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

  • 11.17.14

    Chicago Transit Authority President's FY2015 Budget Recommendations: Analysis and Recommendations

    The Civic Federation supports the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) proposed FY2015 budget of nearly $1.4 billion. The budget represents an improved level of fiscal stability made possible by the CTA’s efforts in past years to secure its pension fund and modernize its labor practices. The agency is working under a more sustainable labor agreement, no longer relies heavily on one-time revenue sources and has balanced its budget for the past three years without increasing base fare rates.

  • 11.13.14

    Cook County FY2015 Executive Budget Recommendation: Analysis and Recommendations

    The Civic Federation supports Cook County’s proposed FY2015 operating budget of $3.7 billion for holding the property tax levy relatively flat and not including any new fines or fees. Instead, a $168.9 million shortfall is closed through a combination of revenue increases, expenditure reductions and management efficiencies. Under the leadership of President Preckwinkle and her team, Cook County is continuing to become a more accountable and efficient steward of public resources.

    Despite this progress, uncertainty continues to surround two areas that are central to the County’s fiscal well-being: CountyCare and proposed County pension reforms.

  • 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.