Gov. J.B. Pritzker inherited a $2.8 billion budget deficit the moment he stepped into office. Next year, that deficit is projected to be $3.4 billion1. It’s the same story every budget season. But Illinois’ budget crises could be a thing of the past if the state would adopt pension reform, right-size its union contracts and...View Report
According to recent data, Illinois spends nearly double the national average on pensions, measured as a percentage of all state and local government spending.
The average six-figure retiree contributed just over $160,000 toward their own pension over the course of their career.
The pension fund’s request for $4.8 billion in taxpayer contributions for the next budget year, a 10 percent increase from the previous year, highlights the need for pension reform in Illinois.
Pension reform is a moral imperative. The alternative is a future in which core services are cut, taxes are raised, and pensioners risk losing what they’ve already been promised as the funds go insolvent.
Illinois’ fiscal year 2019 spending plan includes reforms to discourage some irresponsible spending by local governments.
In the midst of Illinois’ pension crisis, River Forest District 90 has agreed to pay 100 percent of teacher contributions to the Teachers' Retirement System – and it did so secretly.
Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert had been receiving nearly $30,000 annually from the underfunded General Assembly Retirement System.
Nearly 38 percent of Illinois Teachers Retirement System assets are in so-called alternative investments.
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.
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.