Illinois needs to end the third-party payer problem for teacher pensions

By Michael Lucci
03/24/2017
Illinois’ teacher pension system is structured to allow local school boards to agree to generous contracts, knowing taxpayers across the state will foot the bill. This system should change so that local school boards cover their own pension costs. That way, they will bear the full cost of salary increases they decide on, rather than pushing much of that cost onto unaware state taxpayers.

TAGS: education, pensions, teacher salaries, TRS: Teachers’ Retirement System

Pension reform plan for Illinois: Right under its nose

By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner
03/24/2017
Illinois crafted the solution to its pension crisis nearly 20 years ago. The problem is many lawmakers don’t even know that solution exists. Since 1998, more than 20,000 state university workers have opted into a 401(k)-style plan instead of the traditional pension plan. Illinois’ lawmakers can begin to solve the pension crisis by simply expanding the State Universities Retirement System’s 401(k)-style plan to all state workers.

TAGS: 401(k), pensions, self-managed plan, self-managed plans, SURS: State Universities Retirement System

Each Illinois household on the hook for $56K in government-worker retirement debt

By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner
03/23/2017
In 2010, the unfunded debt related to pensions and retiree health care costs for local and state government workers across Illinois was $203 billion, the equivalent of more than $43,000 per household. In just six years, the total debt Illinois households are on the hook for has jumped to $56,000, or 31 percent. That’s a $13,000 increase for each household. Total unfunded debt for state and local governments in Illinois now totals $267 billion.

TAGS: GARS: General Assembly Retirement System, JRS: Judges’ Retirement System, pensions, SERS: State Employee Retirement System, SURS: State Universities Retirement System, TRS: Teachers’ Retirement System

Never enough: AFSCME votes to strike, declines Rauner’s contract offer that retained many lavish perks

By Mailee Smith
02/23/2017
The state’s largest government-worker union just voted to authorize a strike for state workers. The union perpetuates a myth that Gov. Bruce Rauner is waging war on the middle class – all while ignoring that his contract offer to state workers includes benefits unavailable to most Illinoisans working in the private sector.

TAGS: AFSCME: American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Bruce Rauner, health insurance, pensions