The state's pension debt has been estimated to be 83 billion, but the Illinois Policy Institute says the total retirement debt is much worse. The Policy Institute's Collin Hitt says when you combine pension debt, pension obligation bonds, retiree health insurance, local government pension debt, benefits and health insurance the cost is more like 203.4 billion. He says the state cannot continue to offer the same benefits and pay into the system in the same way. He says changes to the beneifts, changes in the amounts retirees pay and other changes have to happen. For more on the study go to http://illinoispolicy.org/news/article.asp?ArticleSource-4903.
(Posted 6-20-2012 at 8;30am, Michelle Eccles)