From Illinois GOP House Leader Tom Cross…
In response to a series of news reports in the Chicago Tribune on WGN-TV this week, uncovering huge pension hikes under the guise of public service, we filed a bill (HB3813) to close the little known loophole that nets some Chicago city workers tens of millions in pension bumps at the end of their careers.
Click here to watch WGN-TV’s coverage of our bill filling.
Click here to read the Chicago Tribune’s story.
“This is a huge slap in the face to taxpayers that government in cooperation with its employees comes up with a scheme, that is currently allowable under state law, to boost pensions sky-high,” said Cross. “This practice needs to stop—immediately—and we will file a bill today, so that this provision in state law cannot be abused.”
In 1991, as part of an omnibus pension bill, Chicago city workers were given the ability to leave their city job, go work for their labor union at a much higher salary and continue paying into their city pension. However, when they retire, they are collecting a much larger pension that is based on their salary as a union official.
The Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV estimates that due to this perk 23 retired high level union officials stand to make a combined total of about $56 million from their public pension. Taxpayers will be forced to pay the majority of this bill as it was never adequately paid for.
According to the Civic Committee, the City of Chicago Municipal and Laborer’s Pension Funds will be depleted of their assets within 20 years.
“We are also further researching the possibility of legislation that fraudulent activity dealing with pension eligibility is properly enforced. This practice is already illegal under Illinois statute and my office is looking to ensure that any violators of this provision are properly punished for their actions,” said Cross.