By Gus Bode

Dear editor,

Is your pension important to your financial security, retired state workers?

Senate bill SB175 could become law in the next legislative session. Springfield reporter Kurt Erickson accurately described this bill by stating: “A study was commissioned and used as a template to make old people who worked for the state start paying more for medical insurance, but, the measure was confusing, poorly crafted and viewed by many as overly harsh toward lower-earning pensioners. It was put on hold”.


For example, if you retired after 20 years of service at age 58 with a pension of $15,000 a year or less, you will be required to pay 50 percent of your medical insurance. If you are on Quality Care, your cost will be $5,350 a year.

This is a 36-100% percent reduction in your pension. If your pension is $15,001-$30,000 a year, you will pay 60%, which is $6,420 a year, or 21-43% percent of your pension. Retirees on a Medicare supplemental plan will be required to pay similar percentages of the $4,50 a year. premium. If you are or become a surviving spouse, you will have to make these payments while receiving only 50 percent of your spouse’s pension.

Legislators who favor this bill say that they need to “balance the budget”.

Surely they can find ways to fix our state’s financial problems without breaking the implied and explicit promises made to those of us who have worked our entire lives, paid our taxes and retirement contributions and hoped to have a little financial security in our remaining years.

Call or write your state legislators and ask them to vote no on SB175.

Debi and Ken Robinson

Retired state workers


Carbondale, IL