October 2, 2014
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.
The Federation’s analysis is based on FY2012 actuarial valuation reports and financial statements for the City’s Police, Fire, Municipal and Laborers’ Funds, the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund and the pension funds of Cook County, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Chicago Park District, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the Chicago Transit Authority. This annual report is intended to provide policymakers, pension trustees, pension fund members and taxpayers with the resources to make informed decisions regarding public employee retirement benefits.
The report also summarizes recent pension reform legislation enacted by the Illinois General Assembly including reforms for the City of Chicago Municipal and Laborers' Funds, the Chicago Park District Fund and the MWRD Retirement Fund, all of which have or will go into effect after the time period analyzed in this report.