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PTSD Training Event – Saving Blue Lives
Source: NIU and IPPFA

The Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (IPPFA) and Northern Illinois University (NIU) have teamed up to develop a program to assist law enforcement leaders and rank-and-file officers in expanding their knowledge of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as it effects police officers. This program, “Saving Blue Lives through Training on PTSD, Suicide, Resilience and Peer Support,” is offered at no cost to those attending.

First responders are routinely exposed to critical incidents involving exposure to injury or death in others, as well as the risk of injury or death to themselves. Research shows, and those in the profession intuitively know, that individual incidents and accumulated exposure can adversely affect the mental and physical health of those involved.

The NIU – IPPFA seminar will include:

  • Learning the symptoms of PTSD
  • Conditions that often arise with PTSD, such as depression and substance abuse
  • Identifying ways to bolster resistance
  • Suicide and conditions such as PTSD
  • Methods for dealing with PTSD without the help of a mental health professional
  • Effective treatments with the help of a mental health professional

Seminar Dates:

October 9-10, 2019,
Naperville Police Department
1350 Aurora Ave., Naperville, IL

November 6-7, 2019
Illinois Fire Services Institute
11 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL

Time: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Register Here

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IPPFA Praises Signing of First Responders Suicide Prevention Act

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (IPPFA) today praised the signing of the Illinois First Responders Suicide Prevention Act, a new law the IPPFA drafted that will help fight the number one cause of duty-related deaths in the state. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the legislation today at the Illinois State Police headquarters in Springfield, and the law takes effect immediately.

“This new law is a major step toward saving the lives of everyday heroes, those who run toward danger rather than away from it and have for years suffered silently because of it,” said IPPFA President James McNamee. “This will give police officers and firefighters the assistance they need to save their own lives while they work every day to save ours.”

The legislation, which overwhelmingly passed the Illinois General Assembly as House Bill 2766, provides that any emergency services or public safety employee may refer any fellow first responder for mental health services through an employee assistance or peer counseling program. If such a program is not available through the employee’s agency, the legislation authorizes that help may be sought from any available mental health assistance program. Most importantly, the bill mandates that any oral or written information communicated during these mental health sessions would be strictly confidential and could not be used in any judicial hearing, arbitration, or other adjudicatory proceeding.

The IPPFA drafted the bill more than two years ago. It was written by IPPFA board member and first responder Shawn Curry, and the legislation gained steam following several recent first responder suicides in Illinois.

“Crimes, fires and other emergencies have not gone down, and as we place more duties on fewer people, those people need to have access to confidential help when they need it,” McNamee said. “The attempted suicide rate for first responders such as police officers and firefighters is more than ten times the rate of the general public, and this new law will literally save lives.”

This spring and summer the IPPFA partnered with the Northern Illinois University Psychology Department to develop training for first responder mental health service providers. This training will be  accredited through the university and can be taught through the state’s  university system.

A recent study by the Ruderman Family Foundation examined depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues affecting first responders and the rates of suicide in departments nationwide. The study determined that first responder suicides outnumber all line of duty deaths in the United States, making it the number one cause of death for firefighters, police officers, probation and corrections officers, paramedics and ambulance personnel.

The IPPFA was founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit organization whose mandate was to educate public pension fund trustees. In 2009 the IPPFA became the primary education provider for public pension fund trustees in the state of Illinois, and its members manage more than $18 billion in pension assets.

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To download a copy of the press release, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Video: Retirement Prep 101
Source: Squared Away Blog

Half of the workers who have an employer retirement plan haven’t saved enough to ensure they can retire comfortably.

This 17-minute video might be just the ticket for them.

Kevin Bracker, a finance professor at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, presents a solid retirement strategy to workers with limited resources who need to get smart about saving and investing.

 

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The Implications of Social Security’s ‘Missing Trust Fund
Source: Center for Retirement Research

The brief’s key findings are:

  • As policymakers consider restoring balance to Social Security, understanding the reason for the shortfall is important.
  • Specifically, the program’s “pay-as-you-go” approach, which dates back to the late 1930s, makes it expensive relative to a funded system.
  • Paying full benefits to Depression-era workers meant forgoing the opportunity to accumulate more revenue in the trust fund, along with the interest on that revenue.
  • To make up for the missing interest, costs are higher than in a funded system.
  • Going forward, if revenues are considered as an option for helping to address legacy costs, the income tax is a potential alternative to the payroll tax.

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The Achilles Heel to the Fiscal Condition of Cities – Public Pensions
Source: MuniNet Guide

Governmental credit quality is a byproduct of both the underlying economy and the cumulative decisions made by officials and citizens over time. The potential for severe strain tends to increase when both the economy and fiscal management break down, which can become even more likely if huge governmental liabilities loom in the backdrop.

The slow, grinding recovery from the 2008 credit crisis has helped most state and local governments restore their coffers through an uptick in revenues. On the other hand, a number of cities remain hampered and exposed to a host of significant liabilities, especially related to retirement benefits.

Using fiscal 2013 year data drawn primarily from city Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR), Merritt Research Services, LLC examined a number of key ratios and statistics to ascertain the overall credit quality of America’s cities.

In this second part of our series, “Assessing the Credit Quality of America’s Cities,” we place the spotlight on the Achilles heel for many cities: public pensions. Future installments of this series will focus on liabilities encompassing other forms of debt, including other post-employment benefits and the average age of infrastructure, a liability whose time will eventually require funding. Wrapping up the fiscal assessment picture, we will examine overall condition measures such as deficits, financial cushions and net position.

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The downsides of retirement that nobody talks about
Source: MSN Money

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Registration Now Open for the 2019 MidAmerican Pension Conference
Source: IPPFA

Registration Now Open for the 2019 MidAmerican Pension Conference.

For over 30 years the IPPFA has offered Public Pension Trustees the best and latest in trustee training. With the recent far reaching changes in pension law and with the difficult challenges yet to come, the IPPFA strives to prepare pension trustees for the future. Please join us for Training in Ethics, Investment Procedures, Fiduciary Responsibilities, Legal and Legislative Updates, and much, much more and all with nationally renowned speakers.

The Trustee Workshop will be offered on Tuesday October 1st, designed for those trustees that need a refresher or are new to a board. And as every year the IPPFA Golf Outing will be held before the conference on October 1st.

After a busy day attending the conference, enjoy one of the many recreational facilities the Grand Geneva has to offer or dine, relax and network at one of the several restaurants and lounges on site. Need to get out?  Drive less than 10 minutes to one of Downtown Lake Geneva’s many restaurants.

Register Now

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois can’t take on Chicago’s public pension liabilities without trashing state credit rating
Source: Chicago Tribune

Illinois cannot assume the unfunded pension liabilities of Chicago and other municipalities across the state because its credit rating would be reduced to junk status if it did, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday.

But the state is still looking for ways to help offset municipalities’ soaring pension debt and he left open the possibility of a consolidation in which the local governments could pool their money for better investment returns.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot reportedly wants the state to consolidate Chicago’s pension funds with more than 650 suburban and downstate police and firefighter pension funds, according to a recent Crain’s Chicago Business story.

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