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Experienced Chicago Law Firm Battles on Behalf of Public Employees

More than 400 Illinois municipalities face severe pension problems

If you’re a trustee for a public employee pension fund, failing to monitor the status of your fund can be very costly. More than 400 Illinois municipalities face pension problems similar to those that triggered litigation in Harvey. This longstanding problem has led some cities to divert significant funds meant to fund public pensions to pay other obligations, leaving the pension funds unfunded. Whether you believe the threat of insolvency exists in your case or not, it’s important to consult with a qualified adviser. At Schwartz & Kanyock, LLC in Chicago, our attorneys enforce the rights of public pensions throughout the state. We have a detailed understanding of the relevant laws and new measures to help police officers, firefighters and other civil servants secure their hard-earned retirements.

Determined litigators seek justice for workers in negotiations and court

Many workers well into their careers weren’t even born when the problem of unfunded liabilities first arose. Many factors have contributed to this situation, causing problems for hardworking Illinois residents even while revenues have met or exceeded expectations. Government employees’ defined benefit plans have been overburdened by factors such as:

  • Cost-of-living adjustments — In 1989, Illinois passed an annual three percent cost-of-living adjustment. These increases were not based on the original benefit amount but on the compounded benefit, triggering even greater cost.
  • Pension spikes — For many years, public employees would take on overtime and extra work to increase their salary, which then became a basis for pension payments. As state funds were used to cover these payments, cities frequently allowed workers to lock in extraordinarily high pension rates. New regulations have restricted this practice.
  • Early retirement — Governments trying to make a budget are often tempted to reduce their active payroll, but this increases the numbers of years that a retiree collects benefits from the pension fund.

With pension liabilities and other costs risings, governments face pressure to raise revenue to meet these burdens through taxes or other methods. However, when it becomes too expensive to live or run a business somewhere, the entire local economic framework can collapse. Our firm capitalizes on legal innovations and decades of litigation experience to achieve favorable, sustainable results for our public pension clients, even in cities suffering from severe financial difficulties like Harvey.

Contact a knowledgeable Illinois attorney to discuss your public pension matter

Schwartz & Kanyock, LLC in Chicago handles all types of Illinois public pension issues for public pension fund trustees throughout the state. Please call 312-436-1442 or contact us online to schedule a meeting. Our office is on Dearborn Street in the Loop.