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Martinez measure expanding survivor benefits for same sex couples becomes law

martinez 010817SPRINGFIELD — Legislation sponsored by Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) that allows certain retirees in civil unions or marriages not previously recognized to “buy-back” their survivor benefits was signed into law last Friday.

The law allows members of the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Retirement Fund or their surviving partner to “buy-back” the survivor benefit for which they received a refund if they retired before June 1, 2011 and are part of a civil union or marriage that was not recognized by law before 2011, such as a same sex marriage.

“Illinois legalized same-sex civil unions in 2011 and same-sex marriage in 2014,” Martinez said. “It is past time that these couples receive all the same benefits under the law.”

Members of the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District contribute a percentage of their salary for the survivor benefit provided by the fund.  Upon retirement, the member may choose to receive a refund of their contribution towards the survivor benefit in exchange for giving up the right to a survivor benefit.

House Bill 164 becomes effective immediately.

 

Senator Iris Y. Martinez

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Majority Caucus Chair
20th District

Years served:
2003 - Present
 
Committee assignments: Education; Energy; Gaming; Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions (Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Born Feb. 25, 1956, in Chicago; earned her bachelor's degree in public policy and administration from Northeastern Illinois University in 2009; elected president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. She is also the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Co-Chair; has one daughter.