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Illinois Supreme Court Nixes Pension Reform


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The Illinois Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state’s attempt to make retirees pay a bit of their healthcare premiums was unconstitutional:



The 6-1 decision centers around a 2012 law that allowed the state to charge retired workers for health care insurance premiums, which many did not have to pay depending on how long they worked for the state.


Retired workers sued, arguing the changes violated a provision in the state constitution that declares pension benefits “shall not be diminished or impaired.”



The ruling’s sweeping language, which held that that clause protects all retirement benefits, appears to put other planned pension reforms in jeopardy, too.


Illinois is $175.7 billion in the hole on pensions and other debt, and the situation is getting worse. Chicago, which is also affected by this ruling, owes $20 billion. Now that these reforms, which were modest to begin with, are no longer viable, options are few and far between.







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