Peoria County Board terminates pension program

By Beau Ebenezer

August 9, 2013 Updated Aug 9, 2013 at 9:44 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria County Board members will no longer see retirement benefits.

Much like the decision by the Tazewell County Board last week, the Peoria County Board voted unanimously Thursday night in favor of terminating their membership with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).

More than half of the 18 board members pay into IMRF.

The state requires a majority of those members to work more than 1,000 hours per year.

Only a few members meet that criteria, so county officials had no choice but to drop the pension program.

"We don't work 1,000 hours so instead of them kicking us out we can voluntarily remove ourselves from the program," said Peoria County Board member, Stephen Morris.

Dropping the pension program also affects Peoria County Chairman Tom O'Neill.

"At one time they thought it would be right to leave the Chairman in with the county-wides because the Chairman definitely puts in 1,000 hours, but it is really only fair to everyone that we all get off of the program," said O'Neill.

County officials said those who have invested into the pension program by being on the Board for eight years or more will retain the pension money accumulated so far.

Members who have been on the board less than eight years may receive a refund of what they have paid.

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