State Senate candidate Karen McConnaughay has announced her support for the creation of a tiered state pension system that will move employees to a defined contribution system and away from the unsustainable defined benefit plan that has left the state with an unfunded liability of over $80 billion dollars.
“I have great respect for the men and women in public service, and the worst thing we can do is to prop up an unsustainable pension system that will eventually drag down the state’s finances and force radical reductions in benefits,” said . “Moving to the type of retirement plan that the vast majority of Illinois workers have is not just common sense, it is the fair and responsible thing to do."
, currently Chairman of the , announced that she will support SB 512 which will establish three options for current state employees. Those employees will retain current benefit guarantees for the years they have worked, but, going forward, will either increase their contributions to maintain the current benefit guarantee, maintain current contributions and have future benefits reduced, or move to a 401(k)-type retirement savings plan that will include a state contribution.
The legislation also calls for a scheduled pay off of the current unfunded liability for state pensions.
“I applaud the work of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club which has been relentless in its promotion of meaningful pension reform,” said . “I believe they have focused attention on this issue that has been swept under the rug for too long.”
The Civic Committee’s “Illinois is Broke” campaign has promoted restructuring state government pensions through grassroots advocacy and education across the state (www.illnoisisbroke.com)
As part of her support for state pension reform, McConnaughay also has announced that she will not participate in the General Assembly Retirement System while she serves in the Senate.
“I currently save for my retirement through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), and will continue to do so,” she said. “I will not seek eligibility in another public pension system to feather my nest while asking state workers to sacrifice along with other working families. In fact, because of the reduction in compensation between the County Board chairmanship and the legislature, I will be ultimately reducing the pension I will receive.”
McConnaughay is seeking the Republican nomination for the State Senate in District 33 which includes northeast Kane and southeast McHenry Counties.
Edited from information provided by Karen McConnaughay's campaign.