Martwick measure updates Chicago Police pension benefits

SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Robert Martwick, with the support of Mayor Johnson, passed a measure to ensure fiscal health for Chicago Police pensions.

“In 2021, I passed a law to fix an egregious error for Chicago firefighter pensions, and today we have provided this same correction, which will help protect the benefits and pensions of Chicago police officers as well,” said Martwick (D-Chicago). “This bill will help provide better funding, ensuring that the retirement benefits are there when the men and women who have selflessly served our communities need them, while protecting taxpayers from a huge bill down the road.”

Senate Bill 1956 ensures that the city of Chicago makes timely and adequate contributions to the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund. In addition, it brings retired Chicago police officers in line with the current Chicago firefighter and downstate police retirement standards.

The measure removes the birth date requirement that was previously in place (born before Jan. 1, 1966) for Tier 1 retirees to be eligible for an annual 3% cost-of-living adjustment. The legislation ensures that police officers born after Jan. 1, 1966, who received a retroactive increase of 1.5% in any year, will receive a proportional increase for that year so that the total increase is equal to 3% for each year.

“This measure does not create additional liabilities for the fund—it makes existing liabilities apparent, lifting the curtain so the city can account for them,” Martwick said. “I am grateful to Mayor Johnson for his support for protecting the retirements of our valued police officers and understanding for that true fiscal responsibility begins when we acknowledge the true cost of our benefits so that we can properly and adequately pay for them.”

Senate Bill 1956 passed the Senate Thursday.