SPRINGFIELD- To those close to the scene, a state review of its five public pension systems confirms what’s already been said: they’re badly underfunded, and delaying doesn’t help.
An auditor general’s report looks at the status of the Teachers’ Retirement System, the State Universities Retirement System, the State Employees’ Retirement System, the Judges’Retirement System, and the General Assembly Retirement System. The total underfunded amount is $94.6 billion when considering a “smoothing” formula; $96.8 billion without the smoothing. The systems are funded to a total of about 40 percent.
“When we were looking to come up with a solution last May … the total state payment that we were expecting between now and the year 2045 was about $309 billion,” said State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook), one of the legislature’s point people on pensions. “When we had an actuarial analysis done on the proposal that Sen. (Daniel)Biss (D-Evanston) and I put forward (in December), that number had risen to $397 billion.”
In addition, three of the five systems were found to be out of compliance because they had not performed internal audits as often as they should have. A delay in hiring someone to do it is blamed. Those systems are the State Employees’ Retirement System, the Judges’ Retirement System, and the General Assembly Retirement System.