Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) is putting forward a state pension reform proposal that is a revamp of the one he proposed back in 2013, which had union support and offered pensioners a choice in their retirement benefits.
Cullerton expects to present a general blueprint of his pension reform plan, which he estimates could provide roughly $1 billion in annual savings, to Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers soon, with the hopes of getting a measure passed before the end of the regular session, which is scheduled to conclude May 31.
The effort to find a workable pension reform measure comes after the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state's 2013 pension-cutting law on Friday, ruling that a reduction in contractual pension benefits is unconstitutional.
Cullerton's latest plan seeks to provide two options to workers: either opt to keep the 3 percent annual compounded interest on cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) and give up the ability to count pay raises toward pensions or continue counting salary increases toward pensions and take a decreased, non-compounded COLA. Cullerton's latest pension plan does not involve changing health care benefits, something his previous measure proposed.