How Illinois public pensions compare with other states

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.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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