Tuesday, August 02, 2016 10:05 AM
CHAMPAIGN – Illinois taxpayers will benefit from a new law that encourages state pension funds to regularly review their rolls for deceased recipients.
The measure, an initiative of Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), gives the funds until Jan. 1, 2017, to implement a process to identify deceased annuitants at least once a month.
“We need to do whatever we can to end the waste of taxpayer dollars,” Bennett said. “This is one simple way for the state to save money and promote the responsible use of funds.”
It is unclear how many state pension payments are made to deceased annuitants in Illinois because each pension fund tracks death-related overpayments differently.
Under the new law (House Bill 6030), the review 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.
In 2015, Better Government Association published a report that alleged various Illinois public retirement systems were paying annuities to deceased people.
Sen. Scott Bennett
52nd Senate District
Years served: 2015 - Present
Committee assignments: Agriculture; Appropriations II; Criminal Law; Gaming; Higher Education; Labor.
Biography: Bennett grew up in Gibson City, where four generations of his family worked on their family farm. He moved to Champaign-Urbana to attend law school at the University of Illinois after graduating from Illinois State University.