House of Representatives approves Sosnowski pension reform bill on former police chiefs returning to service

SPRINGFIELD The Illinois House of Representatives unanimously approved common-sense pension reform legislation on April 19 sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, to allow a municipality to hire a chief of police that had previously retired from the municipality without allowing them to collect a pension in addition to a salary.  The legislation, House Bill 5490, will now advance to the State Senate for consideration.

Specifically, Representative Sosnowski’s legislation provides that a chief of police who has voluntarily entered into an irrevocable agreement with a municipality to not participate in that municipality's pension fund is not eligible to participate in that municipality's pension fund.

“Cities around the state are looking to enter into these types of agreements,” Representative Sosnowski said. “This is common-sense, good government legislation. Municipalities can bring a retired former chief of police back to work and without having them entitled to start earning a second pension. Communities can benefit from the public safety experience and leadership of their police chief in a way that does not add additional taxpayer burdens on the pension fund.”

This legislation follows up on a new state law scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2019 stipulating that a chief of police hired by the same municipality that they currently collect an annuity from would be required to participate in a defined contribution plan. Full-time police officers of a municipality participate in the Downstate Police Pension Fund or Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) with certain exclusions for part-time police, special officers, night watchman and traffic guards. 

The Chief Co-Sponsors on House Bill 5490 were Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) and Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor).

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