EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County Board members on Wednesday adopted a new rule to increase the amount of hours employees need for pension eligibility.
Board members voted to increase the number of hours employees will need to work to participate in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund from 600 hours per year to 1,000 hours per year.
“This change affects new hires, not existing employees,” County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler said in a release.
Prenzler said employees who work a minimum of 600 hours a year now will not be required to work additional hours to remain in IMRF.
He said by increasing the hours an employee works part-time the county will be able to decrease the burden on taxpayers into paying pensions of part-time workers.
IMRF was mandatory for county employees who worked more than 600 hours per year, which was equivalent to 12 hours per week.
Under the new county rule, employees would need to work at least 20 hours per week to receive IMRF.
The Personnel and Labor Relations Committee discussed the issue at its Wednesday meeting, just before the County Board meeting.
“This change is beneficial to the county and to the standpoint of saving taxpayers money,” County Board member Ray Wesley, R-Godfrey, and chairman of the Personnel and Labor Relations Committee, said.
Wesley said Madison County is following in the footsteps of other counties and municipalities across the state by increasing the amount of hours an employee or official is required to work to receive pension benefits. He said last year the state took a hard look at IMRF benefits of elected officials.
The new law, which went into effect on Dec. 1, required existing board members to document their work hours and file monthly reports to ensure they met 600-hour per year rule and disqualified newly elected board members.
Madison County Board members voted in September 2016 to remove themselves from participating in IMRF. Madison County has been a part of IMRF since the 1940s.
“The board took a proactive stance when the board members opted themselves out of IMRF,” Wesley said.
— From the Illinois Business Journal