Mayor Emanuel's new pension plan was rolled out with lots of talk about bravely facing challenges and sharing sacrifices. It does neither.
What it does do is cut retiree pensions — dramatically. Over 20 years, a retiree in the laborers' or municipal employees' systems will see a 20 to 30 percent reduction in the value of their benefit. That will put many moderate-income retirees at risk of impoverishment, especially since the subsidy for their health care is being phased out.
The systems' unfunded liability will come down at first — mostly due to benefit cuts — then it will start rising again, under a payment plan that is "backloaded by design," said Amanda Kass of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. Meanwhile, the plan for police and fire funds seems to be changing the law to postpone tackling their huge unfunded liabilities for several years.