TRS Board Vote Comes As States Nationwide Face Lackluster Pension Investment Returns

Aug 29, 2016

Credit Eric Skiff

The Illinois Teachers Retirement System voted last week to reduce the amount of money it assumes it will make from its investments. The board revised this rate of assumption down to 7 percent from 7.5 percent.

This change means that as lawmakers and the governor are putting together a budget for next fiscal year, they will have to come up with a projected $420 million more than what they might have expected to pay into the retirement system for teachers outside of Chicago. Illinois' total unfunded liability for all its pension funds is pegged at $111 billion. 

The move comes as public retirement systems across the county are seeing record low rates of return. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner has said the vote was rushed and called on the board to hold off on making the change. Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn sat down with Sean Crawford to talk about the budget implications of the vote and why the governor may have wanted to put it off.