The City of Stockton, California filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. However, it has continued to contribute the full amount to the pension system at the expense of municipal bond repayments. The mutual funds and insurers who hold the municipal bonds have sued. If they win, the case may have far reaching implications for whether state pension rights/benefits can be discharged or reduced through bankruptcy proceedings.
On March 22, 2013 the First District Appellate Court issued its Rule 23 Order in Mahoney v. The Evergreen Park Police Pension Board. The First District reversed the trial court’s order affirming the Pension Board’s decision denying the plaintiff a line-of-duty disability pension. Mr. Puchalski represented Officer Mahoney in this matter and argued the case before the First District Appellate Court.
On March 21, 2013 the Illinois House approved HB-1165 which caps and reduces COLAs for participants in all of the State Retirement Systems with the exceptions of Judges.
On March 19, 2013 the First District Appellate Court heard Oral Arguments in Reynolds v. The Retirement Board of the Firemen’s Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago. The issue in the case is whether the estate of a deceased firefighters’ surviving spouse has standing to sue the Pension Board for a benefit that the surviving spouse may have been entitled to receive but where the surviving spouse did not make application before her death. PGM will post the court’s decision as soon as it becomes available.
On March 20, 2013 the Senate voted to approve Amendment 3 to SB-1. The bill applies only to TRS. Section 16-158.2 contains the bill’s “funding guarantee.”
Sangamon County Circuit Judge Steve Nardulli held that health insurance premiums are not pension benefits protected by Article 13, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution. He therefore dismissed lawsuits challenging Public Act 97-695, which required State retirees to pay a portion of their health insurance premiums.
Read Judge Nardulli’s Order HERE
On March 19, 2013 the First District Appellate Court heard Oral Arguments in Mahoney v. Evergreen Park Police Pension Board. The issue in this case is whether the Pension Board erred in denying the plaintiff’s application for a line-of-duty disability pension. Mr. Puchalski represented Officer Mahoney in this matter. PGM will post the Court’s decision once it is released.
On March 13, 2013 the Second District Appellate Court issued a Rule 23 Order in Poulos v. Board of Trustees of the City of Waukegan Police Pension Fund, et al. The Second District reversed the circuit court’s decision which reversed the Pension Board’s decision denying the plaintiff a line-of-duty mental disability pension. The Second District held that evidence in the record supported the Pension Board’s decision that the plaintiff’s mental disability did not result from a specific and identifiable act of police duty. Rather, the plaintiff’s disability resulted from the cumulative effects of the general nature of police work.