State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is taking steps to ease the financial pressures placed on taxpayers who fund local government pensions.


HB 291, which passed unanimously out the House Personnel & Pensions Committee on Thursday, increases to 1,000 hours per year the number of hours an employee must work to become eligible for a pension through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). Today, IMRF participants must only work 600 hours per year to become pension-eligible. “While I value the work of all public officials, taxpayers simply cannot afford to pay for pensions for those who are only working a very limited number of hours,” said Olsen. “This is not a full solution, but it is a definite step in the right direction.”


IMRF rules currently require each unit of local government certify the elected positions which meet the hour threshold biannually. HB 291 would set a uniform standard across the state that all eligible elected positions work 1,000 hours. “I hear regularly from constituents who are taxed to their limit, and this is one way to help control costs that are passed down to taxpayers,” Olsen said.


HB 291 will now move to the floor of the House for full consideration and a vote.