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Chicago area pension plans in debt by $27.4 billion

Funds accrue $27.4 billion shortfall between 2001 and 2010

By Jason Grotto, Chicago Tribune reporter

4:08 a.m. CDT, June 25, 2012
The debt from 10 Chicago-area pension plans swelled more than 600 percent to $27.4 billion between 2001 and 2010, according to a study released Monday by the nonpartisan Civic Federation. That’s $8,993 for each man, woman and child in Chicago, according to the report.

The shortfall comes on top of more than $83 billion in unfunded pension liabilities at the state level, driving the cost up to nearly $15,000 per Chicagoan, the report shows.

“While they’re debating what to do about the state funds, these local funds are continuing to decline,” said Laurence Msall, Civic Federation president. “Inaction during the past 10 years means it’s not just politically more difficult to fix this problem but also mathematically more difficult.”

Chicago area pension plans in debt by $27.4 billion