First Responder Pension Facts

Last night a criminal justice reform bill (HB163) was amended onto HB163. The bill is more than 600 pages long, is effective immediately upon the Governor's signature and includes, among other things, language that does the following -

•Eliminates Qualified Immunity for police officers, making them personally liable in civil suits.

•Eliminates Officer’s rights to Collectively Bargain, creating a “special class” of public employee rights in Illinois that can only negotiate over wages and benefits!

• No contractual language regarding discipline and discharge procedures for police officers.

• Allows officers to be disciplined based on anonymous and unsubstantiated or unverifiable complaints.

•Mandates that unverified complaints be kept with no time limit no removal and no limits on .

•Substantially increases both initial and ongoing training requirements but does not provide any funding for increased costs and no assurances that the courses will even be offered.

•Mandates the use of body cameras by all departments for every officer but does not include money to pay for cameras.

•Withholds money from any city that does not comply with the requirements of the legislation.

•Eliminates funding for law enforcement agencies•Eliminates Cash Bail while enacting multiple benefits for people convicted of committing crimes.

•Limits use of force, redefines excessive use of force and subjects officers to criminal liability for using of force or for failing to intervene in another officer's use of force.

•Removes prohibitions against obstructing police officers

•Subjects officers to possible criminal charges of Official Misconduct, a class 3 felony, for trivial and incidental issues.

This is not police "reform" or "modernization." This is an attack on unions, collective bargaining, and on public safety.

Should this bill become law - a non-union groundskeeper would have more legal rights and protections than a police officer!

Please take this information very seriously. House speaker Madigan has already committed publicly to supporting the sponsors' legislative agenda. Contact your Senator and Representative and ask your family and friends to do the same and ask Included are some simple instructions to help you, your friends, your coworkers and your family members in helping to save Illinois from this destructive agenda. This is how -

1. Find your local elected officials by going to the Illinois State Board of Elections. You can get there with this link:

If you live somewhere other than you work, please consider contacting the elected officials for both locations. You can use your work address on the State Board of Election’s website just like a home address. You can always say “I work in Springfield...” or “I live in Decatur...”

2. Go to to find the contact information for your legislators. Click the “Members” text under the House or the Senate columns to pull up the list and then just click on your legislator’s name. It will list the various contact details for your legislator and you can pick how you want to contact them. You can email them, or call their district office or their Springfield office. If you decide to call, you may have to leave a message on a machine or with staff. Do not worry, and it is not important that the legislator call you back. Just be sure to leave in your message that you need them to vote no on HB 163 or any similar legislation that diminishes your rights and the public's safety.

3. Some advice on being the most effective advocate you can be includes:

a. Be respectful of their time, long calls and long messages are not necessary. Remember, these individuals work for you, so the most important thing is to let them know how they can do the best job for you.

b. Be professional. Do not assume they are against you or supportive of the bill. Let them know what you think and what you want, but do not blame them or accuse them.

c. If they disagree with you there is probably nothing you can do to change their mind. That is ok, but please remember how they handled your concerns when the next election comes around.

d. If they do not respond to you, do not feel ignored. They are getting hundreds of calls and emails. They will read every email and listen to every message.

e. Feel free to include personal or local information. We all care about our community the most, and that is true of legislators. Feel free to share how this would hurt you, your family and your community. Be a neighbor first, a law enforcement officer second and a willing partner third.

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4 months ago


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4 months ago


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Big news from Krislov and Associates:

WE WON A REVERSAL!!! We're in the process of moving our offices to suite 1006, and we'll forward a copy of the opinion tomorrow, but the Appellate Court reversed Judge Cohen’s holding that the Funds' obligations are limited to the statutory subsidy, and the covered group extends to everyone hired by June 30, 2003, remanding the case to actually decide the Funds’ obligation to contract or provide coverage for retirees.

As you’ll recall, the Funds previously acknowledged their obligation, and asserted that they’d contracted the City as the insurer. And, Judge Cohen himself previously ruled that they had the obligation, and ordered them to start fulfilling that obligation.

We’re not done, not by a long shot, but we’re back in the fight for you!

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As many of you have heard, the Governor is proposing the mandatory consolidation of all downstate and suburban police pension funds into one plan which will initially be controlled by the State. The local pension fund boards who currently serve officers would continue to exist for now, but they would no longer have any authority to invest money for local police officers. Instead, all of the money would be held and invested by one statewide fund.

The consolidated fund would initially be controlled by individuals exclusively appointed by the Governor. After 3 years, the fund would be managed by a board including mostly mayors, with some elected active employees and an elected annuitant trustee. The proposed board would have the lowest participant control/participation of any pension fund in the State. This represents a loss of police officers’ control over their own money.

Not surprisingly, the labor unions representing law enforcement have been working hard against this proposal. The Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association, Fraternal Order of Police and the Metropolitan Association of Police have been working together, hand in hand, to defeat this legislation.

Our biggest obstacle is the Governor’s simplistic catch phrases sound great. Phrases like “eliminate unnecessary government,” “reduce operational costs,” and “reduce property taxes” all sound great, but they are not based on any reliable analysis or any verified numbers. This proposal will require municipalities to spend a massive amount of money up front in the hopes they will recover their cash outlay over a period of at least a decade. Over the long term, it might reduce some costs and it could potentially allow some funds to achieve higher returns, but it will take years.

This complex issue requires diligent study from actuaries, investment professionals, and other industry experts. It requires inclusion of, and buy-in from, all stakeholder groups. More than anything, this proposal needs time to be fully vetted and fairly analyzed. It needs to be publicly debated based upon reliable information. It can not be like so many of Illinois’ recent pension ideas like Tier II, Tier III and SB1 which all failed because they were pushed through quickly without proper discussion with professionals and affected parties, resulting in numerous unintended consequences.

Consolidating $8 billion requires thoughtful, transparent due diligence. Certainly, the upcoming veto session does not provide an adequate amount of time to vet the Governor’s consolidation gambit.

We do appreciate the Governor’s inclusion of some much needed benefit fixes for downstate and suburban police officers who are under Tier II. The Governor has proposed some fixes, but realistically, the fixes he has proposed are not enough to hand over control of $8 billion to the State of Illinois, especially considering the state’s abysmal track record in managing its own pension funds.

We can certainly use the help of all our members in communicating your concerns. We have seen many great letters to the editor reiterating our concerns. We also encourage our law enforcement community both active and retired to contact their State Senators and Representatives and let them know this proposal is bad for police officers, bad for communities, and bad for taxpayers.


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October 18, 2019

Latest Department of Insurance Figures Show Downstate Pension Systems are Lowest in Administrative Costs

SPRINGFIELD – The latest figures released by the Illinois Department of Insurance show that the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) and downstate police and fire pension systems have the lowest administrative costs of any pension systems in the state. This new data is key information that should be carefully considered during any discussion of pension fund consolidation, according to the Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association (IPBPA).

“Much of the current talk focuses on the alleged administrative cost savings by pension consolidation, yet this latest information shows the IMRF, police and fire pension funds already have lower administrative costs than anybody else,” said PBPA Executive Director Sean Smoot. “In fact, those local system costs are far lower than those for the State of Illinois' pension systems. Those who favor the consolidation of police and fire pension funds will need to explain how moving millions from a lower-cost system to a higher-cost system will save the taxpayers money.”

The Bi-Annual Department of Insurance Public Pension Division's October 2019 report shows that 6.2 percent of the total funds administered by the IMRF go toward administrative costs. The figure for downstate police pension systems is 7.97 percent, and for fire pension systems it is 8.37 percent. The administrative cost for the State of Illinois' employee pension system is 14.36 percent.

“We want to stress that this data comes directly from the State of Illinois, not from any group pushing for or against consolidation,” Smoot said.

The PBPA suggests that, rather than consolidating the local systems, the Illinois General Assembly should allow the smaller systems to invest their funds at a much higher rate of return like the IMRF is allowed to do. Without the investment restrictions, which are placed only on small police and fire pension funds, and with no consolidation, the local pension funds could generate their own higher returns, meaning no extra cost to the taxpayers to keep the funds healthy.

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