SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis and other mayors across Illinois are lobbying the General Assembly to consolidate the state’s more than 650 public safety pension funds.
The Illinois Municipal League argues consolidation would streamline investments and eliminate redundant administrative costs.
A package of seven bills to consolidate the funds were introduced by state Sen. Steven Landek (D-Bridgeview), and Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria), a former member of the Peoria City Council.
The city of Peoria has attributed recent cuts to the fire department, police department and other city services; and new fees to efforts to pay down the city’s public pension obligations and balance the city budget.
“Consolidating smaller pension funds into larger funds has been shown to generate greater investment returns. Additionally, consolidation will relieve some of the burden placed on taxpayers. This is a win-win for both retirees and our communities as a whole,” said Michael J. Inman, mayor of the City of Macomb and president of the IML Board of Directors.
The IML is proposing a single downstate public pension fund modeled on the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.