Chicago Loses Bid to Keep Pension Reform Alive Pending Appeal

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak, who tossed out a pension reform law last Friday, rejected Chicago's motion to suspend her ruling until the Illinois Supreme Court ultimately decides the law's fate. Novak's latest ruling means that unless the high court temporarily keeps the law in place, the city's municipal and laborers' retirement systems must refund higher contributions that the affected workers were required to make since the law took effect on Jan. 1. Retirees who received lower cost-of-living increases mandated by the law would also be owed money. The law required Chicago and affected workers to increase their pension contributions and replaces an automatic 3 percent annual cost-of-living increase for retirees with one tied to inflation.