The Daley administration is sounding an unusual public alarm about the declining finances of the city's massive employee pension plans.
In a high-profile speech and subsequent interview that were far stronger than any earlier remarks by city officials, Chief Financial Officer Dana Levenson laid out stark new numbers and projected that pension systems covering police, firefighters, office workers and others will have to begin liquidating assets within a decade and may even face insolvency as soon as 2028 unless something changes."We need collective recognition by all the stakeholders . . . that this situation, without doubt, is a problem," Mr. Levenson told an audience at the City Club of Chicago last week. One example he offered: The $3.9-billion police fund needs to make an 11% return on its investments to break even, but last year netted just 7.3%.