Pension loophole closed under new Link law

Sen. Terry LinkSPRINGFIELD – After a high-profile loophole allowed several Lake County Board members to draw their Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) pension while still serving on the county board, State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) passed a proposal to end the practice.

On Friday, Link’s proposal was signed into law by Gov. Pritzker.

“No elected official should be both serving in office while also drawing a retirement check for the work done in that capacity,” Link said. “It is a clear violation of the public trust and an integrity issue, as county board members have the ability to pass measures that could increase their own retirement benefits.”

Link’s new law – which passed under Senate Bill 1236 – requires any county board member or elected local governmental official to forfeit their salary at the beginning of their next term if they are receiving pension benefits for service as a county board member or elected officer.

Link’s legislation builds off of a recent reform measure that eliminated pension benefits for county board members unless the county board opts in and members submit time sheets documenting they worked at least 600 hours a year. That law – supported by Link – passed the General Assembly and was signed into law in 2016.

“If people are to trust their government at all, it is paramount that elected officials hold themselves to a higher standard,” Link said.

Senate Bill 1236 was signed into law on Friday afternoon by Gov. Pritzker and takes effect immediately.

Sen. Terry Link

Assistant Majority Leader Terry Link

30th District

Years served:
1997 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Executive Appointments; Executive; Financial Institutions (Vice-Chairperson); Insurance; Subcommittee on Gaming (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Born March 20, 1947, in Waukegan; attended Stout State University; married (wife, Susan McCall Link), has four children.

Associated Representatives:
Daniel Didech
Rita Mayfield