How would you modify (if at all) the benefit and contribution levels and eligibility requirements for public school teacher pension?


That is something that needs to be properly negotiated between CPS and CTU and is not in the
purview of the City Council. I support the CTU in their effort to retire comfortably after long
service educating the youth of Chicago.

No response provided

The city’s four employee pension funds have been called a “ticking time bomb,”
with Mayor Daley’s pension commission predicting that the four funds will run out of
money in 20 years. “There is no low- or no-cost solution to this problem,” the
commission wrote in a report. “Deferring action is not a viable option.” I have a plan
that works to bring the pension funds to solvency.
I believe that once an employee starts paying into a pension program, the
benefits should be clear and concrete. As a lawyer, I also believe that the equitable (and
legal) thing to do is to honor the originally “fully negotiated agreement.” But these
Pension programs need to become properly funded, and I would support identifying a dedicated revenue source strictly to replenish our depleted pension funds. As a last
resort, and in a worst case scenario, I could support reduced benefits for future
employees based on negotiations and conversations with organized labor that provides
for everyone’s needs. It’s important to work together to responsibly solve our financial
problems while protecting the rights of our working class.

I believe the model set by the plan agreed upon by the Municipal Employees and Laborers agreement might be a good model; of course, each pension plan is slightly different and the ultimate agreement is dependent on negotiations among the unions, retirees, and the Board of Education.

I support a fully and fairly negotiated labor agreement, and value honoring that contract.

I support maintaining what teachers, city employees, fire and police have. Privatization in my
opinion is a primary result of unions asking for more at a time they should have been shoring up
and making untouchable what they have. Instead of unions asking for increased contribution levels
from the city they should have negotiated one of those parking meter type agreements for a cap of
retiree contributions.

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

Would not modify at the present time

The city must fulfill its legal obligation to fund benefits as
contracted. Before accepting the necessity for modification, we should look for creative
ways to bridge shortfalls. I agree with those in the trenches who point to the free pass
given the state’s government officials, some of whom draw multiple pensions. They
should be required to live with whatever modifications they propose for teachers. Indeed,
their willingness to forgo partial – or even entire – pensions could help make money
available for underfunded plans.
Given the severe underfunding of pensions for public servants overall, theoretical
advocacy for dedicated revenue streams has faced many obstacles in reality. We cannot
continue relying on measures that place the burden of “reform” on the shoulders of those
most negatively impacted by cutbacks and higher taxes. We need “big picture” thinking
about how to deal with shortfalls in a more comprehensive, long-term manner.

One such approach would be City Hall’s support of the South Suburban Airport, for
reasons mentioned above in Q.23. Another would be our lawmaker’s support for the
“Robin Hood Tax” of less than 0.05 percent on Wall Street transactions. Experts say it
could generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year for the nation’s education,
housing, infrastructure and other needs of local governments – without negatively
affecting the financial situations or consumer activity of average Americans. This would
be an effective way to ensure accountability from financial organizations that caused – yet
continue to profit from – our economic woes.

See Q. 30.

The Illinois constitution prohibits any changes to the pensions of current employees or retirees.
While new employees may see changed benefits, I do not support moving them to a defined
contribution plan because that change does not reduce the unfunded liability and may actually
cost more while providing worse benefits.

As mentioned in a previous answer, growth is the key to the funding of the public school
teacher’s pension fund. At present, all the proposed solutions are aimed at reducing the
pensions of those who put their faith and their money into a pension plan. Grow the
economy, restore full positions to the teachers so that there are more contributions into
the pension fund, make certain that the investments of the pension funds are sound

I would not modify the benefits, contribution levels, or eligibility requirements of the public
school teachers pension at present. I believe our number one priority should be to meet
our obligation as a City to pay into those systems as agreed upon.

See Question 30.

No response provided

Stephen Niketopoulos IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

As of right now there is a worry that the contributions don’t match the benefits. That needs to make sense for anything to move forward. Pensions need to be solved to fit the future retirees and the current ones.

I would not do anything dealing with changing a teacher’s pension, its protected by the state constitution.

We cannot backtrack on what we have already promised our teachers, however we must look at the situation and determine if we will need an increase in the contribution from all parties involved. We will have to look at changing the levels for new members and possibly have an increase in their contribution to their pensions.

I don’t plan on changing the public school teacher pension. The
pension is a great tool that is used to make sure that high quality school teachers work in our local CPS schools and are not lured away to other states or other higher paying careers.

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. The first step toward saving public school teacher
pensions is finding new revenue sources such as the proposed LaSalle Street Tax to
ensuring that the city meets its obligations and pays into the fund as required. Specific
changes to the benefits and contribution levels of future retirees must only be considered
with the assurance that the city will continue making its payments.

Susan Sadlowski Garza IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

candidate's responce

No response provided

I need to know more about this as I’m not sure what the current levels are.

No response provided

"No response provided"

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

No response provided

This question will require further research and consideration.

Michael E. LaFargue IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council


We need to learn more about this

I will work with other public officials to intervene dialogue with
State Legislation the duties and obligations to the CTPF. We will work collaboratively to propose
and come to a consensus on an overdue matter that should have been resolved decades prior to
my candidacy for office.

No response provided

Michael E. LaFargue IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council


No response provided

I believe the most important thing we can do for pension solvency is continued, accelerating
economic development. In the short-term, I am open to examining any serious, responsible
proposal for adjusting benefits for new employees.

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.

No response provided

No response provided

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


I would apply the same shared sacrifice
principles regarding the City of Chicago pensions I outlined in Question 30 above to the public
school teacher pensions.

That is something that needs to be properly negotiated between CPS and CTU and is not in the
purview of the City Council. I support the CTU in their effort to retire comfortably after long
service educating the youth of Chicago

I would not modify the benefit and contribution levels and eligibility requirements for existing
workers. I believe Illinois courts have spoken clearly that such modifications would be an
unconstitutional diminution of benefits.

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.