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Unfunded Pension Liability Grows to $100.5 Billion

Unfunded Pension Liability Grows to $100.5 Billion

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A new audit of Illinois pensions shows their unfunded liability has crossed into new territory. It’s no longer almost or about – it’s more than $100 billion.

The auditor general’s report released Wednesday indicates the five systems’ liability grew 6.3 percent – $5.9 billion – in the fiscal year which ended June 30, 2013. The new total is $100.5 billion.

It’s not a surprise to one of the legislature’s main pension negotiators, State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook), who says the calculations have been “smoothed” for the last five years.

“You take an average of the value of those assets over five years rather than at a point in time,” Nekritz says. “The reason you do that is when the stock market dropped – what was it, 25, 30 percent? – that was a very significant hit (which) I didn’t think really reflected the long-term value the assets that were held in the pension funds.”

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