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NIU Reacts to Bill to Shift Pension Cost back to Schools

<font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; -ms-text-autospace:; mso-layout-grid-align: none;"><span style='font-family: "Times New Roman"; font-size: 12pt;'>The House passes a bill which could shift pension costs for college and university retirees.<o:p></o:p></span></p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font>

UPDATE: A bill to shift pension costs for colleges and university retirees back to the schools fails in the senate.  It was defeated 33-21.

Students walking on the Northern Illinois University campus. Many already struggling with debt, and they could see higher costs. If schools like N-I-U are forced to absorb employee pension costs.


It also could affect Illinois homeowners.

 

Brad Hoey of Northern Illinois University says "they would have to rely on property taxes, because that's how most of the school districts are funded. They would have to raise those taxes to address the cost shift."

 

Hoey says they are working to east the added cost burden.


Hoey says "institutions have said they are willing, they have a plan, and that's the six point plan to take on some of that burden."

 

That plan includes cutting cost of living increases for retirees, making employees contribute more to their pensions, and cutting pension benefits for future employees.

 

Northern Illinois also has retirees who make six figure pensions. Some believe they are too high. Hoey says it's a very small percentage, and those retirees have earned it.

 

Hoey says "you have invested in the pension system, and you've invested throughout your entire career as an employee, then you are entitled to those benefits."

 

And he points out that legislators have to make tough budget decisions, which will impact all state workers.

 

Hoey says "every state employee knows that there is going to be some sort of sacrifice.

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