Investments for Illinois teachers' pensions takes a hit

October 26, 2012

Teachers’ pension funds in Illinois are continuing to struggle financially.

For one, the investments of the Teachers’ Retirement System had a bad year compared to the past. Last fiscal year, the fund earned almost 24 percent return on its investments. The latest return is below one percent.

Dave Urbanek, spokesman for the Teachers’ Retirement System, said it took a hit because of investments in Europe.

"We didn’t change our investment strategy substantially from last year to this year," he said. "It was just the fact that the economy is unpredictable and volatile."

Urbanek said on the plus side, Illinois is increasing its contributions to the retirement system next fiscal year to $3.4 billion, although he said that’s still not enough to fully fund teachers’ pensions.

All this comes as some legislative leaders are making a controversial proposal to shift the cost of teachers’ pensions to local school districts.