Springfield and Pensions


Thanks to the Illinois Policy Institute for this graph.  Also noted by IPI, Illinois has the worst credit rating in the country and will be downgraded again.   http://illinoispolicy.org/blog/blog.asp?ArticleSource=5347

TRS = Teachers Retirement System

SERS = State Employees Retirement System

SURS = State Universities Retirement System

JRS = Judicial Retirement System

GARS = General Assembly Retirement System

At least the General Assembly had the good sense to make their retirement the worst funded plan.  Remember, the ENTIRE 67% tax increase went to fund pensions.  If they look bad now, imagine what they would look like if they hadn’t voted to steal more of our money.  Yes, steal.  These workers were promised un-fund-able pensions for votes and get out the vote campaigns.  Now Springfield can’t pay, so they think we can.

An analysis of just this one pension plan shows the enormity of the problem:


Simplified facts right off the General Assembly Retirement Fund website:

Total Membership: The total number of active and inactive participants.    266  (86 non-active?)

Active Contributing Participants: The total number of GARS employees actively working for the state of Illinois.   180

Retirement Benefit Recipients: The number of former participants who are receiving a retirement benefit from GARS.   291

Survivor Benefit Recipients: The spouse or child of a deceased participant who is receiving a survivor benefit from GARS.  118

Total GARS Recipients: The total number of people receiving a benefit from GARS.  410  (291 + 118 = 409-I think we found the problem)

Retirement Benefits Paid: The dollar amount paid out by GARS in retirement benefits  2011:  $14,564,699

Survivor Benefits Paid: The dollar amount paid out by GARS for survivor benefits. 2011:  $3,112,152

Total Benefits Paid: The total dollar amount paid out for all GARS benefits.  2011:  $17,676,851

Accrued Actuarial Liability: The estimated current value of benefits that will ultimately be paid to current participants and GARS benefit recipients.  Accrued Actuarial Liability as of June 30, 2011:  $298,408,371

Termination Refunds: Upon withdrawal from State service, a participant is entitled to receive a refund of contributions. The participant then forfeits all rights and benefits under GARS.  2011  Number of Refunds Processed (1)  $43,842

Net Assets Held in Trust for Pension Benefits: The fair market value of assets held by GARS, minus liabilities, to pay benefits, refunds and administrative expenses of GARS.  2011:  $60,394,908

Participant Contributions: Contributions are based on a percentage of salary. The total statutorily required contribution rate is 11.5%.

Total participant contributions for fiscal year ended June 30, 2011:  $2,006,200

Employer Contributions: GARS receives contributions from several sources which can be considered as employer contributions, with the largest source being the regular state appropriation.  2011:  $11,433,614

Investment Income: All contributions not required for current operations are invested by the Illinois State Board of Investment for the exclusive benefit of our participants and their beneficiaries.   2011:  $10,291,381

Unfunded Actuarial Liability: The portion of the accrued actuarial liability which exceeds the actuarial value of assets held by GARS.

Unfunded Actuarial Liability as of June 30, 2011:  $235,247,324

Funded Ratio: The funded ratio measures the ratio of the actuarial value of assets against actuarially determined liabilities and is one indicator of the fiscal strength of a pension fund’s ability to meet obligations to its members.

Funded Ratio as of June 30, 2011:  21.2%


180 members contributed $2,006,200 = $11,145.56 each

State contributed $11,433,614 

Investment Income $10,291,381

410 people received $17,676,851 = $43, 114.27 each

Fund Balance 6/30/11  $60,394,908


180 people are paying to fund the retirements of 410 other people.  Can you say Ponzi scheme?

This is a tiny group of people, but their pensions are underfunded by  $235,247,324.  Now you know why Illinois is in serious trouble and anyone counted on a full pensions, shouldn’t.





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