Let common sense lead on county pensions

February 10, 2014 

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund sure is slow in figuring out whether part-time St. Clair County Board members and others qualify for a pension.

After months of investigating, all that's clear is that part-time jury commissioners don't qualify. IMRF still hasn't decided whether part-time board members and part-time attorneys really do.

What's clear is that no reasonable person thinks it is right for part-timers to get a public pension. IMRF's statement that the county tentatively agreed it "inadvertently" put people into IMRF is so disingenuous. County leaders had a responsibility to figure this out and they failed. The county collects more than $4.4 million in property taxes to help fund the pensions.

Rather than wait for IMRF, more part-time workers should follow the example of Jury Commissioner Lou Ann Niemann, who dropped out of the plan. Niemann knew she didn't qualify; County Board members and attorneys also should face up to the obvious.

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