Report on monthly meeting 3/19/14:
Beatrice Lumpkin, author of Joy in the Struggle: My Life and Love, was a guest at the March meeting of Subchapter 161. She talked about the history of the labor union movement and its importance. Women played a crucially important role, she said. It’s time to pass the message on to a new generation.
As part of our continuing campaign to interest more people in the activities of the subchapter, members were encouraged to write brief comments on “What the Union Did for Me” for posting on our blogsite. These can be given to Charlie Hogan or John Metz or emailed to email@example.com.
Charlie Hogan advises all members to read the following letter from Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and then call your State Senator and Representative to oppose this amendment:
Legislation introduced to eliminate “13th payment”
On March 14, legislation was introduced to eliminate the IMRF supplemental benefit payment, also known as the 13th payment.
House Amendment #1 to House Bill 3898 would terminate the 13th payment for all present and future annuitants effective January 1, 2015. The legislation is sponsored by State Rep. Deborah Conroy (D-Villa Park)
IMRF staff believes that the Illinois Constitution protects the benefits of current and retired IMRF members, and that this protection extends to the 13th payment.
IMRF staff will analyze the proposal in the coming days and share information with the IMRF Board of Trustees. As with all legislation that involves IMRF, the Board of Trustees will take a position whether to support, oppose, or remain neutral on the legislation.
In order to become law, HB 3898 would need to be passed out of committees in the House and Senate, and be approved by a majority of legislators in both the House and the Senate before being sent to the Governor for his signature.
IMRF will keep you informed throughout the process.
Media reports have characterized the 13th payment as a “bonus.” This is inaccurate. It is a form of deferred compensation intended to help offset inflation. It was granted to retirees after significant negotiation by employee and employer groups, and approved by the Illinois General Assembly in 1992.
The Illinois Pension Code requires each IMRF employer to contribute .62% (62 hundredths of 1%) of its annual IMRF payroll to support the 13th payment. During 2013, the average IMRF employer contributed $14,148 to fund the benefit.
The 13th payment is mailed to eligible retired members every July. During 2013, the average 13th payment to an IMRF retiree was $343.
At the end of 2013, IMRF had $33 billion in assets and was 96% funded on a market basis.
To view the full text of the letter and HB 3898, click here.