CHICAGO - June 18, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a
new law that will increase oversight of the state's pension
systems. Senate Bill 179 creates the position of a state
actuary to oversee the five state-funded pension systems to
help increase transparency of the systems. After signing the
new law, Governor Quinn continued his call for bold pension
reform that eliminates the unfunded liability.
"We must restore integrity and accountability to the state's
pension systems and we are headed in the right direction with
this new law," Governor Quinn said. "Now is the time to roll
our sleeves up and continue to work together to fundamentally
reform our pension system and rescue it from drowning in an
ocean of unfunded liability."
Under Senate Bill 179, sponsored by House Speaker Michael J.
Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate Majority Leader James
Clayborne (D-Belleville), the position of a state actuary
will be created within the Office of the Auditor General and
will report to the auditor general. The actuary will oversee
the state's five pension systems: State Employees Retirement
System, General Assembly Retirement System, State
Universities Retirement System, Teachers Retirement System
and Judges Retirement System. To strengthen accountability
and transparency, the actuary will review assumptions,
valuations and actuarial practices for each of the systems.
The actuary will also help calculate the state's annual
"This is another important step in making the pension systems
stable by requiring an independent review of how the systems
create their cost estimates," said Illinois House Speaker
Michael J. Madigan.
The new law is designed to ensure that all of the state's
pension systems follow Illinois law when determining future
contributions. Currently, each pension system submits a
certification plan to the Governor and the General Assembly.
Under the new law, the systems will submit their proposals to
the Governor, the General Assembly and the new state actuary
who will review the plans. The actuary will then issue a
report containing recommended changes to the actuarial
assumptions. Final certifications will be submitted on Jan.
15. The actuary will also be responsible for conducting
reviews of the actuarial practices of the systems.
Governor Quinn continues to work with leaders of the General
Assembly on a long-term solution to strengthen and stabilize
the state's pension system. Governor Quinn introduced a plan
to reform the pension systems that would eliminate the
unfunded liability over 30 years and allow public employees
who have faithfully contributed to the system to receive
"Reforming our pension systems is critical to funding vital
state programs and paying our vendors on time," said the
bill's chief co-sponsor, House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn
Currie (D-Chicago). "This law will make sure that all of the
state's pension systems are following the correct process,
and I thank Governor Quinn for signing this quickly."
"We must restore confidence in the state's pension systems,"
said Leader Clayborne. "I would like to thank Governor Quinn
for his quick action on this bill that will help us make sure
that contributions are being calculated correctly."