Thursday, June 02, 2016 03:18 PM
SPRINGFIELD- Between 2010 and 2014, 11 of Illinois’ 15 major government pension funds have made $2.2 million in payments to more than 1,000 dead people.
To end this practice, State Senator Tom Cullerton passed House Bill 6030 to require state pension funds to develop and implement a process to identify deceased pension recipients each month.
“This is a simple way to reduce waste, fraud and abuse of valuable taxpayer dollars,” Cullerton said. “Reviewing the pension rolls monthly will allow for greater oversight and accountability of where pension funds are going.”
It is difficult to determine the amount of pension payments made to deceased annuitants because each pension fund tracks death-related overpayments differently.
State pension funds will have until January 1, 2017 to implement a process to identify deceased recipients at least once a month. The process can include using a third-party company, Social Security Administration data or other available data as well as any other method that is commonly used by other state retirement systems.
"The BGA supports pension reform that eliminates abuses of the public funds that support retired public employees,” Judy Stevens, Better Government Association Policy Coordinator. “With the passage of HB 6030, Illinois has taken a step toward eliminating one of the most glaring of these abuses - money paid to deceased pension recipients. By requiring state funds to regularly identify pension recipients who have passed, the bill could ultimately result in saving millions of dollars for Illinois' woefully underfunded retirement systems."
House Bill 6030 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and now moves to the governor’s desk for consideration.