Pension Debate



A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton says he will keep working to pass a pension reform bill he believes can survive a court challenge.
 
Rikeesha Phelon says Cullerton and fellow Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan have "the same goal but different approaches" to solving Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.
 
Madigan filed his pension plan on Tuesday. It caps the salary on which a pension can be based at $110,000 and limits annual cost-of-living increases.
 
Madigan's legislation also removes language from a plan backed by Cullerton that got Senate approval last month. Cullerton's plan offers affected state-government employees and teachers a choice of benefits instead of unilaterally cutting them. 
 
Cullerton believes the state must give retirees a choice in benefits in order for the legislation to be considered constitutional.
 
Republicans in the Senate also have ideas for pension reform.
 
State Sen. Bill Brady says his plan will cut the cash flow requirements by 150 billion dollars over 30 years and presumably reduce the required contribution for the first year by $2 billion.
 
State Sen. Jim Oberweis’ plan would restructure the pensions into a 401k-like system.
 
State Sen. Kyle McCarter would create a third tier for pensions, and allow schools to fire cafeteria staff, janitors, grounds crew and bus drivers, for third party contractors that don’t provide health care or retirement benefit 

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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