Breen Bill to Shine Spotlight on End-of-Career Salary Spikes Advances to IL Senate

Legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that aims to curb the practice of pension spiking for employees within the Illinois Municipal Retirement System (IMRF) is headed to the Senate, after it received nearly unanimous support in the Illinois House on Friday.

“Across the state, taxpayers are suffering because of pension spiking, which occurs when longtime public employees who have accrued large balances of unused sick time and vacation time are allowed to transfer those days into pre-retirement cash payments,” said Breen. “Through HB 5684, local government boards will be required to hold an open meeting with full disclosure of exactly how a retiring employee’s salary would be affected, before any potential pension spiking payment can be considered. This much-needed layer of transparency will hopefully put an end to this budget-busting practice.”

According to Breen, the Village of Lombard experienced such a situation a few years ago, when a retiring employee received a salary bump which translated to an over $200,000 increase in the village’s pension liability. “Pension spiking leads to unsustainable pension costs, and in the end it’s the taxpayers who must foot the bill,” Breen said. “This is a solid taxpayer protection measure, and one that received broad support in the House from both sides of the aisle.”

The bill will be considered in the Senate when lawmakers return to Springfield in May.