Due to its poor financial health and lagging economy, Illinois carries unique economic and fiscal risks from a prolonged market downturn or recession. The state must act now to mitigate harm from COVID-19.View Report
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.
If Illinois groups could come together to bring the same enthusiasm and support to a constitutional amendment, the state could fix its pension problem once and for all.