Saturday, March 9, 2013

HB 1154, Amendment #7

from the Illinois Association of School Administrators

“The Illinois House of Representatives took the first step, albeit a small one, towards acting on pension reform legislation. In House floor action Thursday, members approved an amendment that would cap salaries for pensionable purposes to mirror the limit currently used under the Social Security Act. This would apply to all State pension systems, including the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS).

“House Amendment #7 to HB 1154 states that when calculating a TRS member's pension in the future, the salary used in the calculation could not be more than the Social Security limit (currently just over $113,000), or the most recent salary of the participant (based on the person's salary 365 days before this law would be enacted). The amendment was adopted onto the bill, but the bill is still pending on the House floor.

“House Speaker Michael Madigan allowed for votes on a few pension amendments this week as he did last week. This is the first pension amendment that has gained approval. This will likely not be the bill that will ultimately contain pension reform legislation as discussions and negotiations will continue over the next several weeks in both the House and the Senate. However, given this preliminary approval, it certainly makes it much more likely that a pensionable salary cap will be part of the final pension ‘solution.’

“Last week amendments failed to raise the retirement age for the State's pension systems and for eliminating the cost of living adjustment (COLA). This week another COLA amendment failed along with an amendment to increase the employee's pension contribution to 4% of salary. Both Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton indicated that there could be action taken on pension legislation next week…”

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