Whether you are police officer or firefighter in northern, central, or southern Illinois you and your pension are under attack. Municipal leaders throughout Illinois are banding together to influence the Illinois legislators to change the police and fire pension system to reduce the benefits they supply.
Each pension fund is asked to remain alert to what is being said by municipal officials publicly in the media and at meetings regarding your funding levels, rates of return and sustainability. Pension funds should respond in the media and at public meetings to dispel any misconceptions and inaccuracies when released by the municipal groups. Even if your municipality has not made any public comments, if they participated or joined in groups to reduce your benefits you should respond.
The municipal groups have failed to say that police and firefighters are not eligible for Social Security and their pensions are their only retirement security. Unlike the municipal administrators and other employees that receive an IMRF pension and Social Security. They also don’t mention that they have no qualms about making sure their own pension fund is 100% funded each year but complain when all we want is the same thing and blame the police and fire funds for cutbacks and layoffs.
The IPPFA as part of the Public Safety Coalition will do its part dispel the myths being spread by the municipal groups but this is a statewide issue and each board has to take the initiative to respond on local level. The IPPFA has available on its website www.ippfa.org a media toolkit to assist pension funds in responding to these inaccurate claims made by some municipal leaders. There are sample letters and press releases in the toolkit.
James McNamee, President