Lawmakers Advance Plan to Help Chicago Fund Pensions

Illinois lawmakers on Friday advanced legislation to help Chicago make payments to its massively underfunded police and fire pensions.

A House committee approved a plan that reduces the city's payment from roughly $840 million to about $620 million next year. That's still about double the $300 million Chicago is now paying.

Lawmakers set the higher payment schedule in 2010 to try to shore up the funds, which have about 25 percent of the money needed to pay benefits.

The legislation gives Chicago until 2055 — rather than 2040 — to get the funds to 90 percent funding.

The bill also says if the Legislature approves a city-owned casino, Chicago will direct revenue to pensions.

The House also approved a two-year extension of Chicago's 911 surcharge to help fund other pensions. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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