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posted: 9/14/2012 4:40 AM

Pension reform sans persecution

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Quinn's and Cross's pension reform plan persecutes current retired seniors by making them pay for the state's mistakes. Madigan's plan persecutes local taxpayers and no reductions in state spending. How about State Sen. Chris Lauzen's pension reform plan? It deserves to be heard.

According to the nonpartisan analysts at the Illinois State Commission on Government Finance and Accountability, approximately 40 percent of our Pension Unfunded Liability is due to an accumulated nonpayment of annual pension contributions (skipped payments by state of Illinois), 40 percent is due to changes in actuarial realities regarding pension benefits and 20 percent to

underperformance of investments in pension plan assets.

The Lauzen Plan: How to Rein In a $3 Trillion Rogue Pension Elephant in Forbes (6/11/12). "Cap, Age, COLA." First, we must cap the abuses of huge pension benefits to any retiring public employee. He wants a cap of $120,000 for the final average salary. Secondly, all public employees will work until age 62, which is the early retirement age for Social Security. Thirdly, a 1 percent solution. Sen. Lauzen proposes reducing the current COLA to 2 percent. Reducing the COLA to 2 percent a year is sufficient to close the remaining gap.

Why isn't it being explored? Sounds like a viable option that should be discussed in Springfield. Let's reform without persecution.

Richard Niemaszyk


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