AM News: What Next For IL $40B Pension Hole?

image from webmedia.newseum.orgIll. teacher pension system nearly $40B in the hole Tribune: The Teachers' Retirement System, the largest and costliest of Illinois' pension programs, is now almost $40B short of what's needed to cover future benefits -- the deepest financial hole in 20 years of state records... Creating Calm In Chicago's Schools NPR:  Manley is one of six "focus" schools getting around $1 million for its culture transformation... No one injured by fumes at Northside College Prep Tribune:  No injuries were reported this afternoon when fumes from a chemical mixture inside a classroom at Northside College Prep prompted a hazardous material response, authorities said...MORE BELOW  Chicago school employee honored for anti-gang work AP:  Khaldun Everage has been with Chicago schools for two decades. He works in the district's community and family engagement unit and is a certified gang specialist... Questionable police actions caught on tape WBEZ:  We spoke Tuesday afternoon out a video obtained by WBEZ that appears to show Chicago police officers allowing a person to be taunted by a group of bystanders in Humboldt Park...Teacher Teaching Creationism Keeps Job SJR:  Libertyville High School teacher Beau Schaefer won't be teaching creationism in his science classroom any more...

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  • The Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund is not a part of The Teachers' Retirement System, however, all government pension funds are under attack! Look for these attacks on ALL government pension funds in the State of Illinois: 1. Paying state taxes on our pensions. 2. Reducing or eliminating the 3% AAI increase after you turn 61 years old. 3. Cutting medical reimbursement for our health care. Even if you have not retired yet, all of these things will impact you when you do retire!

  • I will be going to Springfield in April to talk to our state legislators! P.S.- The legislators will exempt themselves from any changes in their pension plans!

  • In reply to chijas:

    RP--What's the "3% AAI"?

    The CTPF--having learned from last year's "speediest passage of a major bill ever"--is in a campaign to get as many e-mail addresses and texting phone numbers as possible to gear up for a fight against any more "done-in-a-day" legislation.

    In the schools, this will be a postcard campaign (and I understand they are also direct mailing retirees). Please urge as many of your colleagues as possible to comply, and when the time comes, contact legislators ASAP.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Dear Danny, the 3% AAI is the automatic annual increase (like cost of living increase)! Danny, I am actively involved in getting retirees, current employees and all concerned parties involved in this fight! P.S.- We are pushing for the automatic annual increase of 3% to begin one year following your retirement!

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    With $100k+ a year pensions I'm surprised it's just $40 Billion short

  • What about the people who only get $15,000 per year? It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, as the income tax is defined as a flat rate for everyone. ALL retirees must be taxed the same rate! Have a GOOD day!

  • Christina, the only people getting 100K pensions are school superintendents. And possibly principals who worked 40-50 years in the system. The average pension for a teacher, according to the Tribune article yesterday is 40K per year.
    Personally, I wish we could simply do away with pensions all together and trade that for a slightly larger salary. I don't trust the state for one second to actually fund their portion of my pension. And I understand many people feel their should be no pensions. I don't have a problem with that. I can invest my $$ better than the system can and there'll actually be something when I retire. Plus, then with no pension, I can then get social security, just like every other working taxpayer. Between my savings and ss, I'll have more in retirement than I would from a 40K a year pension (which will be gone anyways by the time I retire). I plan on teaching until I am 70.

  • When the Illinois General Assembly passes the state income tax on government pensions, it will be for EVERYONE (except them), which means the average $40,000 pension would also be taxed! Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it! P.S.- Here are some of the proposed changes to all of our pensions: 1. Changing our defined benefit pensions to a 401(k) style pension plan (stock market watch out). 2. If you stay in the current defined benefit pension plan, you would have to make larger contributions to your pension, around an estimated 28% of your salary. 3. Last, employees could switch to the setup approved in pension reforms last year, which increses the retirement age (67 years old) and reduced benefits!

  • In reply to chijas:

    (increases)

  • In reply to chijas:

    A Deal

    After 41+ years a heart problem did what generations of gangsters
    Stones,kings,and various other misunderstood youth could ever do
    And I had to retire.
    I will get my first pension check soon and have no idea how long I still
    Have to live. But for my entire career I paid into the pension system.
    Even the neo-parochial teachers are paying into the system. If there is a
    Debt blames it on either criminal mis- management or political neglect.
    We paid our share; even those who hate us will admit that, but the solution
    Always seems to hinge on our getting screwed. Here are a couple of my
    Solutions.

    Give Midway Airport to the pension board, then hire a honest group to run
    The place. That would retire a lot of debt.
    Prosecute anyone who voted for a pension holiday or, who put forth
    Any document or audit which proved to be wrong regarding the pension
    Plan.
    Finally we must become very active in local elections so someone ,like the
    Mayor elect can brag they have a mandate when 22 voters out of 100 voted
    For them. A good slogan would be No Pension, no Peace

  • I agree!

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