Pension vote to also impact some lawmakers' retirement

Dec 3, 2013

When lawmakers decide Tuesday whether to cut state pension benefits, they’ll be considering the retirement plans for state employees, university workers, and public school teachers. And for many of them, they’ll be looking at cutting their own retirement, too.

Representative Lou Lang is a Democrat from Skokie with 26 years in the House. He says he has yet to decide how he’ll vote, but expects the overhaul would have a significant effect on his own pension.

“If I decide to vote for the bill, I will do that with full knowledge that it has a dramatic impact on my own retirement. If I decide to vote against the bill, it won’t have anything to do with my retirement.”

Other lawmakers will have no such self-interest at stake. Some have outside jobs as lawyers or businessmen or with other government agencies. And many of the newest lawmakers opted out of the pension system, which severely curtailed benefits for new state employees.