'Deadbeat' Chicago in pension trouble

Thursday, June 2, 2016
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Chicago skylineChicago continues to have a pension crisis – one that taxpayers will foot the bill for regardless of where they come down on the issue.

Governor Bruce Rauner (R-Illinois) vetoed a bill that aimed to delay payments the city of Chicago should be making into the policemen and firemen pension funds. The legislature, including some Republicans, then voted to override the governor's veto.

"In the short term, this relieves the city of Chicago from making even bigger payments than it was supposed to make," says Ted Dabrowski, vice president of Illinois Policy Institute. "But over the longer term, the city of Chicago will have to pay $16 billion in extra money into the pension funds, which at some point is going to hit taxpayers really, really hard."

Meanwhile, Chicago has four other pension funds that are in big trouble.

Dabrowski

"The biggest one being the Chicago Teachers' [Pension] Fund," explains Dabrowski. "That one is also deeply in trouble and there has to be a plan for that. Unfortunately, without real reforms it just means more tax hikes for Chicagoans."

What real reforms would Dabrowski recommend?

"What Chicago must do is end its pension crisis – and that will only happen when it stops handing out pensions," he explains. "What it needs to do ... for all new workers is start giving them 401(k)-style plans just like everybody in the private sector has."

Read Ted Dabrowski's related article:
Years of 'deadbeat Illinois': State has history of shortchanging social service providers

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