--Lot of great information in this Better Government Association story on the suburban pensions--
Money in dozens of Chicago-area police and fire pension funds is drying up – which should be a big worry not only for current and future retirees, but taxpayers, a BGA Rescuing Illinois investigation discovers.
By Andrew Schroedter and Patrick Rehkamp/BGA
August 5, 2014 7:05 PM
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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 Rescuing Illinois analysis found 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 financial burden because of the severe local pension shortfall.
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