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posted: 7/8/2013 5:00 AM

Some ideas to fix our pension systems

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I agree with much of Rep. Tom Morrison's letter of June 21. The pension system here in Illinois is the worst in the nation and needs a major overhaul. Apparently the problem was caused by what Illinois politicians do best: spend money they don't have, protect their power and watch the carnage as highly skilled union negotiators slap the state, local and school negotiators around until they get the unrealistic, unaffordable concessions they want.

I'm not the "money" our politicians usually listen too, but maybe these suggestions are more realistic and affordable:

• Pension distributions should not begin until age 65.

• Yearly adjustments should be the same as social security recipients.

• Individuals can collect on only one pension plan.

• Eligibility for pensions should include a minimum of 20 years on the job.

• There should be no pension plan for legislators. It's supposed to be a part-time, temporary job. Not a career.

• Legislators, employees and teachers should be given the same medical care choices and costs as the rest of us. No more.

• Put a cap on pension plans for teachers and administrators. Fair is fair, but pensions that exceed the pension of the president of the United States are outrageous and unaffordable.

• School administrator contracts exceeding $100,000 per year in salary and benefits should be approved or denied by referendum vote.

• All pensions should be funded solely by employee contributions and income from investments and be inaccessible, by law, to the legislature.

• The monies in the pension accounts should be administered by a private entity selected by the employees and overseen by a separate commission independent of the politicians. Something like the FDIC.

Politicians: Stop your childish behavior; forget your self interests for a change and solve this problem. For everyone's sake, grow up!

Len Brauer


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