WIUM Tristates Public Radio

New Proposal for Illinois Pension System

Feb 21, 2013

The Illinois income tax increase would be made permanent in the latest proposal to fix the state's underfunded pension systems.

The Illinois Capitol building

The income tax plan approved by lawmakers temporarily increased the rate from 3% to 5%.  It’s scheduled to begin decreasing in 2014.

But Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie) said the state can't afford that. Lang said Illinois taxpayers didn't create the pension problem, but it's a problem they're stuck with.

“"We have a responsibility to fix it. And we have a responsibility to have shared sacrifice,” Land said.

If the people of the state of Illinois want to have state employees, we're going to figure out a way to fix those systems so we can continue to have state employees.

Lang's plan would also increase state workers' retirement age to 67 and have them pay more out of every check.

In addition, it would gradually require school districts and universities to take over the responsibility of paying for their employees' pensions.