Sen. Emil Jones III Responds on Pension Reform

25 Jan

Thank you for contacting me about recent proposals that would seek to alter the pensions of public employees.  I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this very personal issue that is of great concern to tens of thousands of Illinois citizens.  My position on pension reform has not changed since last session.

I fully understand that public employees and retirees are not to blame for Illinois’s present financial situation.  Never once have public employees neglected to make their retirement contributions.  Please know that I remain strongly opposed to any forced changes to the pension system for current employees and retirees.

In addition, I remain committed to exploring additional ways to fully fund existing pensions and maintain a sustainable retirement system for future employees.  Two years ago, we voted to reform pensions for employees hired after January 1, 2011 as a cost-saving measure, as Illinois’s unfunded pension liability was over $62 billion.

I know that your pension is something that you have earned through many years of hard work and service.  Again, I believe that any attempt to alter the pension benefits of current employees and retirees is not being mindful of the constitution, and therefore I will oppose any such measure.  While it is true that years of neglect have left the pension systems underfunded, fully funding the pensions of the hard-working employees of Illinois remains a top priority for me.  Please know that I am on your side and am working hard to see that the best interests of my constituents remain a top priority.

Please continue to write or call me with your concerns.

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