But one of my very smart readers did go through it and reached out to me yesterday…
Long time follower, first time writer. In full disclosure, I recently retired from the [redacted] after more than [redacted] years. I just read the COGFA article today and was encouraged about the State’s finances yet again.
Another report that came out in late December that received no coverage was the State Actuary Report (see link below). The unheralded news in this report was that there were several State pension systems that passed the “Tread Water” point in FY21; meaning we are now paying in more than we owe and reducing the liability for those systems.
Now, what she identifies as an “accomplishment,” having finished the climb up the pension ramp, is actually a state law that left her no choice in the matter. But that’s not the only incorrect part of her statement. Even having finally left the ramp behind, the plans are not funded on an “actuarially determined basis.” They are funded based on the Illinois legislature’s decision of a funding schedule which, for the police and fire plans, is sufficient to attain 90% funding in the year 2055, and for the Municipal and Laborers’ plan, not until 2058. Yes, if you do the math, that’s 34 and 37 years from now.
In fact, the plans’ actuarial valuations calculate a figure that’s labelled the Actuarially Determined Contribution. For the Fire plan (19% funded), the city’s contribution was only 79% of the ADC; for the Police plan (23% funded), the city’s contribution was only 75% of the ADC. And these are the two plans which reached the top of the ramp last year!