House passes bill requiring more disclosure in municipal pensions

House passes bill requiring more disclosure in municipal pensions

Bill requires disclosure when accumulated sick leave is used to bump up pension payments


Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Local government pension systems may soon have to start disclosing more information about how certain lump-sum payouts at the end of an employee’s career are used to increase that person’s retirement benefits.

In 2016, the General Assembly passed a law known as the Local Government Wage Increase Transparency Act, which requires disclosure of certain large lump-sum payments such as severance packages and unused vacation. Often, those payments have the effect of boosting an employee’s final average salary, which is used to calculate benefits.

Now, the Illinois House has passed a bill that adds lump-sum payments for accumulated sick days to the list of items that the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund must disclose. The bill would require disclosure of only those payments and would not prohibit the practice of cashing in unused sick leave when an employee retires. The bill also would apply only to non-union employees in that system.

“We need to make sure we are capturing all of these possible pension boosts by requiring sick days to be included in the disclosure process,” Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican and a lead sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.

Although IMRF is the best funded pension system of all the public employee pension plans in Illinois, local government officials have told state lawmakers they struggle to keep up with their mandatory contributions into that fund.

The legislation is House Bill 303, which passed the House unanimously on Wednesday, March. 20. It is now pending in the Senate, where Democratic Sen. Tom Cullerton, of Villa Park, is the chief sponsor.



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Peter Hancock

Peter HancockPeter Hancock

Peter was one of the founding reporters with Capitol News Illinois. A native of the Kansas City area, he has degrees in political science and education from the University of Kansas.

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