News

Wages
Source: United States Department of Labor

The Department of Labor enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets basic minimum wage and overtime pay standards. These standards are enforced by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division.

Minimum Wage

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2017 IPPFA Illinois Pension Conference
Source: IPPFA

Another fine day at the 2017 IPPFA Illinois Pension Conference.

 

 

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Special Old Style Cans Raise Money For Firefighter Charities
Source: dna info

 Old Style has redesigned its packaging to honor firefighters and will donate 20 cents from every commemorative case sold to four related charities.

The cans and cases designed with a firefighter crest, axe and other images of classic firefighting techniques will debut next month. Old Style has pledged to donate $20,000-$35,000 to a group of Midwest charities.

Those benefiting from the effort include: the Ende, Menzer, Walsh and Quinn Retirees’, Widows’ and Children’s Assistance Fund, the IPPFA Remembrance & Survivor’s Fund, the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin Charitable Foundation and the Professional Firefighters’ Union of Indiana.

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Welcome Chester Police Pension Fund to IPPFA
Source: IPPFA

Welcome Chester Police Pension Fund to IPPFA.

 

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Illinois State Retirement System financial condition as of June 30,2016
Source: CGFA

This report examines the financial status of the five State-funded retirement systems.

The following is a summary of the findings:

• Public Act 88-0593 requires the State to make contributions to the State retirement systems such that the total assets of the systems will equal 90% of their total actuarial liabilities by Fiscal Year 2045. The contributions are required to be made at a level percent of payroll in Fiscal Years 2011 through 2045, following a phase-in period that began in Fiscal Year 1996.

 

• From FY 2002 through FY 2016, the combined unfunded liabilities of the systems increased by $94.8 billion based upon the market value of assets. The main factors for this increase in unfunded liabilities were actuarially insufficient employer contributions, changes in actuarial assumptions and lower-than-assumed investment returns over 5 years, along with other miscellaneous actuarial factors.

• The discussion of the financial condition of the State retirement systems centers on the funded ratio, or net assets divided by accrued liabilities. A system with a 100% funded ratio is fully funded because its assets are sufficient to pay all benefits earned by employees. Based upon the market value of assets, the funded ratio of the State retirement systems combined was 37.6% as of June 30, 2016.

• Projections of the future financial condition of the State retirement systems provide valuable information on the effect that past funding has had on the retirement systems’ financial position. The funding projections shown in the appendices A-J of this report were prepared by the systems’ actuaries and by CGFA’s actuary based on the June 30, 2016 actuarial valuations.

• If the State continues funding according to Public Act 88-0593, the projected accrued liabilities of the State retirement systems will increase from $214.9 billion at the end of FY 2017 to $328.7 billion at the end of FY 2045. At the same time, the projected actuarial value of assets is projected to increase from $85.4 billion to $295.8 billion. Consequently, the projected unfunded liabilities are projected to decrease from $129.5 billion at the end of FY 2017 to $32.9 billion at the end of FY 2045, and the projected funded ratio is expected to increase from 39.7% in FY 2017 to 90.0% by the end of FY 2045. All of the projected figures in this paragraph come from the various systems’ actuaries, and are predicated upon the State making the necessary contribution as required by law.

• Each of the 5 State retirement systems provided a certification of the required State contribution for FY 2018. These certification letters are displayed in the appendices Y-HH.

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As the Clock Ticks, Senate Stalls on State-Run Retirement Plans
Source: Governing

Congress could overturn a rule that allows states to create private-sector retirement programs. But it only has a limited time to do it.

Late last month, Congress voted to overturn an Obama-era rule that cleared the way for cities to create retirement programs for private-sector workers that didn’t have one through their employer. But a similar resolution targeting the rule as it applies to states is stuck.

For the past three weeks, that resolution has lingered in uncertainty as the Senate stalls on taking an up or down vote. Many believe that signals an opportunity. “Based on the conversations we’ve had with staff and colleagues working on this,” says Cristina Martin Firvida of AARP, which supports the Obama-era regulation, “I think there are a number of senators who still have a lot of questions about the state rule.”

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Reservists Being Called To Active Duty FAQs
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Q1: I have been called to active duty and have questions about my employer provided pension and health benefits. Where can I get more information about my benefits?

The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) has information for veterans, National Guard, or reservists who may be activated for military service. National Guard and reserve members called to active duty and their civilian employers have certain rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). VETS has developed a fact sheet and an interactive computer program, the USERRA Advisor, which address the rights and responsibilities of individuals and their employers under the law. These tools and other USERRA information can be found on the VETS Website.

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ABLE National Resource Center
Source: ABLE National Resource Center

The ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) is a collaborative that brings together the investment, support and resources of some of the country’s largest and most influential national disability organizations in an effort to accelerate the design and availability of ABLE accounts to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. Founded and managed by National Disability Institute (NDI), the ANRC’s goal is to provide consistent, reliable information concerning the benefits of an ABLE account. In addition, the ANRC aims to educate individuals with disabilities and their families, state government and legislatures, financial service companies and financial planners and attorneys – who focus on trust and estate planning – about ABLE’s potential positive impact on the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities.

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State Personal Income Taxes on Pensions and Retirement Income: Tax Year 2014
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Most states that levy a personal income tax allow people who receive retirement income to exclude part of it from their taxable income. The table that accompanies this introduction provides state-by-state detail. “Retirement income” means income from federal, state and local governments’ retirement plans, Social Security, Railroad Retirement, private pension plans, and deferred compensation plans in the public and private sectors. Retirement income excludes income from current employment, rents and dividends, disability payments and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This report does not address personal exemptions or deductions that are available to every filer over some specified age, like the federal provision for a larger standard deduction for people who are 65 years old or older.

State policies on retirement income exclusions vary greatly, but have one or both of two purposes: to protect the income of taxpayers who are no longer in the workforce, and to serve as an economic development tool by attracting retired people to, or retaining them in, a state. Such tax provisions seem to have originated years ago as a means of assisting retired public employees who received relatively small pensions. Over the years, many states have made age, not former employment in the public sector, the criterion for retirement income exclusions. The exclusions discussed below generally include an age restriction, which has been omitted from this discussion for the sake of simplicity; however, the age eligibility requirements are specified in the table that follows.

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Detroit’s Big Pension Plan, Debating the Pension Crisis and Counties Under the Gun
Source: Governing

Detroit is joining Oklahoma and Kentucky in establishing a pension reserve fund. The fund essentially acts like a savings account; it’s a place for governments to set aside money to help with increasing pension costs. In Detroit’s case, the fund will help the city plan for 2024, when pension costs are expected to skyrocket from $20 million annually to $200 million a year.

Thanks to Detroit’s exit plan from bankruptcy in 2014, the city isn’t paying the full cost of its pensions right now. A charitable foundation and the city’s water and sewer system are shouldering much of those costs until 2023.

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