Policy Documents

203 Billion and Counting: Total debt for state and local retirement benefits in Illinois

Collin Hitt, Jonathan Ingram, Ted Dabrowski –
June 20, 2012

State and local governments in Illinois collectively owe more than $200 billion in retirement benefits for government workers, according to a report by the Illinois Policy Institute.

Illinois has long drawn attention for its huge unfunded pension liability, currently pegged by state officials at $83 billion. But that figure is only one part of the total government debt for which Illinois taxpayers are liable, according to "$203 Billion and Counting: Total debt for state and local retirement benefits in Illinois."

The Institute describes it as the first report to put a number to both the state and local retirement liabilities, including pensions, retiree health insurance, and pension and benefit bonds.