IL Governor Abandons Proposal to Raise State Worker Pension Cost

May 7, 2009 ( - Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has canceled his call to increase pension costs for Illinois teachers, university staff and state employees.

Quinn had proposed raising workers’ pension contributions by 2%, along with a plan to create a two-tiered retirement system that offered fewer benefits to new employees, the Chicago Tribune noted. He said he gave up on the unpopular idea of higher pension contributions to help his push for a two-tiered retirement system, which will be a hard sell even without the increased pension costs, according to the news report.

The proposals were part of Quinn’s plan to close a budget deficit expected to top $11.6 billion in the upcoming fiscal year. The budget blueprint included a $2.5-billion reduction in state funding to the five state pension systems for the fiscal year that begins July 1 – a proposal the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System publicly opposed (see Illinois TRS Objects to Proposed Cuts to State Pension Funding ).

The TRS expressed concern over what funding and benefit cuts mean for future teachers.