The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Illinois

December 5, 2013

Ill. workers, retirees worry about pensions changes

CHICAGO — Teachers, welfare specialists and other public employees in Illinois are nervous about pension changes that lawmakers approved Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the state’s worst-in-the-nation pension crisis.

Among their bigger worries is a change in the cost-of-living increase, which currently is 3 percent compounded annually on their full annual benefit. Under the new plan, retirees will receive the 3 percent increases only until their annuity reaches a certain amount. That will limit their annual pension payments — dramatically in some cases — compared with what they would get under the current system.

Lawmakers who supported the changes say they protect the longest-serving and lowest-income retirees while helping to resolve the state’s $100 billion pension shortfall.

Here are some employees’ stories:

JoAnn Washington-Murry has spent almost 20 years as a child welfare specialist with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, making sure that kids in foster care and institutions are not abused or neglected. Her plan was to work another five years or so, then retire with an expected annual benefit starting at about $25,000.

Now she’s not sure she’ll be able to join her husband in retirement that soon.

The couple still has about 18 years left to pay off their house, which is worth less than they owe. And with a combined mortgage and property tax payment of about $24,000 a year, they might have to consider selling unless she keeps working longer than she wants to, Washington-Murry said. Her husband retired two years ago and is on a fixed income.

“That’s the only way I can see it,” said Washington-Murry, 60, of the Chicago suburb of East Hazelcrest. Based on her projected retirement benefit and 25 years of service, she could receive a cumulative $30,000 less over the next 18 years under the new pension plan, she said.

Text Only
Illinois
  • New logo to promote farmers who are veterans

    A new logo on agricultural products will help identify Illinois farmers, fishermen and ranchers who served in the military.

    July 29, 2014

  • Chicago Violence [Duplicate] Chicago authorities charge man in child's death CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago teenager accused of shooting dead an 11-year-old girl was aiming his gun at members of a rival gang when a stray bullet struck the girl as she was making s’mores during a sleepover, police said Thursday.At a news conference t

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • GPS race Teams race to complete challenges THOMSON, Ill. — A challenge in August will pit teams against each other to complete a series of challenges.The event will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 16 at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Thomson. Armed with GPS units, teams

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25-14 1B-Photo, Cubs San Diego sinks Cubs, 13-3 CHICAGO — Tyson Ross kept mowing down Chicago Cubs hitters, long enough for San Diego’s suddenly potent offense to carry the Padres to victory for the second straight night.Ross struck out a career-high 11, and the light-hitting Padres broke out for

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • GOP Rauner's ad used made-up headlines SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A campaign ad from the Republican candidate for Illinois governor is being called into question for tailoring — and even making up — headlines from news stories to make them appear more negative about his opponent.Businessman

    July 25, 2014

  • Illinois woman, 47, dies rescuing boy in Wisc. lake ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Friends and family are mourning the death of an Illinois woman who drowned while rescuing a 9-year-old boy in a Wisconsin lake.The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports 47-year-old Karen Wessel of Arlington Heights d

    July 25, 2014

  • Trestman ready for round 2 BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — This time last year, Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman was still something of a curiosity.He was a guy leading an NFL team for the first time as training camp started, plucked from Canada after spending several years out of the le

    July 25, 2014

  • Sox jump on Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An impressive start from Hector Noesi was just a couple of pitches away from being something really special.Noesi allowed three hits over 7 2-3 innings, and Adam Eaton had three hits and two RBIs to lead the Chicago White Sox to a

    July 25, 2014

  • Habitat for Humanity hosts fundraiser

    CLINTON — Habitat for Humanity will host a fundraiser in Thomson, Illinois.The Clinton County group will showcase Laid Back Luau from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, at Heirloom Cafe in Thomson. The event will feature games, prizes, music train rides for

    July 25, 2014

  • Bears bring high hopes to '14 camp BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery understands expectations are soaring. He’s not backing away from them, either.The Bears are aiming high, hoping to return to the NFL playoffs after missing out for the sixth time in se

    July 24, 2014

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Featured Comment
Front page
Featured Ads
Local Radar
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Front page