Legislation brewing to allow public safety pensions into IMRF

Mayor John Pritchard’s hope for public safety pensions and how they can be invested to better benefit taxpayers will get some life in the legislature. Bills with bipartisan support have been introduced in the Illinois House and Senate which would allow local fire and police pensions to be transferred into the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, the most well funded public pension system in the state.

Mayors of cities like Peoria, Naperville, Macomb in the Illinois Municipal League Pension Reform Working Group are recommending many aspects of the proposed changes.

Galesburg Mayor John Pritchard has said the last two decades have yielded an 11 percent return for IMRF, while Galesburg’s public safety pensions have yielded 4.5 percent, a difference of about $1.3 million in returns.

IMRF is state-funded, but the state does have a court-enforced guarantee that municipalities must cut almost everything from their budget before they give less than the state-mandated minimum contribution to IMRF.

This is both a part of IMRF is considered a better investment but why it can also be controversial.

Both House and Senate bills were introduced in the last several days.

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