Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a new pension bill Thursday which bans an alleged “double dipping” practice in the police department.
“Today I signed HB 418. This will protect IL taxpayers from pension fund abuse while ensuring fair compensation for police officers,” Rauner tweeted.
The “double dip” revolves around retired police officers returning to law enforcement in another department within the state, allowing them to start building towards a second pension while collecting their initial retirement benefits—equal to 75% of their final salary. The new bill will instead enroll them into a 401(k)-style plan. The bill intends to protect state taxpayers from paying “the same person twice.”
The bill was formed after it was argued whether a Naperville police chief should be allowed to build toward a new pension while collecting a six-figure salary from his first pension.
If Gov. Rauner is looking to complete his mission, the bill needs to be adjusted for several loopholes, under retired officers can still pull off the “double dip,” according to the Daily Herald.
One is by taking a post-retirement position in another field, such as teaching criminal justice in a state university. This will allow them to begin contributing to a pension within the Illinois State University Retirement System while collecting their law enforcement benefits. Retired officers could also join additional pensions by being elected as a judge or to the legislature itself.
The bill also targets only new retirees, which means those already working on their second pension will be unaffected by the change—including the Naperville officer.
In addition, a retired officer could also move to another state and begin a new position—and pension—in that state’s law enforcement department while receiving their first pension, according to a spokesperson for Illinois Sen. Andy Manar, a sponsor of the bill.