Another Chicago Pension Law Could Soon Face Legal Challenge

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Chicago’s 2014 pension reform law will soon be heard by the state Supreme Court.

But there’s another, lower-profile law – one that eliminated COLAs for retirees in the Chicago Park District pension fund, among other things – that could wind up in court soon, as well.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The law allowing cuts to pension benefits for Park District employees and retirees, signed by then-Gov. Pat Quinn in 2014, could be the next to face a legal challenge.

For the first time, Park District retirees aren’t receiving a COLA, which is suspended this year as part of the overall package aimed at making the pension fund whole. That part of the pension law, which also required increased contributions from both the Park District and its employees, is now the focus of opposition for SEIU Local 73, the Park District’s largest union representing about 2,000 year-round employees.

While most of the law was negotiated with the unions, Local 73 officials claim that the reduction to retirees’ benefits was not. Buoyed by the recent court rulings on other pension funds, the union is exploring its legal options. A flier foreshadowing a lawsuit that hasn’t yet been filed circulated this week, generating excitement among union members, said Adam Rosen, Local 73 spokesman.

A lawsuit has not yet been filed.

The Chicago Park District Pension Fund was about 43 percent funded at the end of 2014.

 

Photo by bitsorf via Flickr CC License

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