CHICAGO (AP) — Any fix for Illinois’ nearly $100 billion pension mess should include provisions that the state make its full pension payment yearly and address cost-of-living increases and retirement age, Gov. Pat Quinn said Monday.
The Chicago Democrat — who’s fought criticism that he waivers on how exactly he wants to overhaul Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension system — ticked off his wish list Monday, days after House lawmakers OK’d a third pension-related bill that’s being celebrated by some as a breakthrough.
Quinn, who called the House action a step in the right direction, said he’d like a reform package to also make sure that pensionable salaries mimic the limit set for Social Security.
Illinois’ five pension systems are a combined $96.7 billion short of what’s needed to cover promised retirement benefits to current and former workers. Over the years, the state either shorted or skipped pension payments.
Quinn said that proposal should include a guarantee that Illinois will meet its annual required contribution.
“The state can never ever again not pay what it should pay every year to the pension account. That’s why we’re in this situation,” he told reporters in Chicago.