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More horrific pension news

Thursday, Mar 9, 2017

* Sun-Times

Standard & Poor’s surveyed pension obligations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, San Antonio, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Dallas, Houston, Columbus, Indianapolis and Austin.

Chicago performed the worst across the board — registering the highest annual debt, pension post-employment benefits costs as a percentage of governmental expenditures and the highest debt and pension liability per capita.

The burden in Chicago is $12,427-per-person, double New York city’s $6,115-per-person.

Chicago also had the lowest weighted pension fund ratio, the worst pension contribution vs. required level and the lowest funded return for a single fund.

That dubious distinction went to the Chicago Police Annuity and Benefit Fund, which had assets to cover just 25 percent of its liabilities in fiscal 2015, down from 26 percent the year before.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

31 Comments
  1. - 51st Ward - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    A big thank you to the Illinois state legislature for passing a bill to allow Rham to kick the can down the road and cost tax payers hundreds of millions over time.


  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    That Mayor Daley surely was the Indispensable Man.

    Thanks Chicqgo “business leaders” for bankrolling him all those years — including Reublicans like our current governor — and Chicago media for promoting his cult of personality.

    Obviously, he was the only one for the job all those years.

    Unlike the fiction of dictatorship from the House on the state level (which is not possible), Daley truly ran the city as a dictatorship, enabled by a lap dog City Council, big money Republican business types and a media focused mostly on personalities and gossip.

    But another black man wasn’t elected mayor, which was the primary concern of the big money types, not fiscal responsibility.


  3. - Compromise requires two sides - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Unfunded liability The total of all future payments out. Why don’t they talk about the annual obligation compared to annua contributions and interest of the funds. Yes the ideal standard is to have an account with all future payments in it but come on do you have a savings account with enough money to pay all your future bills. I BET NOT. Most people I know live month to month so the pension systems are living year to year. Actually if the legislature would stop sending any contributions to the fund it would last almost 10 years

    This is a crisis created by the companies that manage pension funds investments. they want these funds fully funded to they have more money to make commissions from. This is a legal racketeering scene.

    Please report on actual annua outlays not some pixie dust future amount needed


  4. - Slugger O'Toole - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    The country used to thank Mississippi and West Virginia for being at the bottom of every list. “At least we’re doing better than SOMEONE”. These days Illinois is fast racing to beat everyone to the bottom.


  5. - Steward As Well.... - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    Well said “Compromise.” Few people ( not Tr** lol) understand that this large number constantly thrown out to scare the uninformed is over a large period of time. Is is an obligation, yes over several decades. And if necessary one can even drop that number by dropping the required funding percentage a few points.


  6. - Shemp - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    And we have our nominee for most ignorant post of the year!

    - Compromise requires two sides - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Unfunded liability The total of all future payments out. Why don’t they talk about the annual obligation compared to annua contributions and interest of the funds. Yes the ideal standard is to have an account with all future payments in it but come on do you have a savings account with enough money to pay all your future bills. I BET NOT. Most people I know live month to month so the pension systems are living year to year. Actually if the legislature would stop sending any contributions to the fund it would last almost 10 years

    This is a crisis created by the companies that manage pension funds investments. they want these funds fully funded to they have more money to make commissions from. This is a legal racketeering scene.

    Please report on actual annua outlays not some pixie dust future amount needed


  7. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    ==This is a crisis created by the companies that manage pension funds investments. they want these funds fully funded to they have more money to make commissions from. This is a legal racketeering scene.==

    You know who else benefits from a fully funded fund? The retiree. You know, the fundee of the fund fully funded.


  8. - Realist - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone. We live in the most corrupt state with the most corrupt city in America. Why does anyone care any longer about discussing any of this? We are a failed state with a failed government, and there’s no saving it without a massive tax increase on those who foolishly choose to remain here. Too many politicians hid too many problems for too many years.


  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    CZ, retirees benefit from receiving their benefits.

    What’s the count on retirees who have missed a check, in the hundred years Illinois has been kicking the pension can?


  10. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    This is the true Daley legacy.


  11. - Cassandra - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    I feel another unconstitutional pension reform getting ready to launch. When the media get really excited about pension fund shortages, you know it’s time.


  12. - facts are stubborn things - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    A crisis of their own making. If you don’t properly fund a pension system then it won’t be properly funded. da 3 parts to pension fund: 1. employee contributions - YES 2. pension investment return - YES 3. Employer contributions - NO.


  13. - ToBScholarlyish - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    The NYT did an article about Puerto Rico’s teacher pension crisis. It was comforting to read that Illinois is equated with that debacle. /s
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/business/dealbook/puerto-rico-teacher-pensions.html?_r=0


  14. - Piece of Work - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Leave it to Word to twist this story in order to blame R’s. Remind us again who has been running Chicago for decades and decades.

    Sheesh!


  15. - Stand Tall - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    - Anon - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    This is the true Daley legacy.

    It is the same as the Madigan legacy on the State of Illinois.


  16. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    PoW, I said Daley was a dictator. He had the backing of big money, many of whom are Republican, including Rauner.

    Is that inaccurate? Please correct the record, with facts.


  17. - A guy - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    === Daley truly ran the city as a dictatorship, enabled by a lap dog City Council, ===

    Not to mention, his tenure granted him the opportunity to appoint nearly half of them. Ugh.


  18. - doedoa - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Having long term debt is not the problem. The amortization of rising payments makes no sense. It also makes no sense to cut the income stream as a way to solve a lack of money problem.


  19. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    Just imagine the missing interest on money never contributed by our state. While employees made 100% of their contribution, 2 of the 3 necessary parts are missing. Instead of tolerating this attack, I don’t understand why pension funders and retirees aren’t protesting in the streets for the way they’ve been treated!


  20. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    And the state constitution has nothing to do with this? Plenty of bipartisan blame to go around.


  21. - Mama - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    Dear news writers, reporters, etc.: please find at least one GOOD daily news story for Illinois everyday. Thanks


  22. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    ==I don’t understand why retirees aren’t protesting in the streets for the way they’ve been treated!==

    Might draw attention to the fact that they pay no state income tax.


  23. - EVanstonian - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    Uncontested City Treasurer elections haven’t helped either. Ex officio board member of each city pension fund, they could make real political hay out of these numbers.

    And on those two parts, who is saying the funds have gotten their investment returns? Because when you look at their risk-adjusted returns, they’re not up to the level they should have been.


  24. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    ==I don’t understand why retirees aren’t protesting in the streets for the way they’ve been treated!==

    Probably because the State hasn’t missed any pension checks.


  25. - Truthteller - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    -Might draw attention to the fact that they pay no state income tax.-
    City zen, No one pays taxes on retirement income in Illinois. Why single out public employees?


  26. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 4:52 pm:

    @Truthteller - Don’t ask me, I’m not the protest organizer. I haven’t noticed any ” pension is a promise” protests signs.


  27. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 5:06 pm:

    I must have missed all the starched capes and hoods at at the Chamber of Commerce meetings Wordslinger.at 9:42

    “But another black man wasn’t elected mayor, which was the primary concern of the big money types, not fiscal responsibility.”

    Care to cite anyone, even David Duke who would agree with that race baiting? Talk about an ooda loop geez!


  28. - Whatever - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 8:04 pm:

    Compromise requires two sides == Yes the ideal standard is to have an account with all future payments in it but come on do you have a savings account with enough money to pay all your future bills.==

    That is not what fully funded means. It means there is enough in the pension fund, together with the earnings from investing the balance in the fund, to pay the liabilities already owed. Shorting the fund by $100 this year means that, if the fund can earn 5%, next year we will need $105 to satisfy the pension obligation, and the next year we will need $110.25. Keep underfunding, and after a decade or two you have this monster liability that will continue to cost you for the lost investment return forever. Like maxing out your credit cards. Sure, you can make the minimum payment every time, but then the liability never goes away and you’re paying forever for something you bought years ago.


  29. - justacitizen - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 8:48 pm:

    Think of the unfunded liability as if everybody retired tomorrow. That’s not going to happen so it makes the appropriate funding level subjective. A rule of thumb had been 80% funded was acceptable. Actuaries don’t agree with 80%-they think it s/b 100% but Chicago Police 25%? C’mon man.


  30. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Mar 9, 17 @ 9:01 pm:

    =No one pays taxes on retirement income in Illinois. Why single out public employees?=

    Something tells me the politicians aren’t protecting grandma’s $12k a year Social Security. They certainly didn’t mind raising income taxes on min wage earners a few years ago.


  31. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 7:45 am:

    ==Something tells me the politicians aren’t protecting grandma’s $12k a year Social Security.==

    Something tells me they are. You ever seen AARP descend on the Capitol? Try as you might to link this to public employees you are wrong.


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