McHenry Times

McHenry Times

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Rep. Skillicorn votes for pension consolidation bill because elements are 'better for taxpayers'


By Glenn Minnis | Nov 19, 2019

Illinois state Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake)

Illinois state Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake) feels he did what he had to do in supporting Senate Bill 1300, would link the investment resources of all downstate and suburban police and fire pension funds.

“I support consolidation, because the current trajectory of these pension systems is unsustainable,” Skillicorn said in a press release. “According to the most recently available estimates, Illinois’ 649 downstate and suburban police and fire pension funds are underfunded by a whopping $11 billion.”

While Illinois is home to the second highest number of pension plans in the country, Skillicorn argues that the funds don’t generate anywhere near the investment returns they might, like larger plans such as Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, because many of them are managed separately.

“The task force’s report estimates that over the next five years consolidation of these assets could lead to an additional $820 million to $2.5 billion in investment returns alone, which could mean lower contributions funded by property taxes,” Skillicorn said. “I’m disappointed this bill had pension sweeteners, but the savings realized by lowering fees and creating higher returns is better for taxpayers today and in the long run.”

In the end, though, Skillicorn concedes it will take even more to get the state back on the right track fiscally.

“We still need a constitutional amendment to change existing pensions, a modest cap on benefits, a reduction in cost-of-living adjustments for first-tier employees, and a third-tier defined contribution plan,” Skillicorn said.

Now nearing his third year in Springfield, Skillicorn sits on the House’s Appropriations-General Service, Cities & Villages Data Analytics & IT, and Labor & Commerce committees. His 66th District includes parts of Algonquin, Crystal Lake, East and West Dundee, Elgin, Gilberts, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Lakewood and Sleepy Hollow

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Illinois Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-66th)

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