pension overhaul

The 2013 pension overhaul signed by then-Gov. Pat Quinn is being decided by the seven justices of the Illinois Supreme Court. The law extends retirement ages for current state workers, reduces retirees' automatic and compounded yearly increases in the cost-of-living allowance (COLA), and limits the amount of salary used to figure pension benefits.

The law is expected to save $137 billion over three decades. It has yet to be implemented, pending the outcome of the suit filed by unions and retirees.

Pension Overhaul In Hands Of State Supreme Court

Mar 11, 2015
Illinois Supreme Court

Oral arguments on whether state law passed in 2013 will stand were held Wednesday before the Illinois Supreme Court. 

The law reduces benefits for public employees like teachers, prison guards and many others.

State-employee unions object, citing a section of the state constitution -- Article VIII Section 5 -- which they say clearly prevents the state from taking such action.

Illinois Solicitor General Carolyn Shapiro, representing the state, disagrees.

Illinois Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the pension overhaul case next month. According to a news release, arguments will be held March 11th in the Supreme Court Courtroom in Springfield.

Illinois lawmakers approved cuts to state employee pensions in 2013.  The action followed years of stalemate over how to address underfunding. State workers called the plan unconstitutional.

Office of the Illinois Attorney General

Unions and others fighting to prevent Illinois' pension law from taking effect are asking the state Supreme Court to ease up on its accelerated timeline. 

A Sangamon County judge ruled the measure unconstitutional. But Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed paperwork earlier this month that says the state can use "police powers" to cut pensions.

Ten other groups filed briefs backing Madigan’s position. 

John Fitzgerald is an attorney who represents retired public school teachers. He says lawyers need more time to respond to all of those additional arguments.

Roll Call And Reaction To Pension Overhaul Passage

Dec 3, 2013
Amanda Vinicky / IPR

Illinois lawmakers approved cuts to state employee pensions Tuesday. The move comes after years of stalemate over how to address the worst-funded pension plans of any state.

Democratic Governor Pat Quinn immediately declared victory and says he'll sign it into law, while labor unions promise a court challenge. 


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