Illinois legislation to consolidate municipal public safety pensions appears to be dead

Legislation had been introduced in February for Illinois to allow downstate public safety pensions to consolidate into one system.

The same month Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker appointed a task force to study the issue.

But the legislation appears to have stalled, as they were all thrown back to the rules committee in late March, with no movement since.

Republican Rep. Ryan Spain is the chief sponsor in the House.

The series of bills aimed to have the 656 downstate pensions, primarily managed by local advisory boards into the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

City Manager Todd Thompson says if nothing’s done, town’s like Galesburg might enter a “pay-as-you-go” system where the city will have essentially have to put in as much to fund as is needed for benefits paid out that year.

He says a properly managed pension fund should get as much as 70 percent of its income from investment returns. Galesburg police and fire pensions are closer to 15 percent.

Mayor John Pritchard says the returns Galesburg’s police and fire pensions have gotten is about in line with the performance of other downstate funds.

The City of Galesburg’s next fiscal year could be the first time police and fire pensions outweigh the rest of the city

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