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Members head to Springfield to #Fixtier2

On May 1, a group of Local 1600 members and leaders drove to Springfield to talk to legislators about the need to fix tier 2 pensions. Tier 2 pensions have not kept up with inflation and are unfair to retirees.

Employees hired after January 1, 2011 by the State of Illinois, school districts, and public community colleges or universities are in Tier 2 of their respective pension systems. Currently, nearly half of all teachers, paraprofessionals, professors, and public employees are in Tier 2. Employees in Tier 2 cannot retire with full benefits until they are 67; their colleagues in Tier 1 can retire as early as 55. Upon retirement, Tier 2 employees will also receive a lower pension benefit than their Tier 1 colleagues because of the way the law calculates their pensionable salary and cost of living increases after retirement.

This deeply unfair Tier 2 pension structure has worsened the recruitment and retention crisis impacting teachers, school staff, and public employees. Under the current structure, some Tier 2 employees will not even receive the value of their personal contributions to the pension system. Illinois and New Mexico are the only states that require a teacher to work until 67 before being able to retire—every other state has a lower retirement age. And most Tier 2 employees are not eligible to receive Social Security, so their pension is all they have to rely on in retirement.

Legislators must #FixTier2 so retires can have the retirement they deserve.

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