Chicago Taxpayers Spend $1.7 billion a Year on Pensions

Chicago property owners are now paying $1.7 billion a year to cover pension payments, Chicago City Wire reported. Here’s a disturbing synopsis of the broken promises made to Chicago’s public servants by politicians prepared by Local Government Information Services:

  • The Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago is underfunded by $8.1 billion.

  • The Firemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago is underfunded by $3.53 billion.

  • The Chicago Park and Retirement Board Employees Fund is underfunded by $514 million.

  • The Chicago Teacher’s Fund is underfunded by $9.63 billion.

  • The Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago is underfunded by $9.913 billion.

  • The Laborers & Retirement Board Employers Benefit Fund of Chicago (LRBEF) is underfunded by $1.23 billion.

  • All six of these funds paid out $999 million in pensions in 2015, but only generated $90 million in investment income. The difference was made up by raiding the city treasury and swiping the contributions made by current Chicago employees.

  • Active employees in Chicago pay $1.5 billion to support pensioners.

  • One fund; the LBEF paid $10 million in fees to investment managers in 2015 -even though it lost $34.6 million on its investments.

Naturally taxpayers will be wondering where the money to fix this mess will come from. Nobody knows, but fortunately Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s suggested “fix,” Chicago City Wire reported.

Emanuel wanted to increase city employees’ contributions to two of the funds to get more money. That’s right his honor wanted to cut the pay of city employees – in order to cover payments to retirees.

Disturbingly Emanuel’s scam would have only raised a few million dollars and only staved off insolvency until after his term was over. That of course is the pension crisis in a nut shell; politicians making short-term fixes to protect their jobs and screwing public servants in the process.

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