What is the source of the Illinois state employee pension crisis? The fact that they are defined benefit pension systems, not the defined contribution type of pensions that are commonly used in the private sector? The "fact," that state government employee pensions and salaries are more generous than their private sector counterparts? The fact that the annual pension payments by the State "ramp up" too rapidly. The fact that cost of living pension adjustments (COLAs) are compounded and bear no relationship to changes in the cost of living? The fact that state government employees, state university and public school teachers generally retire before their private counterparts? The fact that the state has not made the payments into the state retirement funds required to keep them solvent? In any case, what is the responsible way to fix the state employee pension problems? Raise taxes? Cut pension benefits? Convert state employee pensions to 401 K type pensions? Make other changes in the state government employee and teacher pensions.
To get answers to all these questions, watch Tonight’s City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs, which features Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, debating and discussing the issues with show host Jeff Berkowitz. The show airs throughout the City of Chicago at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.
You can also watch the show with Ralph Martire here.