Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed House Bill 418, which prevents retired police officers from opting into the pension system a second time if they return to the force as a police chief or join another municipality’s force.
This bill will protect taxpayers from situations in which police officers are collecting two pensions from the same pension fund — a problem known as “double dipping.” Police officers that are promoted to the police chief or join a different force will enroll in 401(k)-style retirement plans instead of opting into the pension fund again.
“Illinois taxpayers can’t afford to pay the same person twice,” Gov. Rauner said. “This bill is an important step to help control Illinois’ unsustainable pension costs. It will protect taxpayers from pension fund abuse while still ensuring our police officers are fairly compensated for their service.”
The bill was sponsored by two Naperville Republicans after controversy over whether a Naperville police chief should be able to accrue new pension payments while simultaneously earning a salary of over $168,000 and collecting payments from his first pension.
“There is a loophole in current law that allows double-dipping into the police pension systems, and it’s costing municipalities and local taxpayers a fortune. Retired law enforcement officers have earned their pensions, but they should not be able to claim multiple pensions that we can’t afford,” said Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), the primary sponsor of this legislation. “Closing this loophole is one step toward keeping our struggling pension systems solvent.”
“Illinois’ pension systems are in dire need of repair as our pension liabilities at both the state and local levels continue to rack up,” said Sen. Connelly (R-Naperville). “While I recognize that many changes need to occur within the current system, this law at least gets us going in the right direction.”