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
With economic challenges driven by the coronavirus ahead, Illinois finds itself missing an important financial tool.
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.
This Thanksgiving, about 17,500 more Illinoisans will be using food stamps. By New Year’s, about 50,000 Cook County recipients must find jobs or lose benefits.
Government worker retirement costs and interest on state retirement debt are squeezing out funding for social service providers and taxpayer relief.
Illinois will spend $1 billion more on annual debt payments than it will on human services in fiscal year 2017.
There is clearly no lack of commitment aimed at supporting those in need here in Illinois. The question is how to do a better job of it.