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Illinois House OKs additional retirement plan for retired first responders

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(The Center Square) – Police and firefighters wanting to retire but still stay on the job for a few more years could continue contributing to their retirement under a bill advancing at the Illinois Statehouse.

Among other changes to the classification of lottery workers and some Chicago Public School employees, House Bill 3765 also would create a Deferred Retirement Option Plan, separate from a pension, for police and firefighters who retire but continue in some capacity with the department to save for retirement.

State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, carried the bill Wednesday. She said it’s about retaining first responders.

“The individual essentially retires, so it eliminates that pension liability for that individual and they can continue to opt to work another two to five years,” she said on the House floor.

If enacted, the measure would be active in January 2026 and sunset five years later.

“When they cease working for the entity they’re working for, so they’d be able to get a lump sum and they should work with their financial advisor where they can roll that over into another account or whether they take the lump sum and buy a new car or whatever they want to do with it,” Kifowit said.

State Rep. Marty McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, said taxpayers will still be on the hook and raised concerns about disability claims.

“What will disability claims be, what will 58-year-old firemen dragging my body out of a burning building turn into, so there’s a lot in this bill that we agree with over here but I think we have to be realistic on who’s paying, what the liability and what the cost is,” McLaughlin said.

Despite concerns of unknown local taxpayer costs, the measure passed unanimously and can now be sent to the Illinois Senate for further action.

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