Daley calls on General Assembly to change police, firefighter pension plans

November 16, 2010

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (WBEZ file)

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley called on the Illinois General Assembly to change the pension system for new police and firefighters. He said he wants them to take action during the present fall veto session.

The mayor said he wants legislation similar to the bill that changed the pension system for other new municipal employees.

"A lot of people don't want to talk about it. They want to avoid it," Daley said. "In some way they think someone's going to fly along with all this money and save all these pension plans, and that's what I'm concerned about. I can say this is not my concern; we try to educate people about this. This is a very serious crisis for them, and it's not going to go away."

Daley said he wants to see a bill that reduces the level of pension benefits for new hires as of the first of next year, while raising the minimum age at which an employee can retire with a full pension. And he said changes should lessen the effect of end-of-career salary increases on pension amounts by measuring the final average salary over a longer period of time.

Daley said changes to under-funded pensions can't be achieved through negotiations and instead must come from state statute.