Taxpayers wrongly blamed for state pension crisis, report says
Starting any Illinois pension article with the phrase “Illinois has a massive pension problem” is pretty standard, but this article deviates by discussing a report recently released by Wirepoint, which puts the blame on benefit increases (1,000 percent over the last 30 years) rather than taxpayers. Crunching the numbers, they show that benefit increases outpaced the rate of inflation by three to four times annually, and point to things such as spiking of end-of-career salaries and boosting service credit with accumulated unpaid sick leave, as contributing factors. They are not wrong, and I would add that another contributing factor would be the state not properly funding the plans over the years through accounting gimmicks and governmental mismanagement. All these contributing factors need to stop if we have any chance of digging out of this.