sick. They need to end these lavish pensions for public workers. They should retire at 62 like all the rest of us, not 52. Max benefit should be 55k a year, not 75% of their pay that nobody in America gets in the private sector. School teachers collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for the rest of their lives for teaching kids how to bounce a ball. It’s disgusting that public workers don’t get layed off like the rest of the US, they just retire.

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