Pension Problems Everywhere
- There are 217 police and fire pension funds in suburban Cook County. The taxpayer-supported systems, with collective assets of nearly $5 billion, are intended to provide public safety workers and their families with stable retirement incomes.
But a Better Government Association analysis found that dozens of local police and fire pension funds are in financial peril, putting retirement incomes at risk – as well as the fiscal health of numerous municipalities.
Rescuing the troubled funds may require tax hikes, service cuts or both, say experts. Already, some public safety agencies are looking to privatize or merge with neighboring departments in an effort to cut personnel and ease future pension payouts. Whatever the method, taxpayers can expect to bear a heavier cost burden because of the severe local pension shortfall.
In all, unfunded liabilities for police and fire pension funds throughout suburban Cook County total $3.3 billion, according to a BGA analysis of the most recent municipal pension fund data.
We're just....speechless....at the incompetency on display here and across the country.