Issues: Local Government Pensions

The Civic Federation believes that public pension systems must be sustainably funded and well-managed. The Federation’s national reputation for expertise in pension funding and reform has been earned through years of in-depth research and analysis of employee retirement systems statewide. Read our analyses, recommendations for reform, and opinions about local public pension systems here.

Recent Research

  • 10.02.14

    Status of Local Pension Funding Fiscal Year 2012

    Chicago-area public employee pension funding levels continued to decline in FY2012, with total unfunded liabilities for the ten funds analyzed rising to $37.2 billion from $32.0 billion in FY2011. On average, the ten funds analyzed had an actuarial funding level of 45.5% in FY2012, down from 74.5% in FY2003. For all pension funds supported by the taxes of Chicago residents, including statewide finds, the total unfunded liabilities reached $19,579 per Chicago resident in FY2012.

  • 12.11.13

    Metropolitan Water Reclamation District FY2014 Tentative Budget: Analysis and Recommendations

    The Civic Federation supports the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s tentative budget of $1.2 billion for its responsible pension practices and transparent long-term planning. The District is prudently basing its pension contribution this year on the actuarial needs of the fund, rather than blindly following statutory requirements. The District’s responsible pension fund stewardship is guided by its continued reliance on publicly-available long-term financial plans.

  • 12.04.13

    Chicago Park District FY2014 Budget: Analysis and Recommendations

    The Civic Federation supports the $425.6 million Chicago Park District budget for continuing the District’s multi-year effort to reduce its structural deficit. The proposal includes a broad-based property tax increase after eight years of relatively flat levies for the District. It also leaves the District well-positioned to implement the comprehensive pension reforms passed by the Illinois General Assembly in November 2013 that are now awaiting the Governor’s review.