Like you, I recognize that the threat to Illinois' public employee pensions is an existential one. We always must be vigilant when it comes to our pensions and the threat of pension theft. The ruling of the Illinois Supreme Court confirmed the language of the 1970 Constitution, known as the pension protection clause that prohibited any reduction or impairment of our retirement benefits. For the current period, I think that current retirees are therefore protected. I also think the Court extended this protection to all current employees. The pension protection clause covers them from the time they were hired and entered into the pension system. Do you agree?
“Thus, a State employee’s pension rights are ‘governed by the actual terms of the Pension Code at the time the employee becomes a member of the pension system.’ Di Falco v. Bd. of Trustees of Firemen’s Pension Fund of Wood Dale Fire Protection Dist. No. 1, 122 Ill.2d 22, 26 (1988); see also McNamee v. State, 173 Ill.2d 433, 439 (1996); People ex rel. Sklodowski v. State, 182 Ill.2d 220, 229 (1998)…
“In 20 years, when Tier II members are a significant majority in TRS, the subsidy they pay will cause a reduction in the state’s annual contribution. Eventually, the state will not owe any annual contribution to TRS because the members will be paying the entire cost. This is fundamentally unfair to Tier II members.”