The Illinois State Auditor reported yesterday that Illinois’ government pension systems are even deeper in the red than previously thought. Using a new accounting method, Auditor General William Holland said that Illinois government employees, downstate teachers and university staff have been promised $139 billion worth of retirement benefits, but that the pension systems have only $63 billion in assets. The gap is 21 per cent higher than the previous year’s estimate.
The Associated Press reports:
Eventually, the state will have to come up with money to make up that difference.
As state government devotes more money to government pensions, it leaves less for education, law enforcement, human services and other needs.
Illinois borrowed about $3.7 billion this year to help make the annual contribution to retirement systems. The amount owed in the next budget will top $5.4 billion, the auditor said. That’s part of the massive budget deficit haunting Illinois.
You can read the full AP dispatch here.
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