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“The inept, hard-left and union-owned administration of Ill. Gov. Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker (D) continues to run the once-great State of Illinois into the ground,” said Jim Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “While Pritzker and his Springfield goons plot to hit taxpayers with more tax increases, a new report by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) ranks Illinois near the bottom with respect to unfunded pension liabilities for retired government employees.”

The council’s annual publication looks at each state’s unfunded government pension liabilities. ALEC ranked Illinois 49th in terms of the total liability and also per capita amount at $31,980 per person.

“Last year, Illinois taxpayers were funding million-dollar pension payouts for 148,654 retired government employees,” said Tobin. “That number for our 15th annual pension study issued by our Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) has since climbed to 151,391.”

“You can’t even raise taxes high enough in many cases to pay for the unfunded liabilities because what will happen then, the higher you raise tax rates, the more outmigration, certainly something Illinois has suffered over recent decades,” said Jonathan Williams, ALEC chief economist.

“TEF has and does advocate pension reforms,” said Tobin, included but not limited to,

  • Placing all new government hires into a defined contribution account as opposed to the current defined benefit system.
  • Immediately discontinuing the automatic cost of living adjustment and making promises only to increase cost of living adjustments in alignment with current financial conditions.
  • Removing all of the loopholes that allow salary spiking during the last years of employment on which pension calculations are made.