Comment: Some useful info for pension wonks but most of the data are pretty old, and are based on the official reporting methods. Also, the charts on the ratios of active pension participants to retired are wrong. They show that ratio as about 1:2. Some are indeed updside down, but nothing nearly that bad in the aggregate.

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Jim Palermo
5 years ago

Thanks for posting this report Mark. The problem data set you refer to is in Charts 8 and 9 on p. 11. Aside from the almost 2:1 ratio of inactives to actives, it data also suggest that the aggregate number of active police officers and firefighters has grown 36% from 2004. This is highly improbable and suggests an error. My study of the state Tax Levy Reports indicates the ratio is about 1.05:1, still a very high ratio which makes boosting the funding ratios a very difficult thing to achieve. To me the most interesting information is in Table 2… Read more »

K Berg
5 years ago

What’s wrong with the official reporting methods?

(I spoke to someone at the COGFA several years ago for some clarification.
I then asked whether he could transfer me to someone in Illinois govt who had good news. He said, “No.”)

mark glennon
5 years ago
Reply to  K Berg

Tisk, Tisk, Ms. Berg. You’ve normally been a very thorough reader here but you’ve missed some very important articles about pensions — dozens of them. The assumptions and methods the government uses for pensions use to calculate their unfunded liabilities and annual contribution needs are widely criticized. They assume high rates of return on their investments, ignore healthcare liabilities, use shady “smoothing” techniques and play other games with the numbers. If you use fairer methods, like new accounting standards now coming into effect or the ones used by Moody’s, you find unfunded liabilities roughly 30% to 100% higher than officially… Read more »