Cook County Public Pension Crisis Worsens

Back on April 9, 2012, I blogged about the public pension crisis in Cook County, Illinois. From that post:

Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois- a trifecta of serious financial concerns.

Hal Dardick talked about all three entities and their growing pension problems early this morning on the Chicago Tribune website:

Cook County’s pension fund will go broke in 26 years without changes that could include an increase in employee contributions and later retirement ages, according to a new analysis.

The report, done under the direction of county Commissioner Bridget Gainer in her role as chairwoman of the board’s pension-oversight panel, shows that it’s not just state and city pension funds that have perilous futures.

Even if the county fund generally is in better shape, Gainer said, that doesn’t mean the county can continue to ignore a funding gap that had grown to $5.2 billion by the end of 2010. That’s seven times the size it was a decade earlier

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The public pension crisis in the country’s second most populous county has grown worse since I posted that, with the funding gap now having reached $6.79 billion. Paul Merrion revealed on the Crain’s Chicago Business website Wednesday:

Solvency of Cook County’s pension funds deteriorated in the last fiscal year, according to a new report, and county commissioners are pressing anew for reforms.

The county’s main Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund saw its pension debt grow to $6.79 billion, up $969.5 million last year and an increase of $1.6 billion in the gap between assets and liabilities since 2010. The plan is only 53.5 percent funded, down from 57.5 percent in fiscal 2011, and the fund is projected to be insolvent by 2034.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I anticipate Cook County’s financial woes will make themselves known well before that 2034 date. County residents and businesses should plan accordingly.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Merrion, Paul. “Cook County pension woes worsen.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 8 May 2013. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130508/NEWS02/130509769/cook-county-pension-woes-worsenwww.sj-r.com). 10 May 2013.

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Friday, May 10th, 2013 Debt Crisis, Entitlements, Government, Retirement
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