Response to Pension Consolidation Task Force Report

October 15, 2019

Statement of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police:

On October 10, 2019, the Illinois Pension Consolidation Feasibility Task Force issued its “Report to Governor JB Pritzker.” Our Board of Officers had a special phone conference on Monday, October 14, to discuss the report. The proposal calls for creating two separate investment funds – one for police officers and one for firefighters – in place of the current 649 downstate and suburban funds.  The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police has the following observations and concerns about that report: 

  • Not opposed conceptually: We are not opposed conceptually to the consolidation of investment funds, because we understand the potential benefits of generating additional millions of dollars in the return on investments.
  • Don’t reduce benefits: One of our biggest concerns in these deliberations is that our benefits not be reduced. We will be aggressive about protecting all the benefits that law enforcement has earned. We have been promised by the Illinois Municipal League that it has no interest even in addressing pension benefits, and we are pleased about that.
  • No position on Task Force Report: We have no position (i.e., support or oppose) on the specific ideas in the Report to the Governor, as we prefer to wait to see language in legislation. The report recommends passing such legislation this fall.
  • With that said, we do have the following concerns:
    • Where is the bill? With the veto session only two weeks away, it is possible, even likely, that legislation will be introduced too late for a thorough review by all stakeholders before veto session.
    • Slow this down. Therefore, we ask that legislation on pension consolidation not be considered during the veto session.
    • Transition costs unknown: The report acknowledges there will be transition costs in setting up new investment funds. These costs are unknown and could be significant. Not enough attention is given to this.
    • Not represented on Task Force: Several times earlier this year, the Illinois Chiefs reached out in efforts to become a part of this process. We received no response, and we are very disappointed about that. We were not represented on the Task Force.
    • Control of new pension board: We are quite concerned about the governor’s control over the initial appointments for what could be an unspecified, unlimited amount of time. We would ask for specific law enforcement input.
    • Step 2 not a foregone conclusion: We hope that Step 2 as explained is not a foregone conclusion, and that a separate process be implemented for a future discussion about the administration of benefits.

Ed Wojcicki, Executive Director
[email protected]