Brown & Dye: Illinois Pensions in a Fiscal Context – A (Basket) Case Study


Illinois’ public pensions are among the worst funded in the nation. We present evidence that the main reason for Illinois’ underfunding is a history of making inadequate contributions, dating back to the origins of the state’s pensions. We discuss the recent history and legal status of pension reform efforts in the state. Using a fiscal model of the state’s finances, we project how Illinois’ fiscal situation may evolve in the future. A key finding is that with or without pension reform, Illinois will continue to face significant structural deficits that will require revenue increases and/or additional spending cuts to address.

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