How would you modify (if at all) the benefit and contribution levels and eligibility requirements for public employee pensions?

Budget

At this current moment I am not aware of any changes in benefits or contributions that
should be required for public employees. I am, however, against any future loss in
benefits to retirees, and any attempt to limit their retirement income.

Legislators need to deliver on promises made to employees and retirees. I agree with the courts that Senate Bill 1, the legislation that cut COLA increases, was unconstitutional. I also agree with the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in July that prevents any diminishment of health care benefits for retired state employees. I oppose further attempts to cut pension benefits for City employees and retirees.

For retirees it will be set in stone. This is the deal negotiated and the city has a moral and financial
obligation to see it through. For current employees I will support their collective bargaining rights

I would not modify an already fully and fairly negotiated agreement.

No response provided

Pensions are one of the legs of the retirement stool American’s depend on. We
should strive to provide strong pensions for all working Americans- both public
and private sector. I would strongly oppose any move that further punishes the
workers of this great City for the mistakes that politicians have made over the
decades past. I would oppose pension cuts.

The city pension problem is a problem caused by previous administrations not contributing their
part to the pension funds, supported by my incumbent alderman’s vote every year for 20 years
and it wont be solved easily. Dedicating assets that produce revenue streams, reallocating
surplus TIF funds and considering later retirement ages for employees not near retirement age,
with consideration for jobs of high physical stress, and as a last resort, looking at other forms of
new revenues.

Chevette A. Valentine IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

A public service pension is still a very effective way to save for
employee retirement. My proposed plan will still provide a guaranteed level of pension
(calculated as a fraction of employee salary) and uprated each year - not an unknown
amount based on investment returns. In addition to employee contribution, the city should
makes a significant contribution towards employee pension. Employees would receive tax
relief on their pension contributions and officers would pay a lower rate on insurance
contribution. Officer’s pension scheme provides valuable benefits for employee and
employee family such as ill-health pensions and payments after employee death.

I don’t believe we constitutionally can -- or should -- change the benefit and contribution levels
and eligibility requirements for current public employees. As a City government we need to
ensure our retirees are protected and guaranteed the benefits that were promised to them by the
City.

The city pension problem is a problem caused by previous administrations not contributing their
part to the pension funds, supported by my incumbent alderman’s vote every year for 20 years
and it wont be solved easily. Dedicating assets that produce revenue streams, reallocating
surplus TIF funds and considering later retirement ages for employees not near retirement age,
with consideration for jobs of high physical stress, and as a last resort, looking at other forms of
new revenues.

See my answer to question 30 above

No response providedNo response provided

No response provided

Joseph J. Moseley II IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

N/A

I support legislation that would establish annual caps on benefits at $125,000 for new hires. I support a dedicated revenue stream to the municipal pension along with a reduction for new employees on a prospective basis. We cannot financially sustain the current level of benefits and we must reduce them without affecting retirees or current employees. I oppose reducing current benefit, including health benefits for retirees and existing employees.

As above, I believe we need to take a good, long look at the kind of packages that we can afford
to offer future employees that will also allow us to attract the best candidates. I believe offering
employees options (for instance, the choice of a 401K or a traditional pension) could be a good
step. I also believe that, with people working later into life, we need to have a real discussion of
raising the retirement age, perhaps coupled with allowances for particularly stressful or physically
demanding careers. (A laborer might not be able to work as many years as a clerk.) It is
abundantly clear also that some combination of a reduction in pension benefits or an increase in
contributions will be part of an equitable solution to the problem. I also believe we must put in
place safeguards to ensure payments are made in a timely manner so that we do not find
ourselves in such a big hole in the future.

I wouldn’t modify any benefit/contribution levels for current city employees/retirees. However, for future employees we need to give serious consideration to ensuring future solvency. See my previous statement as well.

No response provided

Many difficult decisions will have to be made. At this time the pension solution is directly tied to
what the Supreme Court and the State Legislature will do, as it relates to pensions.

Not sure, I am open to suggestions, feel government has a
responsibility to pay benefits to those who have paid into the fund. Maybe we should look
at designating/targeting specific revenues to pay pension obligations.

No response provided

I would not modify the benefit and contribution levels at this time.

It may become necessary for new hires to contribute more for their pension plan.

Contribution amounts may need to be raised to amounts that more closely parallel contributions to social security, and retirement age may need to be raised to help rectify pension shortfalls.

Michael E. LaFargue IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

I recommend pension reform only as to “new” employees – those to be hired in the future.
$1.5 million in TIF Reserves be used to reduce the current Pension Deficit for by $1.5 Billion to
$24.5 Billion from $25.8 Billion.
A Financial Transaction Tax will address more of the Pension Deficit.
I will not change the contribution requirements for public pensions. It is important to note that
public employees pay a significant amount towards their defined benefit pensions, an amount that
is higher than Social Security contributions of private sector employees.
 Employees’ contribution rate: approximately 8.81% (*five funds’ percentages vary from
8.500% to 9.125%)
 Chicago Teachers: 9% (*CPS pays 7% under collective bargaining agreement, and 2% is
deducted from employees’ gross pay)

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

I would not modify benefit and contribution levels
or eligibility requirements for public employee pensions.

No response provided

No response provided

An increase in future contribution levels should definitely be explored Should discretionary funds for ward services and infrastructure improvements be allocated
x in equal amounts to each ward

No response provided

Susan Sadlowski Garza IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

candidate's responce

Illinois Constitution guarantees that municipal pension membership benefits are an enforceable contractual relationship which may not be diminished or impaired. Retirees deserve the right to plan for the remainder of their lives and changing their healthcare coverage after they have already earned their benefits is unfair and unjust. The 2% rise in healthcare contributions should be brought back to 0 and the City should find
alternative funding methods to pay for it. TIF money and revenue from a Chicago based casino are just 2 of several different revenue possibilities that can be used to pay for retirees healthcare contributions without adding additional burden to Chicagoans. The city can try and modify the eligibility requirements for public employee pensions for future employees if financially necessary after implementing the above revenue streams.

I do not support any solution which involves changing current retiree benefits. While some
changes to the pension system are needed going forward, they cannot be made by pulling
the rug out from under current retirees.

I would not; it is unconstitutional

I do not believe that we should modify what we have already currently promised to our current employees and retirees. As stated previously I do feel that we need to ask for new employees to pay an additional amount and also look at an increase from our current members.

Stephen Niketopoulos IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

Right now people are paying more for less. We need to solve the pension crisis so that the city will not continue to shortchange the retired with no social security. Police officers I have talked to have now suggested they are getting 80 cents on the dollar, forcing them to pull more from their salary to create separate retirement accounts. This is an outrage, and it's a problem that comes from the lack of leadership in our city. I would no encourage restructuring the deals as a start.

See Question #30.

No response provided

I believe in creating a ‘level playing field’ for all Chicago residents. I don’t believe any benefits
should be cut once a person retires unless they are collecting several government pension that
place them in the top 1 percent

I believe each of these are dependent on the individual pension plan, and must involve negotiations among the city, the trustees, and the unions involved.

The Illinois constitution prohibits making changes to the pension benefits of current employees.
While some changes may be made to future employee benefits, I oppose moving new employees
to a defined contribution system (i.e., 401(k) plans) because such a move does not improve the
situation for current unfunded liabilities and may actually cost more while giving new employees
worse benefits.

If the
city’s benefits package has to change, I believe those changes would have to take into
account the worker’s seniority. Long-term workers should be impacted the least, and
newer workers should be given access to a range of plans from which to choose.

I would not modify the pension for retired or current workers.
However, I would consider recommended modifications for new hires, given the city’s
financial situation.