On Thursday, the Illinois Senate unanimously approved legislation sponsored by State Senator Donald DeWitte (R-St. Charles) that ensures survivor benefits for the spouses of Downstate Police Pension Fund members upon their deaths.
Specifically, House Bill 5447 permits members of the Downstate Police Pension Fund who marry after retirement to designate their spouse for a limited survivor benefit. The deceased pension fund member would have had to be married to their spouse for at least five years prior to the death, and the benefit terminates after a period of 15 years.
“This legislation addresses a loophole in the current statutes, and ensures survivor benefits are paid to the loved ones of our law enforcement officers,” said Sen. DeWitte. “Members of the Downstate Police Pension Fund earn this benefit during the course of their careers in law enforcement, and we want to make sure this benefit is delivered to their spouses.”
HB 5447 previously received unanimous approval in the House of Representatives on March 4.