What measures do you support to reform the city pension plan and ensure its solvency?

Carol Moseley Braun IVI-IPO 2011 Chicago Mayoral

I support engaging all relevant parties to together pursue an appropriate solution for all parties.

Like health care, cities and states all across America are facing a crisis in funding pensions. Some of the problem is certainly due to errors in managing the funds, or failure to budget properly. However, the national scope of the problem and the size of the problem are indicative of some serious underlying national problems. Solving the problem will require identifying new
sources of revenue locally combined with some innovative national initiatives. I am opposed to reducing pension benefits for current employees or two tier systems with new employees receiving reduced benefits. This is not just a question of budget balancing; it goes to the heart of creating healthy cities. With wages largely stagnant for the past 30+ years our nation's workers economic security is now seriously threatened. It is the consumption of working
America which has powered the growth of our economy. Where the economy stagnates and contracts cities wither and die. Social Security has provided the means to prevent tens of millions of seniors in the private sector from slipping into poverty - and, in fact, a key component of working America's economic and social security is providing a solid and reliable basis for retirement. I believe America's Mayors must come together, in conjunction with America's public workers to seek innovative solutions to this threat to our public workers. As Mayor I will take a leadership role in the U.S. Conference of Mayors to create a coalition of America's cities and towns to fashion a permanent solution to this problem.

Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins IVI-IPO 2011 Chicago Mayoral

I support the right of public employees to a secure retirement. To meet this need, the city must reform its existing pension system. Real reform must be negotiated with labor at the table, and must ensure secure revenue sources to fund our pension obligations short-and-long term.

Miguel del Valle IVI-IPO 2011 Chicago Mayoral

Ensuring the solvency of the City’s pension plan is one of the greatest financial challenges facing the next mayor. I was a member of Mayor Daley’s blue ribbon pension task force – comprised of representatives from business, labor, and civic organizations – which identified in its 2010 report that the health of the municipal pension systems relies in part on a modification to future benefits and additional revenue. In accordance with those findings, I support exploring potential funding streams and, as such, I am open to considering privatization of Midway airport with the caveat that a percentage of the resulting revenue be dedicated to support the City’s pension obligations. I do not support reducing benefits for current employees.

William "Dock" Walls IVI-IPO 2011 Chicago Mayoral

Employer contribution currently underfunded State by 14.75 Billion. We must restructure our pension plan and make the changes necessary to accommodate fluctuation in the overall
economy. We have to stop the traditional Pension Raiders and the policy of deferring payments.. Our current Pension system is Unsustainable. We need to adopt a common sense approach that
is fair to current and future pensioners as well as taxpayers. The current defined benefits plan must be replaced with a defined contribution plan that allows future benefits to fluctuate
depending upon investment successes or losses. Our Accrual multiplier per year of service is currently 2.1. Ideally it should be 1.0. with a full accrual system the city would pay its obligations as we go, within the year in which they accrue. Raise the retirement age, which now allows public employees to retire as young as 50 in some government pension systems and 55 in others. We should offer a one-time lump sum Pension payment option. Replace the automatic 3 percent annual increases for government retirees with a capped, inflation-based cost-of-living factor. We must Tax the pensions of non-residents who retire from work in the private sector, with an exemption for the first $75,000 in retirement income and enact a minimum age for the exemption. Issue Pension Obligation Bonds to refinance existing pension debt and take advantage of lower interest rates. Illinois would save money long-term. The current interest rate of 8.0% to 8.5% on the unfunded pension liability is higher than interest rates available in the bond market.

Fredrick K. White IVI-IPO 2011 Chicago Mayoral

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