Days after a path forward appeared clear for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to consolidate hundreds of suburban and downstate police and fire pension funds, the compromise reached over the weekend hit a snag.
Four words in an amendment to the proposal led the
Cole called language that was introduced Monday a “midnight provision that penalizes the taxpayer, the person we’re trying to support.” He said he communicated his stance to Pritzker earlier Tuesday that he described as “unwavering.”
Negotiations among the stakeholders were expected to continue through Thursday, in hopes of passing consolidation legislation before the
“To just have four words separating us, we need to work through this and figure it out,” Hoffman said. “And we will.”
The plan to merge roughly 650 suburban and downstate public safety pension funds into two statewide funds had received a boost late last week when the
The pension consolidation plan is aimed at narrowing a funding gap and alleviating the property tax burden for homeowners. Pension consolidation as a way to cut back on administrative costs and pool investments has been proposed in the past, but has failed to gain traction in the
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When Pritzker rolled out the plan in October and called on lawmakers to take action this year, he had a key backer in the largest firefighters union in the state.
Under Pritzker’s initial plan, there would be separate statewide funds for police officers and firefighters, each managed by an eight-member board with equal representation of municipalities and police officers or firefighters.
Collectively, the hundreds of local public safety pension funds have roughly
“Since we issued our pension consolidation plan on
In Pritzker’s proposal, each police or fire department would maintain a separate account within the two larger statewide funds, held in a pair of trusts separate from the state treasury. Assets and liabilities would not be shifted from one municipality’s plan to another, but pooling the funds for investment purposes would allow for fewer administrative fees that are currently paid separately by each of the local funds.
Over the past decade, the annual investment returns earned by the suburban and downstate police and fire funds, on average, have been about 2 percentage points lower than those of the
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