Illinois is home to some of the nation’s most glorious teacher pension plans. Pensions are paid to Illinois teachers, who are often entitled to a certain amount of job security. However, the fact remains that Illinois is in dire straights when it comes to its budget. The state has already implemented a balanced budget, but that only cuts the state out of the federal government programs that help to support our nation. Now Illinois needs those pension funds more than ever!
Unfortunately, most Illinois teachers have seen their pay cut in recent years – by at least 20%. No doubt about it – if you’re a teacher in Illinois, your retirement benefits won’t be nearly as nice as they were a decade or two ago. So why aren’t the politicians doing something to reinstate these incredible pension plans?
It seems politicians and the Illinois legislature would rather cut funding for basic public services or create political playthings to appease their angry voter base. But cutting these pension funds is not an option. There is no way a teacher can afford the large expense of a normal Illinois pension, especially in today’s difficult economy. If nothing else, it’s good to know that the Illinois teacher pension fund is there to provide some much-needed financial backup for Illinois teachers.
In addition to a pension, Illinois also offers Illinois teachers an Educational Savings Plan (ESVP). The ESP is a combination of a pension and savings plan for teachers in Illinois. Teachers may contribute to this type of plan by taking advantage of tax breaks associated with being a teacher in Illinois. Teachers may also opt to set up their own individual teacher pension fund. In order to do this, they must meet the criteria set forth by the Illinois State Board of Education.
IIT Teacher pension Facts
As you’ll find, both of these plans have similarities. Illinois has a well-developed teacher pension fund that offers a variety of choices for teachers to choose from. In addition to a pension, Illinois teachers are also provided with a variety of educational benefits including educational assistance for their children, as well as assistance with paying for their educational costs. Teachers in Illinois also have the choice to take out educational loans that will allow them to pay for their continuing education. While Illinois is not required to offer these types of benefits, they have been known to do so.
However, the pension fund itself is where the similarities end. Illinois established its own private pension fund instead of relying on contributions from its employees. However, since most teachers have worked for the state for a number of years, many have built up a substantial retirement benefit. Illinois state government, through the Illinois Teachers Union, has been working hard to fight for increased contributions from its members in the past couple of years. The pension fund has seen some increases, but the state government has maintained an ironclad commitment to pay for pension payments regardless of the cost.
The cost of pension payments is a hot topic for discussion among Illinois citizens. Many teachers have advocated that the cost of pension payments be decreased by limiting the number of Illinois teachers who continue to work past the defined retirement age. However, the Illinois Teachers Union has been adamant in its opposition to this type of proposal. They argue that by limiting the number of employees who can continue working, the pension fund will become underfunded and this will lead to reductions in education funding.
In The End
Illinois has some of the most stringent teacher retirement plan restrictions in the country. In addition to the pension fund limitation, the Illinois State Board of Education also restricts the types of employee contributions that can be made to the pension fund. Teachers have a powerful lobby in the statehouse because the pension fund is one of their largest single sources of income. Illinois state government has continually worked to restrict public access to the pension fund and keep information about its functions a secret. Only now, with the leak of hundreds of pages of internal IP logs and deposition transcripts has the public finally been able to learn what goes on behind the closed doors of the state’s pension fund.