Illinois pension director suggests cut for retired teachers

April 2, 2012

Associated Press

The director of the Illinois Teachers Retirement System is warning that financial troubles are so great it could consider reducing pension benefits to teachers who have already retired.

The Springfield State Journal-Register reported Sunday that it obtained a confidential memo written by Dick Ingram that contains the warning of that politically explosive possibility.

In it, Ingram says the state's largest pension system has been underfunded for decades and is no longer confident the state will continue to pay it enough money to remain solvent.

The suggestion is an indication of just how high concerns have risen over Illinois' pension problems.

Ingram says pension funding is under severe threat from the state's unpaid bills, soaring Medicaid costs and the $85 billion in overall unfunded pension liability.