Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Pensions

Are Inherited IRAs Exempt from Creditors in Bankruptcy? By Justin F. Polach December 2011 Article, Page 628 Standard IRAs are exempt in bankruptcy and thus unavailable to creditors. But what if the debtor inherited the IRA account - is it likewise exempt? A look at the evolving case law.
Teachers’ retirement system adopts benefit eligibility & FOIA request rules June 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 292 The Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois (TRS) recently established a test to ensure that former teachers and other members sufficiently separate from employment prior to receiving benefits. 
No pension for Ryan By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2010 Lawpulse, Page 174 The supreme court reverses the appellate court and rules that George Ryan is not entitled to a pension for his years on the government payroll.
Changing Pension Beneficiaries After Divorce: It’s More Important After Kennedy By Leon I. Finkel and Hailee R. Bloom September 2009 Article, Page 462 Now ex-spouses must change the beneficiary designation after divorce or risk inadvertently enriching their former partners.
Pension Code amended to provide guidelines for the selection of investment service providers. PA 096-0006 July 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 336 Illinois lawmakers have amended the Illinois Pension Code to include a new section detailing the process for selecting and appointing consultants to provide investment services for retirement systems, pension funds and investment boards subject to the Code (excluding funds established under articles 3 and 4 of the Code).
Waiver of Minimum Required Distributions for 2009 By David A. Berek February 2009 Column, Page 102 A new law lessens the impact of the market downturn on retirement accounts.
A Primer on Qualified Pension and Profit-Sharing Plans By Stephen M. Margolin and Harvey S. Shifrin July 2007 Article, Page 376 Pension and profit-sharing plans are more valuable than ever. Here's an overview for business advisors.
Courts should not overweigh lone medical opinions in benefits cases November 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 584 On September 15, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of Jackson County, which had affirmed the decision of the Murphysboro Firefighters Pension Board of Trustees (Board) denying the plaintiff duty-disability pension benefits
State University Retirement System creates new rule regarding “earnings” August 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 404 Effective May 9, 2006, the Illinois State Universities Retirement System (SURS) has added a new section to 80 Ill Adm Code 1600. 
Teachers allowed to elect Medicare coverage PA 094-724 April 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 174 The Illinois General Assembly recently amended the Illinois Pension Code (Code) by adding section 17-130.3 (40 ILCS 5/17-130.3).
The Illinois Pension Code expands those entitled to receive monthly and annual increases in annuities PA 094-0719 March 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 118 Section 167.1 of the Illinois Pension Code, 40 ILCS 5/5-167.1, has been amended to expand the category of police officers who are subject to both the monthly and annual increases in their annuity to include those born after January 1, 1950, and before January 1, 1955. 
Procedure for filling vacancies on the Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System amended PA 094-710 March 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 118 With regard to vacancies on the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System, section 16-165 of the Illinois Pension Code, 40 ILCS 5/16-165, was amended.
Convicted felon forfeits only those benefits related to the felony and his or her employment December 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 622 On October 6, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, which held that the petitioner had a right to all of his municipal pension funds that were unrelated to a prior felony conviction.
Part-time/concurrent service may be considered to determine service time under SURS December 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 622 Effective September 6, 2005, the Illinois State Universities retirement System has added a new section to Part 1600 of Title 80, 80 Ill Adm Code 1600.
New requirements to report teachers’ service and earnings credit November 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 564 Effective August 9, 2005, the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) has added a new section to Part 1650 of Title 80, 80 Ill Adm Code 1650. 
Participants in SURS benefit plans may elect to make contributions during military leave October 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 506 In Part 1600 of Title 80, 80 Ill Adm Code 1600, the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) has added a new section. 
Using QDROs to Collect Support Payments: The Impact of In re Marriage of Thomas By Joseph N. DuCanto September 2004 Article, Page 474 Thomas empowers courts to use an ex-spouse's pension benefits to meet maintenance and support obligations.
Illinois pension recipients win at high court By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2004 Lawpulse, Page 390 The U.S. Supreme Court upholds ERISA's "anti-cutback" provision, ruling that pension plans can't retroactively limit the kinds of jobs workers can take after they retire.
Marital settlement agreement awarding a percentage of a military pension does not entitle a spouse to receive a portion of disability benefits received in lieu of retirement pay; the additional amount owed per the agreement must be paid from alternate funds October 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 492 On July 11, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, affirmed in part and reversed in part orders of the Circuit Court of Du Page County awarding the former wife to a portion of her former husband's military pension and disability benefits.
Changes made to beneficiaries under Teachers’ Retirement System P.A. 92-0862 May 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 226 The State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971 was amended recently by changing section 6.5.
Of QILDROs and QDROs By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2003 Lawpulse, Page 220 Too many lawyers fail to distinguish between these two orders, both of which govern the payment of pension benefits on divorce; but under very different circumstances.
Public-employee pension pitfall By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2003 Lawpulse, Page 110 Teachers, police officers, and other government workers charged with crimes related to their official duties have one thing in common ; they all face the loss of their pensions, a fact their lawyers should keep in mind.
Are Plant-Shutdown Pension Benefits Protected? By Michael F. Tomasek January 2002 Article, Page 43 Federal courts are split on the issue.
Police officer not eligible for annuity and pension benefits due to his felony narcotics convictions as they were sufficiently “related to or connected with his service as an officer” November 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 568 On August 29, 2001, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the trial court's decision reinstating the plaintiff's annuity and pension benefits after the Retirement Board of the Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund denied his application for reinstatement of those benefits.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath August 2001 Column, Page 394 Name-calling brief writers get a pass; Gramm-Leach-Bliley may require lawyers to send privacy notices; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie McGrath February 2000 Column, Page 62 Banks and title insurance; fees for foiled FOIA requests; crafting affirmative action plans; and more.
Bringing an ERISA Claim: A Step-by-Step Guide By Mark D. DeBofsky January 2000 Article, Page 20 A practice-oriented review of one of the most important, but least understood, federal laws.
Creative and Strategic Estate Planning for Transfer of Qualified Retirement Assets By Louis S. Harrison September 1999 Article, Page 480 A review of some of the sophisticated strategies estate planners use to minimize taxes on the transfer at death of IRA and other tax-deferred assets.
A Practical Guide to Illinois’ New QILDRO Law By Ronda D. Taylor Glenn and Michelle R. Mosby-Scott July 1999 Article, Page 354 The QILDRO law, which provides for dividing state and local public pensions at divorce, took effect July 1. Here's the lowdown.
Changes in Administration and Operation of the State Employees’ Retirement Systems of Illinois June 1999 Illinois Law Update, Page 304 On March 9, 1999, the State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois adopted amendments to section 1540.320 of its administrative rules. 80 Ill Adm Code 1540.