The University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs has released a report from a summit held earlier this month on state pensions.
The summit, held in Chicago on Oct. 3-4, examined the issue of state pensions, their underfunding and potential changes ahead.
Here's an excerpt from the report:
"As we think about the critical pension issues facing this state,
several key questions need to be considered: (a) how is the
growing unfunded liability going to be addressed; (b) how
does the current pension system need to be changed? (c) to
what extent does the Illinois Constitution’s non-impairment
clause constrain the options for modification that are
available; (d) going forward, to what extent can modifications
be made to the benefits offered to current employees; (e) to
what extent should we be relying on a defined benefit and/
or defined contribution pension system; (f) should we have
a system in which everyone participates in both a defined
benefit and a defined contribution pension? These questions
should be viewed in the context of a total compensation
package, from the perspective that some public employees
are not eligible for social security, and from the perspective
of principles of fairness.
"The existing pension debt could be addressed by any
combination of raising new tax revenue, cutting spending
on other programs, or by reneging on the promise to pay
existing benefits. Beginning in January of 2011, the state
altered the pension program for new employees by reducing
the level of pension benefits. It is clear that we, as a state, do
not have a consensus on what the best solutions are."
Here is a 1.4 MB pdf file of the report from the summit.