Sauer Says ‘No’ to Taxpayer Funded Pension

In one of his first official acts since taking office on December 30, State Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington) has rejected a taxpayer funded pension. Sauer said his decision reflects a personal commitment to fiscal discipline and his conviction that being entrusted to be an elected official should be about public service and not financial gain.

“The taxpayers of Illinois are burdened with the worst underfunded pension system in the country,” said Sauer. “We cannot hope to correct this problem unless the public servants elected to do so lead by example and do not exacerbate it further.”

Representative Sauer’s decision is final and irrevocable. Administrative rules of the state pension system do not allow a legislator to change their mind and opt into the pension system once they have rejected a pension.

Under pension reform legislation enacted in 2010 that applies to new members who have entered the General Assembly since 2011, legislators can retire at age 67 with a minimum of eight years of service (or at age 62 with reduced benefits) and earn up to 60 percent of their final average salary after 20 years of service. Legislators who took office prior to 2011 remain eligible to retire at age 62 with a minimum four years of service (or age 55 with a minimum eight years of service) and earn the maximum 85 percent of their final average salary after 20 years, with annual cost-of-living adjustments.

“Every day, more and more taxpayer dollars are required to meet our state’s pension obligation, putting critical services at risk,” said Sauer. “However, we can develop a constitutionally acceptable solution to this problem. I look forward working in a bi-partisan manner to achieve this goal, the people of Illinois deserve no less from their elected officials.”

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