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The Teachers Retirement System teeters toward insolvency. It is currently 40 percent funded, and Illinois taxpayers will shell out $4.09 billion in 2018, with 80 percent of that going to pay down the unfunded liability and 20 percent to pay current benefits.
The TRS is the largest of the state pension systems, that collectively are at least $130 billion underfunded and the main driver of the state’s worst in the nation credit rating. At the same time, over 17,000 public sector retirees are making six-figure retirement salaries, according to an analysis by Taxpayers United of America, a group that has called for constitutional amendments drastically cutting back pensions.
But the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability says the main driver of Illinois’ pension crisis is the chronic underfunding of pension payments.