FILE - IL Rep. David McSweeney

Illinois state Representative David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills Content Exchange

Many public employees are now required to the disclose the number of sick days they plan of cashing out in their final years before retirement, a move that could help public employers better plan for pension costs.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law Friday. Sponsored by state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, the measure immediately requires any non-union worker who plans to collect a pension via the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund to tell the public body they work for how many sick days they’re holding. 

“Part of it so that local governments have the information and are prepared for it but the other part is public disclosure and transparency,” he said. 

If a worker retires at a specific pay and it’s boosted with a higher average due to cashing out sick days, a municipality could be surprised with an unexpected higher pension contribution. 

Although he would not have been affected by McSweeney’s legislation, former Calumet City Superintendent became the example of boosting the pension calculation when he attempted to hike his salary in retirement by cashing out 885 unused sick and vacation days worth $1.75 million. School officials later said there may have been fraud involved that case.

McSweeney said he plans to watch how the legislation works. He said he plans to expand it to other public employees in the future. 

“We’ll look for more reforms in the future,” he said.

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