March 8, 2010
This report analyzes basic financial data on ten major local government employee pension funds in Cook County. It is intended to provide lawmakers, pension trustees, pension fund members and taxpayers with the information they need to make informed decisions regarding public employee retirement benefits.
The report reviews fiscal year 2008 actuarial valuation reports and financial statements of the retirement plans for the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Cook County, Cook County Forest Preserve District, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the Chicago Transit Authority. It finds that between FY1999 and FY2008 aggregate unfunded liabilities for the ten funds increased by $15.1 billion, rising from $3.4 billion to $18.5 billion, or $5,821 per Chicago resident. This report makes numerous recommendations on legislative actions that should be taken to slow the downward spiral of pension funding.