On July 18, 2017 the Fourth District Appellate Court heard oral arguments in Marinelli v. Board of Trustees of the Springfield Police Pension Fund. The police officer plaintiff was disabled due to thoracic outlet syndrome that caused numbness and tingling in his hand. The Pension Board awarded a “not on duty” disability pension but denied the application for a “line of duty” disability pension. The trial court affirmed. The plaintiff argued that the evidence demonstrated that the police officer’s acts of writing reports in his squad car in some way caused or contributed to the development of thoracic outlet syndrome. Additionally, the plaintiff argued that writing reports in a squad car constituted an “act of duty” within the meaning of the pension code.
On May 9, 2017 the Second District Appellate Court issued its Rule 23 Order in Stevens v. Board of Trustees of the Waukegan Firefighters’ Pension Fund. The pension board appealed the trial court’s order with respect to the pension board’s decision terminating a disability pension. The trial court remanded the matter to the pension board to conduct an additional medical examination. The pension board moved for rule 304(a) language to obtain a final and appealable order in the trial court. The trial court denied the motion. The pension board then filed a notice of appeal. The appellate court held that it did not have jurisdiction to decide the appeal because the trial court had denied the rule 304(a) motion.
On June 28, 2017 the Second District Appellate Court heard oral arguments in Naden v. Board of Trustees of the Sugar Grove Firefighters’ Pension Fund. The Pension Board denied the plaintiff’s application for a line of duty disability pension. The plaintiff alleged that her disabling condition resulted from discrimination by her subordinates within the department. The trial court affirmed. PGM will post the court’s decision once it is issued.
On June 13, 2016 the Fifth District Appellate Court heard oral arguments in Martin v. Board of Trustees of the Shiloh Police Pension Fund. The issue in the case is whether the pension board erred when it determined that the plaintiff’s disabling injury was not incurred in or did not result from the performance of an act of duty. The trial court reversed the pension board’s decision. The plaintiff was in a police vehicle and injured in a car accident after having lunch. The plaintiff was returning from a state’s attorney’s office to the police department. PGM will post the court’s decision once it is issued.
The Illinois Legislature approved House Bill 418. The bill amends article 3 of the pension code. The bill provides that on or after January 1, 2019 a person may not elect to participate in the IMRF as Chief of Police of a municipality unless the person was already a participating employee in the IMRF prior to January 1, 2019. The bill also requires each municipality to create a defined contribution (“DC”) plan for certain police officers. If a police officer with more than 10 years of creditable service enters active service with another municipality, the police officer may elect to participate in the DC plan. A police officer electing participation in the DC plan may rescind that election and enter the defined benefit plan, but the contributions made to the DC plan remain in the DC plan.
The bill also amended the re-entry provision (section 3-124.1 of the pension code). If a police officer who first becomes a member on or after January 1, 2019 is receiving pension payments and re-enters active service with any Article 3 municipality, that police officer may continue to receive pension payments, but must participate in the DC plan and may not obtain any additional creditable service in an Article 3 fund.