How big are the savings from the state’s pension overhaul?

SHARE How big are the savings from the state’s pension overhaul?

Big changes to four of Illinois’ five retirement systems were to take effect June 1, but they are on hold until the court can rule on their constitutionality.

The changes—including increases in the retirement age, caps on pensionable salary, and cuts to cost-of-living adjustments—are supposed to help Illinois make whole its $100 billion in pension debt. They are part of Senate Bill 1, now Public Act 98-0599, passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Governor Pat Quinn in December 2013.

If implemented, Senate Bill 1 would save the state $23.7 billion in fiscal year 2015, says the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. That would lighten Illinois’ load by 25 percent, but the state would still be responsible for $78.9 billion in pension debt. Senate Bill 1 includes a schedule to fully fund the state’s retirement systems by 2045.

In the infographic below, explore how much money Illinois would save—and how much money it will still owe—if the pension overhaul passes constitutional muster.

RELATED: Judge halts Illinois pension overhaul

Unions are challenging the changes in court, arguing that they violate the state Constitution. Article XIII of the constitution protects pensions from being unilaterally diminished or impaired by the state. The state says the overhaul is justified “in light of the magnitude of the pension problem.”

The Latest
Reader would rather skip family swim parties than see granddaughters, ages 19 and 20, in thong swimsuits.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the two most severe illnesses to watch for amid rising temperatures.
Right-hander Keegan Thompson struck out the side in the ninth inning Tuesday for his first save of the season.