Martwick law strengthens Chicago park district pension system

SPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) is helping secure the future of the pension system of the Chicago Park District by requiring it to follow expert recommendations, ensuring park district employees receive the money they’re owed in retirement.

“Many people rely on their pensions for financial security later in life,” Martwick said. “Ensuring the Chicago Park District pays its pensions according to industry standards will help it get back on track and ensure its employees have the funds necessary to retire.”

House Bill 417 eliminates the “multiplier” employee contribution method and instead mandates actuarially required payments be made based on real actuarial calculations by 2024. This law also provides a payment ramp for the Chicago Park District, which requires a $40 million employer contribution in 2021.

It also permits the district to issue up to $250 million in pension obligation bonds.

“Park district employees work hard and deserve to collect the pensions they’ve earned,” Martwick said. “Instead of kicking the can down the road on the pension funding problem, we’re fixing it now.”

The new law was signed by the governor on Friday and takes effect immediately.