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Senate President John Cullerton has proposed changing current employee cost of living adjustment from 3% compounding to 3% simple, or half the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower. Senator Cullerton estimates that this will have a lifetime savings of $250,000 per retiree. In exchange for the COLA reduction the Illinois General Assembly would be locked into a funding arrangement that guarantees a funding status of at least 90% by 2045.

Instituting the Cullerton plan for Cook County would reduce the current employee COLA liability, but significantly increase County contributions. Cook County currently contributes a 1.54 multiple of the employee’s contribution two years prior and to reach a funding goal of 90% by 2045 the County’s contributions would have to almost double every year.  Doubling the contribution amounts would require an increase in County property taxes or significant cuts to County public health and public safety programs.

3 Responses to Illinois Senate President John Cullerton – Pension Proposal 2012

  1. chuck424 says:

    It would not be fair to change benefits for current retirees.
    These changes should only affect new retirees.

  2. tboltz1020 says:

    If your taking away for the retirees, you better include all you lawmakers and close the loopholes. Don’t forget when a cook county board president had to be appointed after the tragic death of John Stroger. That president spent four months in that capacity and over doubled the retirement salary. That in itself was a gross abuse of the system. We have to work 33 years to get 80% and she did it in FOUR MONTHS!
    So when you start messing with the retirements, Start with yourselves. Of the top ten salaries for Cook County, They are all Doctors making From $450,000.00 to $275,000.00. Start with them too!

  3. Nate says:

    Some changes just make sense: the employee contribution is too low compared to the benefit; people are living longer so they should retire later; and the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) shouldn’t be higher than inflation.

    But, the proposal to reduce the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) below the rate of inflation is cruel and punitive: the oldest retirees would be hurt the most, and they would become poorer and poorer as they got older, just as they were most vulnerable!

    If we want to reduce pensions, do it upfront and honestly, not by hurting the oldest and most vulnerable: the COLA should be equal to inflation, no more and no less.

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