Illinois’ pension crisis has been a growing problem for decades, and its negative effects on state residents are well documented.1 Economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and related government shutdown orders threaten to bring that long-running crisis closer to its breaking point. The state’s five pension systems collectively held nearly $139 billion of debt at...View Report
Gov. J.B. Pritzker calls his $3.7 billion income tax hike a “fair tax.” But opponents have criticized the constitutional amendment as a blank check for House Speaker Mike Madigan and other state lawmakers, courtesy of Illinois taxpayers.
More than 129,000 Illinois public pensioners will see expected payouts of $1 million or more during retirement.
Across all five state retirement systems, typical career workers pay for about 5% of the cost of their pension benefits. They receive an average of $1.7 million to $3.6 million.
The rapidly increasing cost of pensions is crowding out core government services.
The largest permanent income tax hike in Illinois history was followed by a slide to 34th least-free state in the union, behind nearly every neighboring state.
A provision included in the bargaining agreement reached between Chicago and its teachers union will allow teachers to trade up to 244 unused sick days for pension credits – billable to all Illinois taxpayers.
Illinois’ contributions to its pension funds exceeded $10 billion in 2019 for the first time in state history – and it wasn’t nearly enough to keep the state’s pension debt from growing.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is championing a bill to merge more than 640 local police and fire pension funds into two investment pools. With lawmakers returning to Springfield for veto session, action on the bill may be near.
Pension benefits consume 25% of Chicago Public Schools’ budget. The new Chicago Teachers Union contract increases bankable sick days six-fold, increasing pension costs and taking more from classrooms.
After retiring at age 55, the average Chicago teacher just takes five months to get back everything they contributed toward their pension during their career.