Illinois Must Get Serious About Its Pension Problem

The Illinois State Capitol, located in Springfield, Illinois, is the building that houses the executive and legislative branches of the government of the U.S. state of Illinois.

A Fitch Ratings report released in December illuminated the growing pension burden facing Prairie state pensioners. Illinois’s net pension liabilities totaled $151.5 billion at the end of the 2016 year. This cost is increasing year-over-year and elected officials continue allowing the burden to grow rather than deal with the problem.

If it was not noticeable before, the Fitch Rating report shows Illinois cannot afford to ignore the problem any longer. The total liabilities equate to 22.8% of residents’ personal income. To compare, other states’ median liabilities total 3.1%.

Illinois needs to address the pension problem head on. The current method of kicking-the-can down the road is paying an expensive toll on the state budget. The liability gap is widening leaving taxpayers and pensioners to worry. As the Fitch Ratings report further illuminated, Illinois has a serious pension problem and its time our leaders get serious about solving it.

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