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posted: 12/9/2013 5:00 AM

Pension fix is a huge step forward

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Let's hope the pension fix survives its challenges. It's not a bad deal -- in exchange for slightly lowered annual increases, teachers will contribute less to their own pensions, nullifying the complaint their benefits are being unconstitutionally "diminished." Already-retired teachers, who will admittedly not benefit from this concession, can take comfort in knowing their pensions were for decades wildly inflated compared to private pensions and give it a "good while it lasted" pat on the back.

Monthly payments by the state are now law, which is a huge step forward. Teachers also need to realize their current average retirement age of 56 (thank the Lord that's changing) is a slap in the faces to other taxpayers -- most of whom either must wait until age 66 for a full Social Security pension or work until they drop -- and such pensions never compare to teacher pensions in the first place.

Yes, teachers are entitled to a pension, but what they're not saying is how unfair their guaranteed pensions are to the rest of Illinois. Nobody else has such security, and this constitutional folly needs to be amended ASAP. If teachers feel they can't live on what the new pension system awards them, they can do what the rest of us do -- and get little nothing part-time jobs that we keep until we die.

Pat Fuller

Elk Grove Village

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