Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) voted to advance a pension fund consolidation bill from the Illinois Senate yesterday. The measure would consolidate all local police and fire pension systems outside of Chicago into two larger funds.

“We have 649 pension funds that are getting a wide range of returns on our investments,” Villivalam said. “We need to consolidate and use a more strategic approach so that taxpayers are getting the best returns they can. While this plan isn’t perfect, we’re doing it in a way that protects benefits for our first responders.”

The legislation allows local pension funds to keep their authority to rule on benefits, but transfers all assets and investment authority to the newly consolidated funds over a 30-month transition period.

The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget estimates that this consolidation would save $160 million per year. This plan is supported by the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois and the Illinois Municipal League.

“I am committed to working with municipalities so that they are able to continue to make their pension obligations,” Villivalam said. “State and local governments can work together to address the challenges we face.”

Senate Bill 1300 awaits the governor’s signature.