Truth In Accounting puts Illinois’ pension debt at $158 billion

From Illinois News Network

Illinois’ pension debt is greater than is being let on. That’s according to a non-partisan think tank that analyzes publicly available financial information of Illinois and other states.

The non-profit group Truth In Accounting (TIA) says Illinois’ pension debt may be publicly reported as $111 billion dollars, but that doesn’t take into account the cost of retiree health care paid for by the state.

Sheila Weinberg, Founder and CEO of TIA, says the debt is clear when reviewing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.

Weinberg tells WMAY Springfield each taxpayer is on the hook for $45,000, and that doesn’t count the cost with each layer of local government that has a pension obligation for public employees.

“These taxpayers have a lot of debt on their hands that is gonna have to be funded in the future and they’re not gonna receive any goods or services for that debt. They’re gonna be paying taxes and it’s just gonna be paying for bills that prior taxpayers got the the benefit of.”

Truth In Accounting will release their report comparing Illinois with other states Tuesday that will show what they say is the state’s true pension obligation, which is around $158 billion.

A similar TIA report last year had Illinois at second to last for debt liability per taxpayer.

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