Rep Phillips Refuses State Pension, Insurance

State Representative Reggie Phillips today announced that he will refuse state pension and insurance benefits associated with his new position as State Representative. Phillips (R-Charleston) stressed that previous administrations have left Illinois with one of the worst funded state pension systems in the nation, and he is focused on seeking solutions.

“It’s just common sense that it’s bad policy to add-on more financial obligations when you can’t meet those you already have,” said Phillips. “I was sent to Springfield to work on solutions to our financial mess. I won’t put more stress on our already underfunded pension systems, or add to our insurance costs.”

Currently, legislators who participate in the pension program contribute 11.5 percent of their annual salary to the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS). A legislator’s base annual salary is $67,836. Members with committee chairmanships and/or leadership positions earn more.

Under pension reform legislation enacted in 2010 that applies to new members who have entered the General Assembly since 2011, legislators can retire at age 67 with a minimum of eight years of service (or at age 62 with reduced benefits) and earn up to 60 percent of their final average salary after 20 years of service. Legislators who took office prior to 2011 remain eligible to retire at age 62 with a minimum four years of service (or age 55 with a minimum eight years of service) and earn the maximum 85 percent of their final average salary after 20 years, with annual cost-of-living adjustments.

Representative Phillips’s decision is final and irrevocable; as administrative rules within the state pension system do not allow him to ever opt back in.

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