Most observers agree that a good part of the states' financial problems (aside from the recession) is the funding of public pensions. Here is a good analysis of what other states have been doing to address the problem, compared with Illinois.
Among the steps that other states have taken are:
- Increased employee contribution requirements.
- Increased age and service requirements for normal retirement.
- Lengthened the period over which final average salary is averaged to provide the base on which pension benefits are calculated.
- Revised their provisions for automatic cost-of-living adjustment.
It's heavy reading, but the nut of the report is that many states are facing their problems squarely, making public employees carry a fairer, more realistic share of the burden of providing adequate, but not way-over-the-top benefits. Illinois' efforts along these lines are paltry.
Kudos to the National Conference of State Legislatures for compiling this factual, informative report.