CHICAGO (AP) - Public employees could see significant reductions in long-term retirement income under a proposed bill that Illinois legislative leaders are pushing as a way to solve the worst-in-the-nation pension crisis. One of the biggest cuts would come from a change in annual cost-of-living adjustments. The proposal would change the COLA increase from the current rate of 3 percent compounded annually on the full annuity benefit. Retirees instead would receive increases at that rate only up to a certain amount of annuity benefit.
The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability has developed a formula to calculate estimated changes in retirement income over the years if the bill passes, based on the best information available right now, pension specialist Amanda Kass said.
Here are three scenarios:
Employee 1: Retired teacher, 30 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $67,000
Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $120,680 a year under the current pension system; $91,000 under the proposed changes
Cumulative 20-year decrease: $282,632
Employee 2: Retired Department of Children and Family Services caseworker, 20 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $50,000
Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $90,306 under current system; $63,000 under proposed changes
Cumulative 20-year decrease: $261,215
Employee 3: Central Management Services data processor, age 43, planning to retire in 15 years with 30 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $72,000
Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $130,000 under current system; $85,400 under proposed changes
Cumulative 20-year decrease: $441,700
Police say an employee of an Ellisville jewelry store fired a gun at two men who robbed the store this morning.
The incident started just after 10 AM when one of the suspects asked an employee to show him an expensive watch. The suspect then grabbed the watch and ran in the parking lot. Two employees chased the suspect out of the store. Officers say there was a physical altercation between the suspects and employees in the parking lot. But, when the suspect got into a waiting car, one of the employees pulled out a gun and fired several shots at the suspects.
Police captured the suspects after a short car chase ended in a crash near the Chesterfield mall. Officers recovered the watch the men had stolen--a Rolex worth nearly $35,000.
The suspects have not been identified.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois is beginning to let immigrants apply for a driver's license if they're living in the U.S. illegally.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports appointments begin Tuesday for people to take license tests at two locations - one in Chicago and one in Springfield.
Four locations will offer the license exams by the end of the month. And about three dozen will offer the exams in January.
So far, more than 5,500 people have scheduled appointments.
The licenses are valid for three years and may be used only for driving. They can't be used as identification for activities like boarding a plane, voting or buying a firearm.
Supporters say the law will save Illinois motorists money and make roads safer. But critics say there's a potential for identity fraud.