The Illinois House passed pension reform legislation, HB 1165, today that would raise the retirement age to 67 for those hired after January 1, 2011. The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook), passed 66-50.
The bill, if passed, would also change the cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for pensions, making the three percent annual increase only applicable to the first $25,000 of an individual's pension as opposed to their entire pension account, as it currently stands.
The House bill also pushes back COLAs to begin at age 67, or five years after the pensioner retires; for current retirees, one of the two would have to be met before COLAs took effect. The bill would impact the pensions of downstate teachers, university employees, state workers and lawmakers. The bill would not apply to judges.
The We Are Coalition spoke out against the bill passed today by the House as well as pension reform legislation passed in the Senate yesterday.
"We remain opposed to measures passed by the House and Senate this week," reads a statement by the coalition. "We will continue to advocate for coalition-supported solutions that have been negotiated with the unions who represent those affected by pension changes. Public workers and retirees did not cause this problem, but our coalition will continue to try to solve it through a fair, constitutional solution, such as SB 2404 or HB 3162."
HB 1165 now heads to the state Senate.