SPRINGFIELD – Following through on a commitment made last fall, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) filed the required paperwork to forgo participation in the General Assembly Retirement system.

“That was not an empty promise I made. It was a commitment that showed I am serious about solving our state’s budget issues,” Manar said. “We cannot focus on helping other core state services like education, health care and public safety without addressing our state’s pension issue in a balanced way.”

The state's annual pension fund payment is expected to increase by about $1 billion, to nearly $7 billion, in the next fiscal year. That's more than 16 percent of the state's general funds budget, up from 6 percent in 2008.

Manar also voluntarily chose not participate in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System while serving as the county board chairman in Macoupin County and mayor of Bunker Hill.

“It’s about being consistent. We faced similar budget issues in Macoupin County. I chose not to participate in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System because I was committed to getting the county’s fiscal house in order. ”

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