In one of his first actions since taking office, State Representative Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich) declined the state pension provided to members of the Illinois General Assembly. A professional in the non-profit sector, Bos said his decision reflects a personal commitment to fiscal discipline and his conviction that being entrusted as an elected official should be a public service and not an incentive for personal financial gain.
“Holding elected office should be about serving the communities you represent, not collecting a lavish taxpayer-funded retirement through a pension system that is already seriously overburdened,” said Bos. “My experience in the non-profit sector has taught me how important it is to operate within your means and Illinois needs to learn to do the same.”
Bos’ decision to reject the pension is final and irrevocable. Administrative rules within the state pension system do not allow a legislator to opt back into the system. As of 2019, the average legislative pension was $64,408 annually, up from $47,061 in 2008, an increase of more than $17,000 in those eleven-years. According to the same report issued by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability in June 2020, the retirement system for lawmakers was only funded at 15.9%.
“Considering the state’s own estimates put the pension debt at more than $135 billion for the five pension systems, and some outside estimates put that figure even higher, I don’t believe any new members of the General Assembly should be entering the pension system,” said Bos. “I’m glad I won’t be adding to the problem.”
Before joining the General Assembly, Bos served as an Ela Township Trustee; and he remains actively involved with various non-profit and volunteer initiatives in the community. He is also the Director of Development for Reclaim13, a non-profit that works to free children from sexual exploitation by focusing on prevention programs for adolescents and adults, and healing programs for children and young adult victims of human trafficking.
Bos and his wife live in Lake Zurich and have been married for twenty years. They have three children – teenage boy/girl twins, and a daughter who recently began elementary school.
The 51st House District covers all or portions of the communities of Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Deer Park, Forest Lake, Grayslake, Green Oaks, Hawthorn Woods, Kildeer, Lake Barrington, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Long Grove, Mettawa, Mundelein, North Barrington, Tower Lakes, Vernon Hills and Waukegan.