Monday, February 29, 2016

County Board Member Pensions in Question

In  June 2010  the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund performed an audit of the DuPage County Board.  As part of the audit the board had the opportunity to end this costly benefit.   The benefit would have been eliminated had the majority of the board decline to sign a form stating they work 1000 hours per year .  Instead, what happened was 12 members signed the form allowing the benefit to continue. DuPage County Board Members are not required to keep a log of hours.  

There are some weeks when I feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I put in as a member of the board. It's hard work. I would love to tell you that I work 1000 hours per year has a member of the board however in my case that is simply not true.  That is why I have never participated in the IMRF and have forgone the pension benefit.

In 2012 eight new members were elected to the DuPage County Board. Its been six years since the IMRF did an audit of the DuPage County Board, maybe its time for another audit.

I read with interest the article in the Daily Herald  written by Lauren Rohr and Jake Griffin

Whether McHenry Co. Board works enough hours for 
pensions questioned

Municipal Retirement Fund Executive Director Louis Kosiba said Monday an audit conducted in October raised concerns about whether 18 of 24 board members who signed an affidavit of the time they put in are actually meeting those requirements. State law requires elected officials to work at least 1,000 hours per year to be eligible for the state pension.

"IMRF is not going to ignore something when it has been brought to our attention," Kosiba told the Daily Herald editorial board. "It's our job to ensure the system is being administered properly."

Kosiba said it's "highly unusual" for officials in governing bodies such as the McHenry County Board to work enough hours to be eligible for IMRF participation, as per IMRF guidelines.

Added Kosiba: "I think that undercuts their argument that they put in the hours that are required." He noted that attending community events, election-related duties and campaigning are not eligible work hours.
Providing false information in order to receive a benefit is a felony, Kosiba said, which is why the IMRF encourages people to document their hours and understand IMRF rules.

You can read the full story here .

You can read more about the DuPage Pensions here.

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