Letter: Against Illinois paying pensions over bills
To the Editor:
Illinois does not and will not have a pension problem. Each of the major state pension funds is flush with cash. For example, at the end of fiscal 2012, the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) had an outside investment balance (at market value) of $36.5 billion after paying out less than $4.7 billion in benefits. Indeed, if the TRS fund were to receive no additional funds from any source, according to its auditors, this is enough money to satisfy all the pension payout requirements for the next six years!
So why are we told there is a crisis? Our governor and legislators are trying to build pension funding to 90 percent by 2046. A 90 percent funded ratio (the portion in the fund of accrued future obligations to present members) is very wise for a private or municipal pension fund. However, this is unnecessary for a state because, unlike cities, states are not allowed to declare bankruptcy and thereby invalidate pension contracts.
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