Public pensions in Illinois

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Illinois public pensions
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Pension system
Number of pension systems 6
State pension systems: State Employees' Retirement System
Judges' Retirement System
General Assembly Retirement System
Teachers' Retirement System
State Universities Retirement System
Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund
System type:
Pension health (2012)[1]
Fund value: $91,521,681,194
Estimated liabilities: $191,214,760,352
Unfunded liabilities : $99,693,079,158
Percent funded: 47.86%
Percent funded change: Decrease.svg2.45%[2]
Percent funded rank: 50[3]
Pension fund members (2012)
Total members: 1,093,011
Active members: 471,920
Other members: 621,091
Other state pension information
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Public pensions
State public pension plans
Public pension health by state
Illinois public pensions are the state mechanism by which state and many local government employees in Illinois receive retirement benefits. Six systems administer benefits to the state's eligible retirees: the State Employees' Retirement System (SERS), the Judges' Retirement System (JRS, the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS), the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the state has 451 locally-administered pension systems.[4]

A 2012 report from the Pew Center on the States noted that Illinois's pension system was funded at 45 percent at the close of fiscal year 2010, making it the most poorly funded pension system in the nation. Consequently, Pew designated the state's pension system as cause for "serious concern."[5]

The funding ratio for the state's pension systems decreased from 68.55 percent in fiscal year 2007 to 47.86 percent in fiscal year 2012, a drop of 20.69 percentage points, or 30.2 percent. Likewise, unfunded liabilities increased from approximately $88.1 billion in fiscal year 2007 to nearly $100 billion in fiscal year 2012.


Pension plans

In fiscal year 2012, according to the systems' Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, Illinois had a total of 471,920 active members in its retirement systems.[6][7][8][9][10][11] Membership figures divide plan participants into two broad categories: active and other. Active members are current employees contributing to the pension system. Other members include retirees, beneficiaries and other inactive plan participants (usually terminated employees entitled to benefits but not yet receiving them).[12]

The following data was collected from the systems' Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. The "percentage funded" is calculated by taking the current value of the fund and dividing by the estimated amount of total liabilities. The assumed rate of return used to calculate fund value varied by system in fiscal year 2012 (see "Rate of return" below for more information). The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Pew Research Centers cite a percent funded ratio of 80 percent as the minimum threshold for a healthy fund, though the American Academy of Actuaries suggests that all pension systems "have a strategy in place to attain or maintain a funded status of 100 percent or greater."[13][14] The column labeled "SBS figure" refers to a market liability calculation of the fund by the nonprofit organization State Budget Solutions. This analysis uses a rate of return of 3.225 percent, which is based upon the 15-year Treasury bond yield. The organization calls this a "risk-free" rate of return that would make it easier for states to achieve their pension funding requirements in the future. Since 2006, all private sector corporate pension plans have incorporated market costs into their funding schemes.[15]

Basic pension plan information -- Illinois
Plans Current value Percentage funded Unfunded liabilities Membership
State figure SBS figure[16] State figure SBS figure[16]
State Employees' Retirement System[6] $11,477,264,329 34.7% N/A[17] $21,613,921,865 N/A[17] 62,732 active members
Judges' Retirement System[7] $601,219,999 29.7% $1,420,495,797 968 active members
General Assembly Retirement System[8] $56,090,081 18.5% $247,379,182 176 active members
Teachers' Retirement System[9] $37,945,397,000 42.1% $52,079,548,000 162,217 active members
State Universities Retirement System[10] $13,949,900,000 42.1% $19,220,300,000 71,056 active members
Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund[11] $27,491,809,785 84.3% $5,111,434,314 174,771 active members
TOTALS $91,521,681,194 47.86% 24% $99,693,079,158 $287,045,993,000 471,920 active members

Annual Required Contribution

Annual Required Contributions (ARC) are calculated annually and are a sum of two different costs. The first component is the "normal cost," or what the employer owes to the system in order to support the liabilities gained in the previous year of service. The second component is an additional payment in order to make up for previous liabilities that have not yet been paid for. According to a report by the Pew Center on the States, in 2010 Illinois paid 87 percent of its annual required contribution.[18][19]

On June 25, 2012, the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) approved a plan to reform the accounting rules for state and local pension funds. These revised standards were set to take effect in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.[20] As a result, ARCs were removed as a reporting requirement. Instead, plan administrators and accountants will use an actuarially determined contribution or a statutory contribution for reporting purposes.[21]

ARC historical data*
Fiscal year SERS[6] JRS[7] GARS[8] TRS[9] SURS[10]
Annual Required Contribution (ARC) Percentage contributed Annual Required Contribution (ARC) Percentage contributed Annual Required Contribution (ARC) Percentage contributed Annual Required Contribution (ARC) Percentage contributed Annual Required Contribution (ARC) Percentage contributed
2012 $1,614,834,808 86.2% $110,923,357 57.4% $13,365,820 78.6% $3,429,945,000 74.6% $1,701,600,000 73.1%
2011 $1,289,002,005 87.5% $95,490,182 65.4% $13,086,199 84.4% $2,743,221,000 84.7% $1,519,200,000 68.0%
2010 $1,177,313,343 93.1% $86,916,418 90.3% $12,064,078 86.3% $2,481,914,000 90.6% $1,278,300,000 76.0%
2009 $1,003,432,849 77.2% $78,386,597 76.5% $11,129,440 79.5% $2,109,480,000 75.9% $1,147,300,000 63.2%
2008 $986,410,891 59.6% $75,134,070 62.4% $10,672,535 63.8% $1,949,463,000 60.0% $971,600,000 62.7%
*ARC data for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund could not be found.

Historical funding levels

Historical pension plan data - all systems[6][7][8][9][10][11]
Year Value of assets Accrued liability Unfunded liability Funded ratio
2007 $94,005,561,277 $137,130,208,942 $43,124,647,665 68.55%
2008 $86,301,529,514 $144,695,662,576 $58,394,133,062 59.64%
2009 $86,751,224,247 $153,780,593,142 $67,029,368,895 56.41%
2010 $87,304,507,083 $167,923,503,195 $80,618,996,112 51.99%
2011 $89,264,334,451 $177,422,815,981 $88,158,481,530 50.31%
Change from 2007-2011 -$4,741,226,826 $40,292,607,039 $45,033,833,865 -18.24%

Rate of return

The State Employees' Retirement and State Universities Retirement System assume a return rate of 7.75 percent on their pension investments.[6][10] The Judges' Retirement System and the General Assembly Retirement System assume a return rate of 7.0 percent on their pension investments.[7][8] The Teachers' Retirement System assumes a return rate of 8.0 percent on its pension investments.[9] The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund assumes a return rate of 7.5 percent on its pension investments.[11]


According to a 2012 analysis by the Pew Center for the States, most state pension plans assume an 8 percent rate of return on investments.[5] Critics assert that this assumption is unrealistic, citing changing market conditions and significantly lower investment returns across the board over the past several years.[22]

Using a lower rate of return to predict investment earnings accurately, however, increases the current plan liabilities. This would lower the percent funded ratio and and require increased employer contributions (ARCs). This is because future plan liabilities are discounted based on the rate of return, so smaller expected investment returns result in larger actuarially accrued liabilities.[23] For example, on September 21, 2012, the Illinois Teachers Retirement System voted to lower its rate of return from 8.5 percent to 8.0 percent. This change increased the state's fiscal year 2014 ARC from $3.07 billion to $3.36 billion.[24] Similarly, when California's CalPERS reduced its projected annual rate of return from 7.75 percent to 7.5 percent in March 2012, it cost the state an additional $303 million for fiscal year 2013.[25]

Financial crisis

The 2008 financial crisis had a devastating effect on pension plans nationwide because of slower economic growth and increased market volatility. Some market strategists found the 8 percent assumption to be overly ambitious and "dangerously optimistic."[26] Advocates for a lower assumed rate of return argue that the standard 8 percent assumptions could cause pension fund managers to engage in more risky investments and imprudent stewardship of public funds. Further, if pension plans were using more conservative assumptions, such as the 3 or 4 percent assumed rate of return used in the private sector, and the plans grew more quickly than expected because of a higher rate of return, the fund would have a surplus and smaller future required contributions (ARCs), which would be preferable to using optimistic assumptions and potentially being caught with larger-than-expected deficits.[27][28][29][30][31]

Traditional public pension plan advocates argue that the dip in recent years does not prove there is a long-term, downward trend in investment returns. According to Chris Hoene, executive director at the California Budget Project, "The problem with [the market rate] argument is there isn’t significant evidence other than the short term blip during the economic crisis that there’s been that shift. It’s a speculative argument coming out of a very deep recession."[26]

The National Association of State Retirement Administrators researched the median annualized rate of return for public pensions for the 1-, 3-, 5-, 10-, 20- and 25-year periods ending in 2013 and found it was 7.9 percent over the 20-year period, and exceeded 8 percent for the 1-, 3- and 25-year periods. It is important to note that the NASRA data reported the median returns, which means that median annualized returns of investment portfolios for half of the examined public pension funds failed to meet an 8 percent assumed rate of return.[32]

Moody's report on adjusted pension liabilities

On June 27, 2013, Moody's Investor Service released its report on adjusted pension liabilities in the states. The Moody's report ranked states "based on ratios measuring the size of their adjusted net pension liabilities (ANPL) relative to several measures of economic capacity." In its calculations of net pension liabilities, Moody's employed market-determined discount rates (5.67 percent for Illinois) instead of the state-reported assumed rates of return (8.50 percent for Illinois's largest pension plan as of July 1, 2011).[33]

The report's authors found that adjusted net pension liabilities varied dramatically from state to state, from 6.8 percent (Nebraska) to 241 percent (Illinois) of governmental revenues in fiscal year 2011.[33]

The adjusted net pension liability for Illinois in fiscal year 2011 was ranked the highest in the nation.[33] The following table presents key state-specific findings from the Moody's report, as well as the state's national rank with respect to each indicator.

Adjusted net pension liabilities (ANPL) relative to key economic indicators - Illinois
Governmental revenue* Personal income State GDP Per capita
State findings 241.1% 23.6% 19.8% $10,340
National ranking 1st 2nd 2nd 3rd
*Moody's uses governmental revenues as reported in each state's consolidated annual financial reports; this includes not only state-generated revenue, but federal funds, as well.[33]

2014 Illinois Public Policy report
In January 2014, the Illinois Policy Institute issued a report on the health of Illinois’s public pensions.[34] The reports attempted to provide a solution to the state’s $100 billion pension crisis. The report advocated the need to increase the current retirement age to 67, following Rhode Island’s pension reform of aligning the state’s retirement age with the Social Security retirement age. The report also stated that the closer employees are to their current legal retirement age, the fewer additional years should be added to that retirement age, provided the new age should be no lower than 59. State workers should not be allowed to collect a state pension until 67, although they should be free to retire when they want. In all, the report declared that the state cannot afford having state workers retiring at 54 and collect millions in pension benefits.[34]

Pension fund management fees

See also: Public pension fund management fees

In July 2013, the Maryland Public Policy Institute (MPPI) and the Maryland Tax Education Foundation released a report detailing the fees paid for the management of state pension systems. According to MPPI, the 10 state pension funds that paid the most in management fees relative to net assets experienced lower returns over a five-year period than the 10 state pension funds that paid the least in management fees. For example, in fiscal year 2012 South Carolina's pension system paid approximately $296.1 million in total management fees (1.31 percent of total net assets at the beginning of the fiscal year) and its five-year rate of return was 1.46 percent. By contrast, Alabama's pension system paid roughly $13.3 million in management fees (0.05 percent of total net assets) and its five-year rate of return was 7.53 percent.[35]

The table below presents the information collected by MPPI for Illinois and surrounding states. For each state's pension system, total net assets are listed (both for the beginning and end of the fiscal year in question), as well as the total amount paid in management fees. In addition, the rates of return for the pension systems are presented. Illinois represented the median total net assets when compared to surrounding states.

Public pension fund management fees, 2011-2012
State Fiscal year Total net assets at the beginning of the year Total net assets at the end of the year Total management fees Management fees as a percentage of total net assets at the beginning of the year Five-year rate of return for the pension fund
Illinois 2012 $57,424,347,944 $57,821,599,899 $313,400,624 0.55% 0.70%
Indiana 2012 $25,755,673,000 $25,564,126,000 $106,484,000 0.41% 0.20%
Michigan 2012 $46,106,071,669 $50,540,016,325 $190,537,882 0.41% 1.50%
Ohio 2012; 2011 $165,091,688,276 $159,507,551,615 $528,693,965 0.32% 1.56%
Wisconsin 2012 $82,485,576,190 $80,271,452,828 $253,704,610 0.31% 2.10%
1"Three states— Hawaii, Nevada and Rhode Island—were excluded because they hadn’t published CAFRs for fiscal years ending December 31, 2011 or later. West Virginia was excluded because its June 30, 2012 CAFR lacked sufficient disclosure."[35]
Source: Maryland Public Policy Institute, "Wall Street Fees, Investment Returns, Maryland 49 Other State Pension Funds," July 1, 2013


Enacted reforms


S.B. 1

On December 5, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law S.B.1, a series significant pension reforms that were projected to save the state more than $160 billion over 30 years.[36] Most notably, the enacted legislation, which took effect on June 1, 2014, promises to curb cost-of-living adjustments for retirees and will require many current workers to forgo as many as five cost-of-living adjustments when they retire. In addition, the law increased the retirement age for current workers by up to five years (contingent on the employee's current age).[36][37][38]

We Are One, a group of unions headed by the state AFL-CIO, blasted the legislation as "attempted pension theft" and "illegal." Public employee unions indicated they would challenge the legislation in court on the grounds that it "diminishes or impairs" an enforceable contract, a violation of the state constitution.[36] Supporters contend the law will be upheld by the state Supreme Court. In a prepared statement, Quinn called the law "a serious solution to the most dire fiscal challenge of our time."[36][39][40][41][42]

In light of the reforms, on December 10, 2013 Standard and Poor's Ratings Service elevated the outlook on the state's A-minus credit rating from "negative" to "developing." S&P analyst Robin Prunty said, "Although we view the consensus achieved by Illinois on this difficult issue as positive from a credit standpoint, the developing outlook reflects the implementation risk - legal and budgetary - associated with various provisions of the pension reform as well as the overall structural budget challenges facing the state."[43][44][45]

H.B. 1375

H.B. 1375 amended the Downstate Firefighter Article of the Illinois Pension Code to increase, in certain cases where a deceased firefighter left a surviving minor child but no surviving spouse, the pension payable to the guardian of that child from 12 percent to 20 percent of the firefighter's monthly salary.[46]

The bill was signed into law on August 16, 2013.[46]

H.B. 2583

Sponsored by Representative Daniel J. Burke (D-District 1), H.B. 2583 amended the Chicago Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code to specify that an employer cannot reclassify a non-hourly employee as an hourly employee in order to evade or avoid its obligations. The bill also provided that any certified teacher or staff employed by a corporate or non-profit entity involved in the administration of a charter school shall be presumed to be a participant in the fund, unless the organization establishes that the teacher or staff member is not working as a teacher or administrator directly or indirectly with the charter school.[47]

The bill was signed into law on August 16, 2013.[47]

H.B. 2656

H.B. 2656 amended the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund Article of the Illinois Pension Code, providing that, for service transferred from a downstate police pension fund under a specific provision, credits and creditable service will be granted upon transfer of those credits to the IMRF. The bill further specified that if the Board determines that the amount transferred is less than the true cost to the Fund of allowing creditable service to be established, the member must pay the Fund a contribution equal to the difference.[48]

The governor signed the bill into law on August 16, 2013.[48]

H.B. 2767

H.B. 2767 amended the State Employee Article of the Illinois Pension Code, providing that, for service on or after July 1, 2013, "compensation" does not include any stipend payable to an employee for service on a board or commission.[49]

The bill was signed into law on August 16, 2013.[49]

H.B. 1444

H.B. 1444 amended the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund Article of the Illinois Pension Code, providing that the governing Board will determine the amortization period to be used in calculating the amount to be contributed by participating municipalities and instrumentalities in order to adjust for changes in the fund's unfunded accrued liabilities. The bill further specified that the amortization period cannot exceed 30 years for participating municipalities or 10 years for participating instrumentalities.[50]

The governor signed the bill into law on August 9, 2013.[50]

H.B. 2993

Sponsored by Representatives Darlene Senger (R-District 41) and Elaine Nekritz (D-District 57), H.B. 2993 amended the Illinois Pension Code to delete references to the State Universities Retirement System from the Tier 2 section of the General Provisions Article and to instead incorporate the Tier 2 provisions into the State Universities Article. The bill also made other administrative changes to provide for a clearer interpretation of the Tier 2 provisions of S.B. 1946 (passed by the 96th Illinois General Assembly) as they apply to SURS.[51]

The bill was signed into law on July 17, 2013.[51]

S.B. 1366

Sponsored by Senators Daniel Biss (D-District 9) and Pamela Althoff (R-District 32), S.B. 1366 amended the Downstate Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code, providing that the early retirement without discount option will be extended to July 1, 2016 with certain changes. These included increasing the required employee and employer contribution and requiring the employee to obtain the approval of the last employer.[52]

Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill into law on June 28, 2013.[52]


H.B. 3813

On January 4, 2012, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law H.B. 3813, which The Chicago Tribune called "a major crackdown on lucrative public pension abuses that saw top union officials land hefty retirement packages, double dip and substitute teach for one day but win benefits for life."[53]

The law aimed to put a stop to the practice whereby some municipal and labor organization employees took leaves of absence from their municipal jobs, moved to full-time positions within their labor unions and then collected pensions from both. The enacted legislation mandated that both current and future city employees who leave municipal positions to work for unions will not be able to count union experience toward their pensions. The legislation also sought to close a loophole that allowed two lobbyists for the Illinois Federation of Teachers to enter the Teachers' Retirement System after working as substitute teachers for only one day.[54][53]

In a statement released on January 3, 2012, Quinn said, "The pension abuses unearthed were flagrant. They needed to be stopped immediately and prevented from ever happening in the future. I'm pleased that the Legislature voted overwhelmingly to address the issue."[53]

Nonetheless, questions remained about the constitutionality of the law, which stood to "retroactively repeal" prior benefits. David Ellis, chief legal counsel to House Speaker Michael Madigan, told legislators, "I understand what people are trying to do. I'm not trying to question anyone's motives here, but from a pure constitution perspective, you can't do that. That violates the constitution, I think, pretty clearly."[53]

Securities fraud

On March 11, 2013 the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the state of Illinois with securities fraud for "misleading municipal bond investors about the state’s approach to funding its pension obligations."[55]

An SEC investigation revealed that Illinois failed to inform investors about the impact of problems with its pension funding schedule as the state offered and sold more than $2.2 billion worth of municipal bonds from 2005 to early 2009. The SEC report said Illinois "failed to disclose that its statutory plan significantly underfunded the state’s pension obligations and increased the risk to its overall financial condition." The state also misled investors about the effect of changes to its statutory plan, the report said.[55]

According to the SEC's order, the state established a pension contribution schedule in 1994 that was insufficient to cover actual and future obligations. The report found that Illinois misled investors about the effect of changes to its funding plan, particularly pension holidays enacted in 2005. The SEC said that although the state disclosed the pension holidays and other legislative amendments to the plan, Illinois did not disclose the effect of those changes on the contribution schedule and its ability to meet its pension obligations.[55]

"As a result, Illinois lacked proper mechanisms to identify and evaluate relevant information about its pension systems into its disclosures. For example, Illinois had not adopted or implemented sufficient controls, policies, or procedures to ensure that material information about the state’s pension plan was assembled and communicated to individuals responsible for bond disclosures. The state also did not adequately train personnel involved in the disclosure process or retain disclosure counsel."[55]

After 2009, Illinois took steps to provide greater information to investors, the report said. Illinois agreed to settle the charges with the SEC, according to the report. No fees and penalties were assessed.[56]

Local public pensions

See also: Local government public pensions

According to the United States Census Bureau, the state has 451 locally-administered pension systems.[4]

Local pension reforms

The Pension Fairness for Illinois Communities Coalition, made up of Illinois municipalities and business interests, put forth a plan for local pension reform. The following solutions were proposed by the organization:[57]

  • Requiring public safety employees to contribute more toward the cost of their pensions. Currently, employees only contribute about one-third, while taxpayers and investments fund the remainder.
  • Adjusting cost-of-living-increases from the current 3 percent so that they are not compounded annually.
  • Increasing the retirement age for public safety employees, who can now retire with full benefits at the age of 50.
  • Consolidating the 638 individual public safety pension funds into a multiple employer pension system similar to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund to expand investment opportunities and lower overall operational expenses.


See also: Public pension disclosure and Governmental Accounting Standards Board
  • Financial documents for the State Employees' Retirement System, the Judges' Retirement System, and the General Assembly Retirement System are available on the State Retirement Systems of Illinois website.[58] Information regarding the Teachers' Retirement System and the State Universities Retirement System is available on each system's individual website.[59][60]
  • Names of public pension recipients and amounts disbursed are available as public records.[61]
  • Pension fund investment performance is noted in each system's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.[6][7][8][9][10][11]
  • Assumed rates of return are posted in the actuarial section of each system's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.[6][7][8][9][10][11]
  • Unfunded liabilities are posted in the actuarial section of each system's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.[6][7][8][9][10][11]
  • State law requires requires regular asset disclosure by members of state pension boards and managers. It also prohibits gifts between interested parties involving pension managers and board members.[62]
  • Independent audits are included in each system's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Recent news

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See also

Additional reading

External links


  1. Figures below are compiled by adding up all state pension plans
  2. This figure is derived by calculating the percent difference between the current year's funding level and the system's percent funded from the prior year.
  3. Rank is relative to the 50 state pension programs. "1" refers to the healthiest pension plan while "50" would be the least well-funded plan.
  4. 4.0 4.1 United States Census Bureau "Public Employee Retirement Systems State- and Locally-Administered Pensions Summary Report: 2010," April 30, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The Widening Gap Update,” Pew Center on the States, accessed October 17, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois, "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2012," accessed November 7, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 Judges' Retirement System of Illinois, "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2012," accessed November 7, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 General Assembly Retirement System, State of Illinois, "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2012," accessed November 7, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 Teachers' Retirement System of Illinois, "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2012," accessed November 7, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 State Universities Retirement System, "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2012," accessed November 7, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Year Ending December 31, 2012," accessed November 7, 2013
  12. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, "Pensions Glossary," accessed November 27, 2013
  13. United States Government Accountability Office Report to the Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate, "State and Local Government Retiree Benefits: Current Status of Benefit Structures, Protections, and Fiscal Outlook for Funding Future Costs," September 2007. accessed October 23, 2013
  14. American Academy of Actuaries, "Issue Brief: The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth," July 2012. accessed October 23, 2013
  15. Governing Magazine, " Is There a Plot Against Pensions?" October 14, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 State Budget Solutions, "Promises Made, Promises Broken - The Betrayal of Pensioners and Taxpayers," accessed September 20, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 Analysis only available for system totals and not individual funds.
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named illinoispew
  19. Government Accounting Standards Board, "Annual Required Contribution (ARC)," accessed October 17, 2013
  20. Reuters, "Little-known U.S. board stokes hot pension debate," July 10, 2012
  21. State Budget Solutions, "GASB's ineffective public pension reporting standards set to take effect," June 5, 2013
  22. The New York Times, "Public Pensions Faulted for Bets on Rosy Returns," accessed May 27, 2012
  23. Benefits Magazine, "Public Pension Funding 101: Key Terms and Concepts," accessed October 23, 2013
  24. Crain's Chicago Business, "State teachers pension board lowers expected rate of return," accessed September 21, 2013
  25. Huffington Post, "California Pension Funds Expect Lower Investment Return," accessed March 14, 2012
  26. 26.0 26.1 Governing, "Expert: Governments Are Masking Their Pension Liabilities," accessed October 25, 2013
  27. The Washington Post, "Kansas’s pension funding gap just grew by $1 billion," accessed September 6, 2013
  28. Topeka Capital-Journal, "KPERS' unfunded liability rises to $10.2B," accessed September 4, 2013
  29. Wall Street Journal, "Pensions Wrestle With Return Rates," accessed October 10, 2011
  30. The Courant, "Promising Too Much On Public Pensions," accessed August 10, 2012
  31. Business Wire, "NCPERS 2013 Survey: Public Pension Plans Report Increasing Confidence, Lower Costs, Growing Returns," accessed October 22, 2013
  32. National Association of State Retirement Administrators, "Issue Brief: Public Pension Plan Investment Return Assumptions," accessed October 23, 2013
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 Moody's Investor Service, "Adjusted Pension Liability Medians for US States," accessed June 27, 2013
  34. 34.0 34.1 Illinois Policy Institute, "Pension Solutions: Reforming the Retirement Age," January 17, 2014
  35. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named report
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 The Chicago Tribune, "Quinn signs Illinois pension bill," December 5, 2013
  37. Illinois General Assembly, "Bill Status of SB0001," accessed December 12, 2013
  38. Illinois Government News Network, "Governor Quinn Signs Historic Pension Reform," December 5, 2013
  39. Bloomberg, "Illinois Legislative Leaders Try to Sell Tentative Pension Deal," November 28, 2013
  40. Crain's Chicago Business, "Here are details of the big Illinois pension deal," November 27, 2013
  41. Illinois Watchdog, "Details thin, but Illinois pension deal is real," November 27, 2013
  42. The New York Times, "Illinois Lawmakers Say They Have Plan to Fix Underfunded Pension System," November 27, 2013
  43. Reuters, "UPDATE 1: S&P revises Illinois outlook to 'developing' on pension reform," December 10, 2013
  44. The Chicago Tribune, "S&P improves Illinois' rating outlook due to pension reform," December 10, 2013
  45. Illinois Watchdog, "Illinois' pension reform law (slightly) improves state's fiscal outlook," December 11, 2013
  46. 46.0 46.1 Illinois General Assembly, "Bill Status of HB1375," accessed November 7, 2013
  47. 47.0 47.1 Illinois General Assembly, "Bill Status of HB2583," accessed November 7, 2013
  48. 48.0 48.1 Illinois General Assembly, "Bill Status of HB2656," accessed November 7, 2013
  49. 49.0 49.1 Illinois General Assembly, "Bill Status of HB2767," accessed November 7, 2013
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