The unions argue that the 1970 Illinois Constitution does not allow state employee union benefits to be diminished. A flattening of pensioners' cost of living allowance will limit compounding their annual 3 percent increase, and that will cut into what some union workers are entitled to receive over his or her lifetime.
The State Journal Register came up with three examples of how union workers could be negatively impacted:
Retired teacher, 30 years of service | Initial annual benefit: $67,000 | Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $121,009 a year under the current pension system; $91,183 under the proposed changes
Cumulative 20-year decrease: $284,030
Retired Department of Children and Family Services caseworker, 25 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $30,000
Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $54,183 under current system; $46,122 under proposed changes
Cumulative 20-year decrease: $76,765
Retired teacher, age 75, with 30 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $25,000
Retiree’s COLA increase would remain unchanged until benefit reaches $30,000, which is years of service multiplied by $1,000. After that, the annual benefit would drop below what it would be under the current system.
Annual pension benefit after 10 years: $33,598 under current system; $33,529 under proposed changes
Cumulative 10-year decrease: $137
Source: Center for Tax and Budget Accountability
Read more at State Journal Register