To the Editor:
As a retired Joliet Police officer, a longtime resident of the City of Joliet and an elected voice for active and retired police officers from across Illinois and the nation, I am deeply concerned with the recent recommendations made by the governor's task force on pension fund consolidation.
The changes recommended effect the governance of Illinois police officer's retirement funds by reducing the representation that active and retired police officers have in the management of their own money. Additionally, local taxpayer oversight is also diminished.
Locally-administered and invested police pension funds are made up of law enforcement officer's money. This is our retirement security. This is our widows' security. Because of that, we want low costs, less risk and higher returns as much as anyone.
If there is a reasonable way to save money, maintain benefits and keep control, those of us in law enforcement will support it. The money in these police pension funds is all our money. What is being suggested by the proponents of consolidation is a gamble with our money while giving us little to no say on the matter.
To entrust our money to the judgments of a state-controlled system is irresponsible. One needs to only look at how the state has managed its own pension obligations. Please let your state elected officials know that removing police officers from the oversight of their own money is wrong, and that part of the task force recommendation should be rejected.
Those currently serving in law enforcement as well as those who have served, want and deserve to have involvement in their own retirement security.