As one of his first official acts as a lawmaker in the Illinois General Assembly, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has rejected the legislative pension.
Paperwork was submitted last week to the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) stating the new legislator’s wishes to decline participation in the system. “The pension system in Illinois is unsustainable, and I believe that as a legislator I should lead by example to show my commitment to solving the pension crisis,” said Olsen. “It is an area of reform that will be a priority for me as I begin my tenure in the House of Representatives.”
Illinois’ underfunded pension system has been identified as the worst in the nation, which has led to repeated downgrades in the state’s credit rating. Today the state’s credit rating is barely above junk-bond status. “The pension obligation is crowding out other essential areas of the budget to a point where critical service areas are not receiving the levels of funding they need,” Olsen said. “Finding a fair and Constitutionally-sound solution to the pension crisis that protects pensions for today’s retirees is imperative if we are to get Illinois’ fiscal house in order. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with stakeholders to find the right solution.”
Residents who would like to express their opinions or concerns on this or other areas of policy are encouraged to email Representative Olsen through the contact form available at www.repolsen.com or call his office at (630) 737-0504.