Illinois Policy Institute Director of Health Policy and Pension Reform Jonathan Ingram had this opinion piece published at SouthtownStar.com
In his response to Scott Reederís Nov. 1 column on the Teachersí Retirement Systemís pathetically low 2012 investment returns, TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram does exactly what his letter accuses others of doing ó mislead.
Ingram states that it is misleading to say that taxpayers must ultimately make up for TRSí low investment returns. But thatís exactly what taxpayers will be forced to do during the next 30 years.
When investment returns come in below expectations, the missing income is added to the unfunded pension liability.
On top of this, low investment returns alone have created a $7.7 billion shortfall in the pension fund since 1996. State taxpayers will also be forced to make up this difference through higher contributions during the next three decades.
Taxpayers are tapped out, and TRS is broke. Only major pension reforms, such as those heavily centered on defined-contribution plans and those tackling the automatic cost-of-living adjustment, can get the problem under control.
Is Dick Ingram prepared to get behind such comprehensive reforms?