SPRINGFIELD — On the eve on a potential showdown over teachers’ retirement futures, union leaders say a package of major pension benefit cuts is so steep that it might force teachers into Social Security and therefore hit schools will millions of dollars in new taxes.
The We Are One Illinois coalition of union leaders says legislation approved by the Illinois House would have workers paying more toward retirement than their pension benefits would be worth.
In that case, teachers who don’t qualify for Social Security now could be eligible for the system. And if that happens, schools would have to pay Social Security taxes.
“Given already tight budgets, this represents a huge unfunded mandate thrust upon school districts — perhaps the largest ever,” a statement from the union group reads.
The issue is yet another in a long list of complicated conflicts that has Illinois lawmakers at a standstill over what to do about the state’s escalating pension payments and $100 billion in debt. More…