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Rock Island County Board to Consider Ending Retirement Benefits

Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund

After complaints from employees, the Rock Island County Board will consider a new proposal to save money. This week, County Board Member, Drue Mielke, from Coal Valley, proposed ending retirement benefits for board members.

Mielke says Rock Island County Board members, who work at least 1,000 hours a year, can contribute to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. And, he doesn't think it's "appropriate," since most members only "work" for the county part time.

He says eliminating retirement contributions for board members would save tax payers about $37,000 a year. 

Mielke says once board members start paying into the retirement fund, there is no option to opt out of it. And even though he believes most would support eliminating the benefit, the Human Resources Committee may set up a task force to review his proposal. 

He wants the union and county to work together, and avoid raising taxes.

Mielke is not sure the proposal will move past the task force, because it's being bundled with other county board cuts, such as health benefits and salaries. But, he hopes instead, it will be considered by the Human Resources Committee, which could discuss it in two weeks.

He wrote the proposal in response to complaints from members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, published recently in the Dispatch-Argus.