Illinois pension system

Illinois House Speaker
4:08 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Madigan Talks About Pension Challenge

House Speaker Michael Madigan
Illinois General Assembly website

Illinois lawmakers continue to wrestle with the state's soaring pension costs. 

The General Assembly is set to adjourn May 31, yet at this time it's still unclear which -- if any -- of the various proposals to reduce pension costs will pass. 

Unions are fighting efforts that would reduce benefits for state workers, university employees, and public school teachers.

But many lawmakers, including House Speaker Michael Madigan, say an overhaul is necessary.  They point to Illinois' $83 billion unfunded pension liability that continues to grow. 

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Smaller Payouts
4:22 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Illinois Governor Releases Pension Overhaul Plan

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn unveiled a plan to overhaul the pension system for state  employees.

It would force state workers to choose between two  plans, both of which would reduce their benefits.

If  employees voluntarily go along with the governor's proposed changes, they would have to pay more into their retirement plans, work longer before they retire, and face reduced cost-of-living adjustments in retirement.

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Report Due This Summer
5:54 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Galesburg Panel to Tackle Pensions

Galesburg City Hall

Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza is forming a 14-member task force to develop funding options for the city's pension funds.

“If it goes unchecked and unaddressed, we may find ourselves in the same kind of condition that the state of Illinois' overall pension system is in,” Garza said.

City leaders said the funding ratio has dropped over the past decade for the three pension funds in which the city participates. Garza said Galesburg will need to dip into its general revenues to pay pension obligations if something is not done.

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Stabilization is the goal
10:27 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Group Says Pension Fund Doesn't Need Massive Reform

Steve Cunningham

A public policy group at the University of Illinois says the State University Retirement System (SURS) needs to be stabilized but not reformed.

The Institute for Government and Public Affairs proposal includes contributions from universities to the fund for the first time. The plan calls for universities to phase-in their contributions until they reach 3% in the third year.

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Illinois Public Employees
11:40 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Recommendations for Pension System

A study by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs provides some new ideas on what can be done about the state's soaring pension expenses.

Report co-author Jeffrey Brown said it's important to look for savings while at the same time maintaining a retirement package that's competitive.

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Police & Fire Systems Underfunded
2:18 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Galesburg Looking to Improve Pension Funding

Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza said the city is developing a strategy to avoid the same pension system headaches plaguing the state.

Illinois has billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities. While Galesburg's obligations are nowhere near those amounts, Garza is concerned that the police and fire pension systems are receiving less than 60% of what they should be getting from the city.

The city's IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) is at 90%, and Garza would like to bring the police and fire systems up to that level.

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Massive Backlog of Bills
7:19 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Civic Federation Issues Gloomy Budget Forecast for Illinois

Illinois legislators face more bad budget news. 

A report from Chicago's Civic Federation said the massive backlog of unpaid bills is about to get much worse.

Illinois is expected to owe more than $9 billion by this summer. The figure is expected to continue rising and could hit nearly $35 billion within five years.

Civic Federation president Laurence Msall said the state must  act quickly.

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