Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB4579
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Full Text of HB4579  102nd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 1/21/2022, by Rep. Michael J. Zalewski


40 ILCS 5/13-209.5 new
40 ILCS 5/13-309  from Ch. 108 1/2, par. 13-309
40 ILCS 5/13-310  from Ch. 108 1/2, par. 13-310
40 ILCS 5/13-314  from Ch. 108 1/2, par. 13-314

    Amends the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Article of the Illinois Pension Code. In provisions concerning disability determinations, allows licensed health care professionals (rather than just physicians) to make certain disability determinations. Defines "licensed health care professional". Effective immediately.

LRB102 23845 RPS 33038 b





HB4579LRB102 23845 RPS 33038 b

1    AN ACT concerning public employee benefits.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Illinois Pension Code is amended by
5changing Sections 13-309, 13-310, and 13-314 and by adding
6Section 13-209.5 as follows:
7    (40 ILCS 5/13-209.5 new)
8    Sec. 13-209.5. "Licensed health care professional": Any
9individual who has obtained a license through the Department
10of Financial and Professional Regulation under the Medical
11Practice Act of 1987, under the Physician Assistant Practice
12Act of 1987, or under the Clinical Psychologist Licensing Act
13or an advanced practice registered nurse licensed under the
14Nurse Practice Act.
15    (40 ILCS 5/13-309)  (from Ch. 108 1/2, par. 13-309)
16    Sec. 13-309. Duty disability benefit.
17    (a) Any employee who becomes disabled, which disability is
18the result of an injury or illness compensable under the
19Illinois Workers' Compensation Act or the Illinois Workers'
20Occupational Diseases Act, is entitled to a duty disability
21benefit during the period of disability for which the employee
22does not receive any part of salary, or any part of a



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1retirement annuity under this Article; except that in the case
2of an employee who first enters service on or after June 13,
31997 and becomes disabled before August 18, 2005 (the
4effective date of Public Act 94-621), a duty disability
5benefit is not payable for the first 3 days of disability that
6would otherwise be payable under this Section if the
7disability does not continue for at least 11 additional days.
8The changes made to this Section by Public Act 94-621 are
9prospective only and do not entitle an employee to a duty
10disability benefit for the first 3 days of any disability that
11occurred before that effective date and did not continue for
12at least 11 additional days. This benefit shall be 75% of
13salary at the date disability begins. However, if the
14disability in any measure resulted from any physical defect or
15disease which existed at the time such injury was sustained or
16such illness commenced, the duty disability benefit shall be
1750% of salary.
18    Unless the employer acknowledges that the disability is a
19result of injury or illness compensable under the Workers'
20Compensation Act or the Workers' Occupational Diseases Act,
21the duty disability benefit shall not be payable until the
22issue of compensability under those Acts is finally
23adjudicated. The period of disability shall be as determined
24by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission or
25acknowledged by the employer.
26    An employee in service before June 13, 1997 shall also



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1receive a child's disability benefit during the period of
2disability of $10 per month for each unmarried natural or
3adopted child of the employee under 18 years of age.
4    The first payment shall be made not later than one month
5after the benefit is granted, and subsequent payments shall be
6made at least monthly. The Board shall by rule prescribe for
7the payment of such benefits on the basis of the amount of
8salary lost during the period of disability.
9    (b) The benefit shall be allowed only if all of the
10following requirements are met by the employee:
11        (1) Application is made to the Board.
12        (2) A medical report is submitted by at least one
13    licensed health care professional licensed and practicing
14    physician as part of the employee's application.
15        (3) The employee is examined by at least one licensed
16    health care professional and practicing physician
17    appointed by the Board and found to be in a disabled
18    physical condition, and shall be re-examined at least
19    annually thereafter during the continuance of disability.
20    The employee need not be examined by a licensed health
21    care professional and practicing physician appointed by
22    the Board if the attorney for the district certifies in
23    writing that the employee is entitled to receive
24    compensation under the Workers' Compensation Act or the
25    Workers' Occupational Diseases Act. The Board may require
26    other evidence of disability.



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1    (c) The benefit shall terminate when:
2        (1) The employee returns to work or receives a
3    retirement annuity paid wholly or in part under this
4    Article;
5        (2) The disability ceases;
6        (3) The employee attains age 65, but if the employee
7    becomes disabled at age 60 or later, benefits may be
8    extended for a period of no more than 5 years after
9    disablement;
10        (4) The employee (i) refuses to submit to reasonable
11    examinations by licensed health care professionals
12    physicians or other health professionals appointed by the
13    Board, (ii) fails or refuses to consent to and sign an
14    authorization allowing the Board to receive copies of or
15    to examine the employee's medical and hospital records, or
16    (iii) fails or refuses to provide complete information
17    regarding any other employment for compensation he or she
18    has received since becoming disabled; or
19        (5) The employee willfully and continuously refuses to
20    follow medical advice and treatment to enable the employee
21    to return to work. However this provision does not apply
22    to an employee who relies in good faith on treatment by
23    prayer through spiritual means alone in accordance with
24    the tenets and practice of a recognized church or
25    religious denomination, by a duly accredited practitioner
26    thereof.



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1    In the case of a duty disability recipient who returns to
2work, the employee must make application to the Retirement
3Board within 2 years from the date the employee last received
4duty disability benefits in order to become again entitled to
5duty disability benefits based on the injury for which a duty
6disability benefit was theretofore paid.
7(Source: P.A. 95-586, eff. 8-31-07; 96-251, eff. 8-11-09.)
8    (40 ILCS 5/13-310)  (from Ch. 108 1/2, par. 13-310)
9    Sec. 13-310. Ordinary disability benefit.
10    (a) Any employee who becomes disabled as the result of any
11cause other than injury or illness incurred in the performance
12of duty for the employer or any other employer, or while
13engaged in self-employment activities, shall be entitled to an
14ordinary disability benefit. The eligible period for this
15benefit shall be 25% of the employee's total actual service
16prior to the date of disability with a cumulative maximum
17period of 5 years.
18    (b) The benefit shall be allowed only if the employee
19files an application in writing with the Board, and a medical
20report is submitted by at least one licensed health care
21professional and practicing physician as part of the
22employee's application.
23    The benefit is not payable for any disability which begins
24during any period of unpaid leave of absence. No benefit shall
25be allowed for any period of disability prior to 30 days before



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1application is made, unless the Board finds good cause for the
2delay in filing the application. The benefit shall not be paid
3during any period for which the employee receives or is
4entitled to receive any part of salary.
5    The benefit is not payable for any disability which begins
6during any period of absence from duty other than allowable
7vacation time in any calendar year. An employee whose
8disability begins during any such ineligible period of absence
9from service may not receive benefits until the employee
10recovers from the disability and is in service for at least 15
11consecutive working days after such recovery.
12    In the case of an employee who first enters service on or
13after June 13, 1997, an ordinary disability benefit is not
14payable for the first 3 days of disability that would
15otherwise be payable under this Section if the disability does
16not continue for at least 11 additional days.
17    Beginning on the effective date of this amendatory Act of
18the 94th General Assembly, an employee who first entered
19service on or after June 13, 1997 is also eligible for ordinary
20disability benefits on the 31st day after the last day worked,
21provided all sick leave is exhausted.
22    (c) The benefit shall be 50% of the employee's salary at
23the date of disability, and shall terminate when the earliest
24of the following occurs:
25        (1) The employee returns to work or receives a
26    retirement annuity paid wholly or in part under this



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1    Article;
2        (2) The disability ceases;
3        (3) The employee willfully and continuously refuses to
4    follow medical advice and treatment to enable the employee
5    to return to work. However this provision does not apply
6    to an employee who relies in good faith on treatment by
7    prayer through spiritual means alone in accordance with
8    the tenets and practice of a recognized church or
9    religious denomination, by a duly accredited practitioner
10    thereof;
11        (4) The employee (i) refuses to submit to a reasonable
12    physical examination within 30 days of application by a
13    licensed health care professional physician appointed by
14    the Board, (ii) in the case of chronic alcoholism, the
15    employee refuses to join a rehabilitation program licensed
16    by the Department of Public Health of the State of
17    Illinois and certified by the Joint Commission on the
18    Accreditation of Hospitals, (iii) fails or refuses to
19    consent to and sign an authorization allowing the Board to
20    receive copies of or to examine the employee's medical and
21    hospital records, or (iv) fails or refuses to provide
22    complete information regarding any other employment for
23    compensation he or she has received since becoming
24    disabled; or
25        (5) The eligible period for this benefit has been
26    exhausted.



HB4579- 8 -LRB102 23845 RPS 33038 b

1    The first payment of the benefit shall be made not later
2than one month after the same has been granted, and subsequent
3payments shall be made at least monthly.
4(Source: P.A. 102-210, eff. 7-30-21.)
5    (40 ILCS 5/13-314)  (from Ch. 108 1/2, par. 13-314)
6    Sec. 13-314. Alternative provisions for Water Reclamation
7District commissioners.
8    (a) Transfer of credits. Any Water Reclamation District
9commissioner elected by vote of the people and who has elected
10to participate in this Fund may transfer to this Fund credits
11and creditable service accumulated under any other pension
12fund or retirement system established under Articles 2 through
1318 of this Code, upon payment to the Fund of (1) the amount by
14which the employer and employee contributions that would have
15been required if he had participated in this Fund during the
16period for which credit is being transferred, plus interest,
17exceeds the amounts actually transferred from such other fund
18or system to this Fund, plus (2) interest thereon at 6% per
19year compounded annually from the date of transfer to the date
20of payment.
21    (b) Alternative annuity. Any participant commissioner may
22elect to establish alternative credits for an alternative
23annuity by electing in writing to make additional optional
24contributions in accordance with this Section and procedures
25established by the Board. Unless and until such time as the



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1U.S. Internal Revenue Service or the federal courts provide a
2favorable ruling as described in Section 13-502(f), a
3commissioner may discontinue making the additional optional
4contributions by notifying the Fund in writing in accordance
5with this Section and procedures established by the Board.
6    Additional optional contributions for the alternative
7annuity shall be as follows:
8        (1) For service after the option is elected, an
9    additional contribution of 3% of salary shall be
10    contributed to the Fund on the same basis and under the
11    same conditions as contributions required under Section
12    13-502.
13        (2) For contributions on past service, the additional
14    contribution shall be 3% of the salary for the applicable
15    period of service, plus interest at the annual rate from
16    time to time as determined by the Board, compounded
17    annually from the date of service to the date of payment.
18    Contributions for service before the option is elected may
19    be made in a lump sum payment to the Fund or by
20    contributing to the Fund on the same basis and under the
21    same conditions as contributions required under Section
22    13-502. All payments for past service must be paid in full
23    before credit is given. No additional optional
24    contributions may be made for any period of service for
25    which credit has been previously forfeited by acceptance
26    of a refund, unless the refund is repaid in full with



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1    interest at the rate specified in Section 13-603, from the
2    date of refund to the date of repayment.
3    In lieu of the retirement annuity otherwise payable under
4this Article, any commissioner who has elected to participate
5in the Fund and make additional optional contributions in
6accordance with this Section, has attained age 55, and has at
7least 6 years of service credit, may elect to have the
8retirement annuity computed as follows: 3% of the
9participant's average final salary as a commissioner for each
10of the first 8 years of service credit, plus 4% of such salary
11for each of the next 4 years of service credit, plus 5% of such
12salary for each year of service credit in excess of 12 years,
13subject to a maximum of 80% of such salary. To the extent such
14commissioner has made additional optional contributions with
15respect to only a portion of years of service credit, the
16retirement annuity will first be determined in accordance with
17this Section to the extent such additional optional
18contributions were made, and then in accordance with the
19remaining Sections of this Article to the extent of years of
20service credit with respect to which additional optional
21contributions were not made. The change in minimum retirement
22age (from 60 to 55) made by Public Act 87-1265 applies to
23persons who begin receiving a retirement annuity under this
24Section on or after January 25, 1993 (the effective date of
25Public Act 87-1265), without regard to whether they are in
26service on or after that date.



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1    (c) Disability benefits. In lieu of the disability
2benefits otherwise payable under this Article, any
3commissioner who (1) has elected to participate in the Fund,
4and (2) has become permanently disabled and as a consequence
5is unable to perform the duties of office, and (3) was making
6optional contributions in accordance with this Section at the
7time the disability was incurred, may elect to receive a
8disability annuity calculated in accordance with the formula
9in subsection (b). For the purposes of this subsection, such
10commissioner shall be considered permanently disabled only if:
11(i) disability occurs while in service as a commissioner and
12is of such a nature as to prevent the reasonable performance of
13the duties of office at the time; and (ii) the Board has
14received a written certification by at least 2 licensed health
15care professionals physicians appointed by it stating that
16such commissioner is disabled and that the disability is
17likely to be permanent.
18    (d) Alternative survivor's benefits. In lieu of the
19survivor's benefits otherwise payable under this Article, the
20spouse or eligible child of any deceased commissioner who (1)
21had elected to participate in the Fund, and (2) was either
22making (or had already made) additional optional contributions
23on the date of death, or was receiving an annuity calculated
24under this Section at the time of death, may elect to receive
25an annuity beginning on the date of the commissioner's death,
26provided that the spouse and commissioner must have been



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1married on the date of the last termination of a service as
2commissioner and for a continuous period of at least one year
3immediately preceding death.
4    The annuity shall be payable beginning on the date of the
5commissioner's death if the spouse is then age 50 or over, or
6beginning at age 50 if the age of the spouse is less than 50
7years. If a minor unmarried child or children of the
8commissioner, under age 18 (age 23 in the case of a full-time
9student), also survive, and the child or children are under
10the care of the eligible spouse, the annuity shall begin as of
11the date of death of the commissioner without regard to the
12spouse's age. Beginning on the first day of the month
13following the month in which this amendatory Act of the 96th
14General Assembly takes effect, benefits shall begin on the
15first of the month following the commissioner's date of death
16if the spouse is then age 50 or over or, if a minor unmarried
17child or children of the commissioner, under age 18 (age 23 in
18the case of a full time student), also survive, and the child
19or children are under the care of the eligible spouse. The
20benefit is payable for the full month if the annuitant was
21alive on the first day of the month.
22    The annuity to a spouse shall be the greater of (i) 66 2/3%
23of the amount of retirement annuity earned by the commissioner
24on the date of death, subject to a minimum payment of 10% of
25salary, provided that if an eligible spouse, regardless of
26age, has in his or her care at the date of death of the



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1commissioner any unmarried child or children of the
2commissioner under age 18, the minimum annuity shall be 30% of
3the commissioner's salary, plus 10% of salary on account of
4each minor child of the commissioner, subject to a combined
5total payment on account of a spouse and minor children not to
6exceed 50% of the deceased commissioner's salary or (ii) for
7the spouse of a commissioner whose death occurs on or after
8August 18, 2005 (the effective date of Public Act 94-621), the
9surviving spouse annuity shall be computed in the same manner
10as described in Section 13-306(a). The number of total service
11years used to calculate the commissioner's annuity shall be
12the number of service years used to calculate the annuity for
13that commissioner's surviving spouse. In the event there shall
14be no spouse of the commissioner surviving, or should a spouse
15die while eligible minor children still survive the
16commissioner, each such child shall be entitled to an annuity
17equal to 20% of salary of the commissioner subject to a
18combined total payment on account of all such children not to
19exceed 50% of salary of the commissioner. The salary to be used
20in the calculation of these benefits shall be the same as that
21prescribed for determining a retirement annuity as provided in
22subsection (b) of this Section.
23    Upon the death of a commissioner occurring after
24termination of a service or while in receipt of a retirement
25annuity, the combined total payment to a spouse and minor
26children, or to minor children alone if no eligible spouse



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1survives, shall be limited to 85% of the amount of retirement
2annuity earned by the commissioner.
3    Marriage of a child or attainment of age 18 (age 23 in the
4case of a full-time student), whichever first occurs, shall
5render the child ineligible for further consideration in the
6payment of annuity to a spouse or in the increase in the amount
7thereof. Upon attainment of ineligibility of the youngest
8minor child of the commissioner, the annuity shall immediately
9revert to the amount payable upon death of a commissioner
10leaving no minor children surviving. If the spouse is under
11age 50 at such time, the annuity as revised shall be deferred
12until such age is attained.
13    (e) Refunds. Refunds of additional optional contributions
14shall be made on the same basis and under the same conditions
15as provided under Section 13-601. Interest shall be credited
16on the same basis and under the same conditions as for other
18    Optional contributions shall be accounted for in a
19separate Commission's Optional Contribution Reserve. Optional
20contributions under this Section shall be included in the
21amount of employee contributions used to compute the tax levy
22under Section 13-503.
23    (f) Effective date. The effective date of this plan of
24optional alternative benefits and contributions shall be the
25date upon which approval was received from the U.S. Internal
26Revenue Service. The plan of optional alternative benefits and



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1contributions shall not be available to any former employee
2receiving an annuity from the Fund on the effective date,
3unless said former employee re-enters service and renders at
4least 3 years of additional service after the date of re-entry
5as a commissioner.
6(Source: P.A. 95-279, eff. 1-1-08; 96-251, eff. 8-11-09.)
7    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
8becoming law.