Glencoe says firefighters pension fund has only one beneficiary
Following a recent report by North Cook News concerning the Glencoe firefighters pension fund, Megan Hoffman, assistant to the village's manager, reached out to provide clarification on pension funding figures as well as the village's system as a whole.
"We have a really unique situation in which our police and fire departments are combined," Hoffman told North Cook News. "We have a public safety department, where all of our incoming and current public safety officers are cross-trained as police officers, firefighters and EMTs, so in any day, they could switch from being one to another."
This system in Glencoe is rare, with many villages and cities not even allowing the model; however, Glencoe has been grandfathered in.
"That presents a a unique situation when you're talking about pension," Hoffman said. "Prior to the 1980s, we did maintain two funds, but for ease of administration essentially we stopped adding any new members to the firefighters' pension fund and only new members to the police pension fund, which is the one that we still fund."
Hoffman said that over time, the number of members in the firefighters fund decreased to its current level.
"Actually, there is only currently one remaining beneficiary to the fund, and so that fund is now handled through an annual allocation to pay that one person's benefits, as there's no reason to grow the fund for future use," Hoffman said. "Annually, it's an annual disbursement, plus some small banking fees, so as of 2018 the amount was about $48,500, and in fiscal 2019 is $47,000 and some change."
Hoffman told North Cook News that no funding is being cut, but the nature of the fund is that it only exists to pay one beneficiary per year.