CHICAGO - Lawmakers are still waiting for a pension agreement in order to get their paychecks, and the legislative committee on pension reform is floating pension fixes they're discussing with closed doors. The Chicago Tribune dubs those pension reform suggestions as "new," but the ideas sound vaguely familiar. Overall, state employees and retirees come out fine while taxpayers are left holding the bill. The list of pension options on the table includes:
- No requirement offering retirees a choice between keeping health insurance or taking a smaller pension increase each year.
- No increase in the retirement age
- No limits on how much of an employee's salary could be counted toward a pension
- No increase on money deducted from employee paychecks towards retirement, instead a 1 percentage point decrease
- No option forcing retirees to choose either their state-supported health care or 3 percent automatic annual cost-of-living increases, but not both
- Cost-of-living pension increases would be based on consumer price indexes, not 3 percent compounded
How to help pay for this pension package that still surpasses the average private sector worker's salary packages? Force state taxpayers to pay more, and to continue paying forward when pension loans are paid off.
After all, state employees balk, the State Constitution guarantees it. MORE HERE.