Pension News
Park Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund
of Chicago

Park Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago

Dean J. Niedospial
Executive Director

Lawsuit in regard to Public Act 098-0622 (Senate Bill 1523)

On October 14, 2015, the Fund was served with a lawsuit challenging Public Act 98-0622’s amendment to the Illinois Pension Code as unconstitutionally diminishing and impairing pension benefits. Among other things, Public Act 98-0622 increased the normal retirement age, increased employee and District contributions to the Fund, reduced the automatic annual increases for retirees, and reduced the duty disability benefit. Pursuant to a preliminary Court order, the Fund restored the automatic annual increases for retirees effective December 1, 2016.
On March 1, 2018, Judge Cohen issued an opinion finding Public Act 98-0622 unconstitutional. Therefore, the additional 1% in employee contributions that were paid to the Fund since January 1, 2015, will be refunded to employees with pre-judgment interest. The District will process the refunds of employee contributions and interest. The Fund anticipates those payments will be issued by July 31, 2018. In addition, the Fund will restore any reduced duty disability benefits retroactively, with pre-judgment interest to any employees who received a reduced duty disability benefit. The Fund anticipates issuing such payments by June 30, 2018. The next status hearing before the Court is set for July 18, 2018.

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