Navigating Pension Reform in Illinois: What Lies Ahead?

Date(s) - 04/17/18
8:00 am - 1:30 pm

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Hosted by
Civic Federation

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 – 8:00am to 1:30pm

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
230 South LaSalle Street, 3rd Floor
Chicago, Illinois



7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. — Registration and Continental Breakfast
Badge Pickup and Security Inspection in the Lobby

8:00 a.m. — Welcome
William Testa, Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

8:05 a.m. — Introducing the Kearney Center for Public Pensions
Lew Collens, Chairman, Kearney Center Board of Directors,
President Emeritus, Illinois Institute of Technology

8:15 a.m. — Illinois Public Pensions 101
Sarah Wetmore, Vice President and Research Director, Civic Federation

8:30 a.m. — Q&A

8:45 a.m. — Break

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — Panel I: Pension Reform in Other States
Illinois is not unique in facing pension challenges—across the United States, governments have struggled to meet obligations. Speakers will discuss how pension reform was implemented and litigated in other states. What were the lessons learned and how can they be applied in Illinois?
    Moderator: Lois Scott, President, Epoch Advisors

  • Bryan Jeffries, President, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona
  • Carol O’Cleireacain, Former Deputy Mayor, City of Detroit
  • Additional panelists TBA

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. — Panel II: What are the Options if Pension Liabilities Cannot be Changed?
In the aftermath of the 2015 Illinois Supreme Court decision striking down pension benefit reforms for state workers and retirees, many proposals have been made as to the next steps Illinois and local governments should take to address the pension crisis. Panelists will discuss some of those proposals, including finding sufficient revenue to fund the obligations, shifting payment obligations to local governments and amending the state constitution.

Moderator: The Honorable Elaine Nekritz, Former Illinois State Representative

  • Tracy Gordon, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute
  • James Spiotto, Managing Director, Chapman Strategic Advisors
  • Eric Madiar, Principal, Madiar Government Relations
  • Rick Mattoon, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

12:15 p.m. — Luncheon

Keynote Panel — Rough Seas Ahead: What are the Obstacles to Resolving the Pension Crisis?

    Moderator: Lew Collens, Chairman, Kearney Center Board of Directors,
President Emeritus, Illinois Institute of Technology


  • Jim Edgar, Former Governor, State of Illinois
  • Additional panelists TBA

1:30 p.m. — Adjournment
Laurence Msall, President, Civic Federation