Breen Co-Sponsors Comprehensive Pension Reform Bill

State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and a coalition of House Republicans today in filing a comprehensive pension reform bill that would provide significant savings for taxpayers and $215 million to the Chicago Public Schools for a one time pension parity payment.

The legislation, filed in Springfield today as HB 4027, is modeled after legislation introduced in a bipartisan manner in the Senate. Specifically, HB 4027:
  • Includes Senate President John Cullerton’s “consideration model” that would require members of TRS, SURS, SERS, GARS, and CTPF to exchange their Tier 1 COLA for the right to have future raises to be counted as pensionable, or keep their COLA and sacrifice future raises as pensionable. 
  • Provides a one-time normal cost payment to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund of $215.2 million for FY 17. 
  • Closes new member participation in GARS. 
  • Offers Tier 1 TRS, SURS, SERS and GARS employees the option to participate in a defined contribution (DC) plan. 
  • Creates a voluntary Tier 3 Hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution plan for new Tier 2 employees under TRS, SURS, and certain SERS members who do not participate in Social Security.
“Our state desperately needs pension reform,” said Breen. “This compromise bill, drawn from prior language agreed to by Democrats and Republicans, will save taxpayers billions of dollars, both immediately and over the long term. The bill also ends pensions for legislators, which is long overdue. I’m proud to join with 25 other legislators to support this common sense measure.”

Immediately after being sworn in to the Illinois House, Breen rejected a pension for legislative service. Since that time, he has consistently advocated for sustainable pension reforms that protect both taxpayers and vulnerable retirees. “It is estimated the State of Illinois will realize short-term savings of $2.25 billion dollars from the general funds, which represents a substantial step towards closing the deficit gap,” Breen said.

HB 4027 was filed with Durkin as the Chief Sponsor and with an additional 25 House Republicans as co-sponsors. “With our 26 votes the House Republicans have provided their pro-rata share of support for a structured roll call vote on this important issue,” said Durkin. “This means we will provide our fair share of votes. The Speaker needs to provide his 34 votes to move this legislation to the Senate.”

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