Flap Over COLA Cut Suggestion
7:14 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Teachers Union Wants Pension Head to Resign

A labor union is demanding the resignation of the head of Illinois' teacher pension system because it doesn’t like what he's been saying about the future of teachers' retirement benefits.

Pension chief Richard Ingram said in order to solve the long-term funding problems of the Teachers' Retirement System, the state has to consider reducing automatic cost-of-living increases for retirees.

As the director of TRS, he said he understands it's not an easy message to hear. But he said his responsibility is to make sure the teachers' pension system has enough money. He said TRS has analyzed multiple scenarios, and all of them end with insolvency.

“When that's the case, then you can't be silent anymore. You have to say there needs to be changes," Ingram said. 

That's why one of Illinois' two main teachers' unions thinks he should step down.

"It is not the role of any TRS director to go out and advocate political points of view," said Dan Montgomery, President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

The union head said cutting benefits is not the only way to solve the pension funding problem. He said teachers have lost faith in the ability of Ingram to safeguard their pensions.

Ingram said he has no plans to resign.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio