Legislative Update - March 17 , 2016
IMRF's 2016 Legislative Agenda
All four proposals in IMRF's Legislative Agenda for 2016 have found sponsors in the Illinois General Assembly:
  • SB 2972: Would allow more members to opt to receive a refund of contributions in place of a relatively small monthly pension. (Sponsor: Sen. Don Harmon)
  • SB 2896: Would allow the IMRF Board of Trustees to assess a penalty on employers for certain retiree return-to-work violations. (Sponsor: Sen. Pamela Althoff)
  • SB 2369: Would clarify that IMRF will accept one past service purchase payment after a member's termination, as long as it receives a valid application while the member is still active. (Sponsor: Sen. Daniel Biss)
  • SB 2894: Would remove the one-year limitation for the retroactive payment of surviving spouse annuities. (Sponsor: Sen. James Clayborne)

Other IMRF-related legislation
Outside groups and individuals have introduced a number of other IMRF-related bills. IMRF's Board of Trustees closely monitors this legislation and takes a position (support, oppose, or neutral) on each bill. However, IMRF cannot ultimately control whether or not a bill becomes law.

Bills supported by IMRF
  • HB 4398: For new members only, would exclude payments received for unused sick and vacation time from pensionable wages. Also would terminate a provision allowing new members to convert unused, unpaid sick time to service credit. (Sponsor: Rep. Elaine Nekritz)
  • HB 6030*: Would require all Illinois pension funds by July 1, 2017, to adopt and implement a system of checking monthly if annuitants are deceased. Funds could use any commonly used method of investigation, including third party sources, the Illinois Vital Records Office, or the Social Security Administration. Also would require the Illinois Vital Records Office to provide this information to the pension funds. (Sponsor: Rep. Deb Conroy)
  • HB 6088*: Would require the pension of retirees whose first participation date is on or after January 1, 2017, to be suspended if the retiree begins participating in another pension system under the Illinois Pension Code while working in a full-time position. (Sponsor: Rep. Joe Sosnowski) 
Other bills
You can  visit our website to read about IMRF's position papers on these bills, as well as about additional IMRF-related bills on which IMRF is neutral or opposed.
* Position of the Legislative Committee pending approval of the full Board of Trustees.
How proposed IMRF legislation becomes law
Just because legislation has been proposed to the General Assembly does not mean that it will automatically become law. Getting a bill passed can be a long process that depends on the passage of many individual steps:
  1. A person or organization has an idea for legislation.
  2. The bill is introduced by a legislator in the House or Senate.
  3. The bill goes to the pension committee of that chamber.
  4. When the pension committee passes the bill, it goes to the floor of that chamber for a vote.
  5. Once the bill is passed by that chamber, it goes to the pension committee of the other chamber, and the process repeats.
  6. When the bill has passed both chambers, the governor signs the bill.
  7. The bill becomes law.

It's important to know that all of these steps must occur before a bill becomes law, but none of them are mandatory once the process begins. The process could end at any stage, at which point the bill is considered effectively dead. 

In fact, this is what happens to most bills. Of the eight- to ten-thousand bills that are introduced during each General Assembly, only about 10% make it through all of the stages and become law.

How does the Illinois legislature work?
The General Assembly, or the legislature, is made up of two chambers: the House of Representatives, commonly known as the House, and the Senate. The term "General Assembly" is also used to refer to the session in which the legislature is operating. Each session spans two years, starting in odd years. Each General Assembly is numbered sequentially, beginning when the legislature first met after Illinois became a state in 1818. Bills introduced at any point during a General Assembly are technically active during the entire General Assembly, although only very rarely are bills introduced in the first year but passed during the second year. Bills cannot, however, move between General Assemblies.
If a bill does not pass out of the legislature during one General Assembly, it must be re-introduced (and be assigned a new bill number) in order to start the process again in the new General Assembly. This is not generally an issue, and bills are often introduced in numerous General Assemblies until they are finally passed.
Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund
2211 York Road
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund
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