Rauner makes new push for pension plan

Jul 8, 2015

Credit Peoria Public Radio

In the midst of a budget stalemate ... Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he's re-introducing his five-point agenda, with some changes.  The Republican is also putting out a new pension plan.

Put aside, just for a minute, Illinois' immediate fiscal problem of having no spending plan in place, and the chaos that could bring. The state still has the nation's biggest unfunded pension liability. Illinois’ Supreme Court tossed lawmakers' last plan for dealing with it.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he'll soon introduce a new, 500 page proposal.

"What we've tried to do, is incorporate the ideas of all the various leaders to create an opportunity for significant cost savings in the pension systems throughout the state of Illinois."

Details are forthcoming. But broadly, Rauner's plan gives state employees and public school teachers a choice: take a smaller retirement benefit immediately, or take a smaller benefit down the line by choosing to forgo having future salary hikes count toward your pension.

The package would also give municipalities struggling to keep up with police and firefighter pensions more time to make their payments. And it makes special plans for Chicago and Cook County.