On November 21, 2014, Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz ruled that Illinois’ new pension law (Senate Bill 1) violates the Pension Protection Clause of the Illinois Constitution. In his ruling, Judge Belz determined that the State of Illinois made a “constitutionally protected promise to its employees concerning their pension benefits and that the State cannot break this promise”.
Shortly after the Circuit Court ruling, the Attorney General requested an expedited schedule for the State’s appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, and the Court established that schedule. Briefs were submitted to the Court throughout January and February. On March 11, 2015 oral arguments were presented to the Supreme Court. There is currently no established timetable for the court to issue a decision on SB 1. For now, Judge Belz’s ruling keeps in place the current law governing the calculation and administration of SERS benefits.
SERS cannot comment further about the case because it is a defendant in the case. SERS continues to monitor the status of the lawsuit and will post any significant updates on the website.