New Law Requires “Open Session” Discussion of Certain Wage Payments to IMRF Participating Employees

Aug 11, 2016

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Effective immediately, the Local Government Wage Increase Transparency Act (PA 99-0646/HB5684) (the “Act”) prohibits units of local government from making a “disclosable payment” to certain IMRF participating employees unless the local government’s governing body has first discussed the payment to be made in an open meeting held in accordance with all requirements of the Open Meetings Act.  

This Act applies to IMRF participants who began participation in IMRF prior to January 1, 2011 and who are not subject to a collective bargaining agreement.   For purposes of the Act, a “disclosable payment” is defined as either a lump sum payment or a payment that increases an employee’s rate of earnings and is to be made, after the employee has expressed his or her intent to retire or withdraw from service, between 12 months and 90 days prior to the employee’s expected termination of services, and has the effect of increasing the employee’s reportable monthly earnings from that employer by more than 6% compared to the previous month.  “Disclosable payment” does not include a refund of contributions or any payment required to be paid by state or federal law. 

Prior to making a disclosable payment, the unit of local government’s governing body is required to discuss the payment in open session and, at a minimum, disclose: 1) the identity of the employee; 2) the purpose and the amount of the increase or payment; 3) the proposed retirement date; 4) the effect of the payment upon the expected retirement annuity of the employee; and 5) the effect of the payment upon the employer’s IMRF liability.  

Section 2(c)(1) of the Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/1 et seq.), also amended by PA 99-0646/HB5684, now prohibits a public body from discussing in closed session whether to make a payment to an employee that is subject to the Local Government Wage Increase Transparency Act.