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Biss Passes Legislation to Curb Pension Abuse

SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Daniel Biss (D – Evanston) passed legislation out of the House today to rein in the practice of simultaneously paying state university employees a salary and a pension. House Bill 4996 requires public universities to reimburse the pension system if a retiree, already collecting his or her pension, returns to work for the university.

Currently, employees are able to retire and receive their pension, but then return to work for the university. This provides an incentive for employees to retire artificially early in order to simultaneously collect a pension and a salary. This puts a double burden on taxpayers, as both the employees’ pensions and salaries are publicly funded.

House Bill 4996 does not prohibit universities from rehiring retired employees, but rather mandates that if they choose to do so, that they must reimburse the State University Retirement System (SURS) for the annuity while the rehired individual is employed. Additionally, the legislation lays out conditions under which retirees can return to part-time employment and still draw a pension without obligating the employer to make any payment to SURS.

“Our pension systems are in bad shape, in part because they are susceptible to abusive practices,” Biss said. “The common-sense reforms in House Bill 4996 will curb some of these abuses, saving taxpayers money while allowing our universities to maintain their excellent standards.”

For more information about House Bill 4996 or any other legislation, contact Representative Biss at (847) 568-1250 or repbiss@gmail.com.

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