State News
7:06 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Deal reached on university pensions

Even as a broad coalition of unions seeks to prevent any of the pension law from taking effect next month, a new agreement would prevent parts of it from being implemented. It mostly affects university and community college employees nearing the end of their careers.

The deal, between the State University Annuitants' Association and the attorney general, could put a stop to a surge of retirements. While public workers widely dislike the benefit cuts in the pension law, the university retirees’ attorney, Aaron Maduff says their situation is more difficult because of differences in the university pension fund .

Maduff says some of the changes in the 2013 pension overhaul would effectively force retirement this summer, risk losing a lot of money, in some cases, nearly 200-thousand dollars. Maduff says the agreement should alleviate that concern.

"The core message is that if you were worried about retiring before the first of July, or for many people right now it's May 15 ... you don't need to worry that hanging around is going to leave you without certainty," says Maduff.

That’s contingent on a Sangamon County judge accepting the deal, which could happen this week.Unions say the entire law is unconstitutional. Monday, they submitted a separate legal filing that seeks to put the entire pension law on hold until the Illinois Supreme Court decides whether it's constitutional.