Illinois Cracks Down on Pension Double-Dipping

Friday, 28 Oct 2011 10:35 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Illinois lawmakers are cracking down on union officials who have been double-dipping from government and union retirement systems, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune, which disclosed the abuses in a recent investigation with WGN-TV.
 
Prompted by the disclosures, a pension reform measure was overwhelming approved by the Illinois House Thursday that ends the practice of labor officials collecting city and union pensions simultaneously. The legislation would also do away with the ability of labor leaders to base their public pensions on their union salaries, the Tribune reported.
 
House Republican leaders Tom Cross called the abuses uncovered in the Tribune/WGN-TV investigation “egregious.”
 
“I know this has been somewhat of a shock to us even by Illinois standards,” the Tribune quoted Cross as telling his House colleagues, before they voted 111 to 3 to send the bill on to the Illinois Senate.
 
In addition to controlling pension payouts to union leaders, the legislation also includes tougher fraud provisions to ensure that public pension system employees report any potential wrongdoing.
 
The Tribune noted the measure has been expanded beyond the Chicago government worker pension system, which was the focus of the investigation, to cover teachers, public universities, and laborers.
 
The bill is expected by expanded in the Senate as well to cover issues raised by police and firefighters.

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