Wilcox legislation removing pension penalties for teachers in the National Guard advances

Legislation sponsored by State Senator Craig Wilcox (R-McHenry) that would prevent teachers serving in the National Guard from losing pension credit when involuntary deployments take them out of the classroom cleared the Senate Pensions Committee unanimously on Wednesday.

Under current law, when a member of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) who simultaneously serves in the National Guard is involuntarily activated for duty, they face a five-year credit cap on service-related activity. Senate Bill 2149 seeks to eliminate the credit time limit for this classification of state employees.

“This issue was brought to my attention by a constituent who has been in the National Guard for almost two decades,” said Sen. Wilcox. “This individual was deployed in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and while he has not personally hit the five-year cap yet, he said the possibility exists that future involuntary deployments could cause the cap to be exceeded.

“Our members of the National Guard provide valued service in Illinois, and whether they are being deployed to participate in mandatory training, assist in emergencies, or to help with administering COVID-19 vaccinations, they should not be penalized for their decision to serve in the military,” added Wilcox.

SB 2149 will now be forwarded to the full Senate for discussion and final action.

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