Thursday, February 18, 2010

Illinois ranks dead last for State pension funding

Illinois ranks 50th among the states in setting aside the tens of billions of dollars needed to pay its employee pensions.

That's the mortifying but believable word in a major new study that, if anything, understates just how big of a hole the state and its taxpayers are in when it comes to financing the cost of state employee retirement.

The report by the Pew Center on the States, a Washington research group, concludes that Illinois has set aside barely half — 54%, to be exact — of the amount it will need to pay benefits in its five worker pension funds, leaving an unfunded liability of $54.4 billion.