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Cunningham Fights for Chicago Police and Fire Retiree Healthcare Benefits

Cunningham052913br0177State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) is supporting a measure to help protect the retiree health benefits of Chicago Police and Firefighters.

Senate Bill 450 seeks to extend a state law that grew out of a 1987 lawsuit when the City of Chicago attempted to roll back retiree healthcare benefits for former employees.  As part of the settlement, retirees and the pension funds started paying for a portion of retiree health insurance costs.

SB 450, of which Cunningham is a co-sponsor, extends that agreement. 

“Our Chicago police and firefighters worked throughout their careers to protect the public safety of the residents.  They should not be denied these benefits,” Cunningham said.

Currently, the police and firefighter pension funds transfer $95 per month for each annuitant, including widows and children, whom are not eligible for Medicare benefits and $65 per month for each annuitant that is eligible for Medicare.  These payments are scheduled to end on June 30, 2013.  If it becomes law, SB 450 will extend the benefits until June 30, 2015. 

Senate Bill 450 is pending in the General Assembly.