Kanerva v. Weems

Public Act 97-695 (eff. July 1, 2012), amended section 10 of the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971, 5 ILCS 375/10, by eliminating the statutory standards for the state’s contributions to health insurance premiums for members of three of the state’s retirement systems. The amendment requires the Director of Central Management Services to determine annually the amount of the health insurance premiums that will be charged to the state and to retired public employees. It is not limited to those who become annuitants or survivors on or after the statute’s effective date. The amendment was challenged by members of the affected entities: State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), State Universities Retirement System (SURS), and Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), as violation the pension protection clause, the contracts clause, and the separation of powers clause of the Illinois Constitution. Certain plaintiffs added common-law claims based on contract and promissory estoppel. The Illinois Supreme Court, on direct review, reversed dismissal, stating that health insurance subsidies are constitutionally protected by the pension protection clause and rejecting an argument that only the retirement annuity itself is covered. View "Kanerva v. Weems" on Justia Law