Fire and Police Public Pension Problems

“governments (must) stop granting any new retirement benefit enhancements unless they also increase employer and/or employee contributions sufficiently to fully fund the enhancements.”

Most Illinois’ pension funds for public employees are in financial trouble. The plight of the state’s retirement programs for public school teachers and state workers has been widely discussed in the media, but the pension funds serving police officers and firefighters are in even worse financial condition. Illinois has the second highest unfunded pension obligations in the country with a $40 billion shortfall in 2006. The real culprit has been and continues to be the repeated failure of the state to make its full annual employer contribution to the system.

James M. Banovetz and Dawn S. Peters at the NIU Center for Governmental Studies reports on the question:

“What needs to be done to improve the financial strength of the pension systems for Illinois police officers and firefighters, with special emphasis on those public safety personnel in all Illinois municipalities other than Chicago?”

Read the entire report here.

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