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SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Rep. Daniel Biss of  Evanston to limit pension payments for state university employees was approved by the state House today.

The bill would require the universities to reimburse the pension system if a retiree, already collecting his or her pension, returns to work for the university.

Currently, employees are able to retire and receive their pension, but then return to work for the university.

Biss says that practice provides an incentive for employees to retire artificially early in order to simultaneously collect a pension and a salary. This puts a double burden on taxpayers, as both the employees’ pensions and salaries are publicly funded.

House Bill 4996 does not prohibit universities from rehiring retired employees, but rather mandates that if they choose to do so, that they must reimburse the State University Retirement System (SURS) for the annuity while the rehired individual is employed.

Additionally, the legislation lays out conditions under which retirees can return to part-time employment and still draw a pension without obligating the employer to make any payment to SURS.

“Our pension systems are in bad shape, in part because they are susceptible to abusive practices,” Biss said. “The common-sense reforms in House Bill 4996 will curb some of these abuses, saving taxpayers money while allowing our universities to maintain their excellent standards.”

The state Senate has yet to act on the bill.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Pension calculations

    A government, including schools, police, fire, pensions should be based on a proportion of time served out of span of expected work life.  Retire early and you would get a proportion based on years worked—not 'full' pension.  

    We have seen too many,including fire and police, retire early and take another job.  What do we expect someone to do at 55—sit and watch TV all day.  No they take another job—and have planned education/training to take another job.   Football/basketball players don't expect to play until 65 and don't expect a pension as if they did.  No they get education/training in and off season to be prepared for life after playing.

    Pension at age X = Present Value of [Pension at 65  * years-in-position / (65-22)  ]

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