Publications

Articles on Pensions

Attorney General may enjoin payment of Illinois Pension Plan benefits to felons

May
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Illinois Pension Code has been amended to add a new cause of action available to the Attorney General.

Fireman’s voluntary response to emergency call is not an act of duty under the Pension Code

May
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On March 9, 2015, the First District Appellate Court confirmed the Retirement Board of the Firemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago's ("Board's") denial of disability benefits to a deputy district fire chief.

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 fun

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.

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