In one of his first official acts as a State Representative in the Illinois General Assembly, State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) has declined participation in the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) and the State’s insurance program.
“An unsustainable pension system is perhaps the most significant issue affecting Illinois’ finances at this time, and I did not want to contribute to the overburdened system by becoming an enrollee,” said Andersson. “Lawmakers have some tough decisions to make regarding the pension systems, and I believe self-sacrifice and leadership by example will go far in setting the tone for these discussions.”
Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension system faces a $105 billion unfunded liability this year. A pension system overhaul approved by legislators in 2013 has been challenged in the courts and the Illinois Supreme Court will hear arguments in March. “As our pension costs consume more and more of the budget, critical funding for education, public safety and social services is siphoned away from those areas,” Andersson said. “Declining a pension and state insurance is one small way that I can help make a difference.”