Rockford Sun

Rockford Sun

Monday, December 9, 2019

Consolidation of public-safety pension funds 'is the most responsible step,' Rep. Keicher says


By Glenn Minnis | Nov 18, 2019

Illinois state Rep. Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore)

Illinois state Rep. Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) says his reasons are many for supporting a bill to consolidates the pension funds of 649 local police and fire departments.

“First and foremost, I believe it is the most responsible step we can take to protect the hard-earned retirement security of our dedicated police and fire personnel,” Keicher said in a press release. “I also believe that consolidation will reduce investment costs and increase returns, both for current police and fire retirees and those still working. I cannot emphasize enough that their pension funds will be protected and cannot be swept by the state for any purpose.”

Senate Bill 1300 also has the support of the Illinois Firefighters Association, Illinois Fraternal Order of Police and the Illinois Municipal League. It easily passed the House.

With the 649 downstate police and fire pension funds under water by at least $11 billion, the idea for consolidation stems from the work of the bipartisan Pension Consolidation Feasibility Task Force created by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to study the issue. After meeting at least eight times since last year, the group released a report last month where members recommended the consolidation plan in hopes of generating higher investment returns and lower costs on funds management.

Elected to Springfield in 2018, Keicher’s 70th District includes parts of DeKalb, Kane and Boone counties. Prior to knocking off Democrat Paul Stoddard in November 2018, Keicher was appointed to the seat the following July.

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Illinois State Representative Jeff Keicher

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