SPRINGFIELD — For municipal officials, the idea of consolidating 650 downstate police and fire pensions into one will save money in the long run, provide better investment returns and provide more stability to weaker systems.
But representatives of the pension plans said consolidating them will cost money that could take up to 20 years to recover and that there are more pressing issues facing the systems, including Tier 2 benefits that are inadequate.
The goal of consolidating downstate police and fire pension funds has been on the radar of the Illinois Municipal League for several years. This year, it also got the attention of Gov. J.B. Pritzker who appointed a task force in February to look into the feasibility of consolidating local pensions “beginning with downstate police and fire funds.” The group is supposed to deliver recommendations by July 1.