• Reminders

  • HCAFA Executive Committee monthly meetings listed below. Meetings start at 9:30 AM. All HCAFA members are invited to join the sessions. Dates as follows:

    • April 28
    • May 12 (TBD)
    • June 23 (TBD)
  • For information, contact HCAFA President Robert Allare at hcafapresident@gmail.com Unfortunately, our local Illinois Education Association office in Palatine is closed due to the pandemic, but messages (847.359.0300) are forwarded to us. For an emergency situation, you may contact the HCAFA President via email (hcafapresident@gmail.com) or IEA's central office in Springfield at https://ieanea.org/ieaconnect/ for telephone and live chat during their limited weekday hours as well as the email option. 

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Pension update: April 24 — 

The pension crisis and the discussions intended to resolve it resume in Springfield Thursday. Here’s what has happened, what is expected and what you can do to help ensure IEA members get the pensions they have paid for:
What is the proposal and whom does it impact?
On April 20, Gov. Quinn proposed a plan that he said would put the state’s pension systems on better fiscal footing. To date, most of the information available on the plan comes from a news release and a fact sheet issued by the governor. Therefore, the details and ramifications of this proposal are mostly unknown to the unions that make up the We Are One Illinois coalition (including IEA, IFT, AFSCME, SEIU, AFL-CIO). We can only relate what the governor says his proposal is and what its impact would be. For example, the governor has said that only active employees, not retirees, would be impacted. 
It also should be noted that, at this writing, there is no bill on which legislators are being asked to vote.
The governor’s proposal applies to active employees enrolled in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), the State Universities Retirement System (SURS), the State Employee Retirement System (SERS), the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) and the Judges Retirement System (JRS).
The proposal would:
  1. Require current active employees to pay an additional 3 percentage points of salary toward their pension.  (TRS would go to 12.4 percent from 9.4 percent and SURS would go to 11 percent from 8 percent.)
  2. Reduce the Cost of Living Adjustment in retirement (COLA) for Tier 1 employees (Participants before Jan. 1, 2011) to a COLA that is not compounding and is the lesser of 3 percent or 1/2 of the Consumer Price Index, the same COLA applied to Tier 2 participants (those who started after Jan. 1, 2011).  It is believed that the proposal will require a delay of the COLA to either five years after retirement or age 67, whichever occurs earlier.
  3. Increase the retirement age to 67 for current employees (which may be phased in).
  4. The proposal requires that the state fully fund the retirement systems over 30 years and not over 33 years as required by current law.
According to the governor, active employees could choose the benefit package outlined above and receive their health insurance premium subsidy. Or, members could keep the pension benefit structure they currently have, but future salary increases would not count toward their pension and their health insurance premium subsidy would be dramatically reduced or possibly eliminated. IEA and the coalition believe this proposal is unconstitutional and unacceptable.
The IEA position is that any pension proposals must be constitutional, must be fair to the participants and must have the effect of stabilizing the pension systems.
What’s next?
On Wednesday, April 25, leaders and staff from IEA and the other We Are One coalition partners will meet to discuss the next steps in the fight to protect pensions. On April 26 and 27, the coalition will meet with representatives of the governor and legislative leaders in an effort to determine whether progress can be made toward an agreed-upon bill that will secure the future of the pension systems and help ensure the participants get the benefits they have been promised.
What you can do:
  • Stay alert, stay in touch – Check the  IEA website regularly and update your IEA member profile and make sure that the email address you have on file is the one you check regularly. Many school districts block association emails, so please make sure IEA has your home email address.
  • Contact your legislators today –  Send an email telling your legislator to oppose any unconstitutional pension proposals
  • Tell your senators to oppose HJRCA 49, the proposed constitutional amendment that would take professional development away from educators. Click here for a fact sheet. 
Be ready! In the recent past, significant pension legislation has flown through the Illinois House and Senate within a few hours and landed on the governor’s desk. Be ready to act on very short notice.

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