REPORT – Thinking Differently About IL Retirement Systems, a “Pension Crisis” Mentality Won’t Help
Robert Bruno, Amanda Kass, and David Merriman rethink the conversation about pensions and the state’s finances.
The near ubiquitous claim that Illinois is facing a “pension crisis” has rarely been challenged. The failure to examine this customary framing of the fiscal condition of Illinois’ five state pension systems limits how policymakers conceptualize their funding strategy. This white paper, jointly authored by researchers from the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the School of Labor and Employment Relations, the Government Finance Research Center and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (all at the University of Illinois), argues that the “pension crisis” framework negatively influences discussions of policy options.
Robert Bruno is the Director of the Labor Education Program which hosts the Project for Middle Class Renewal. He is also a Professor for the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Amanda Kass is the Associate Director of the Government Finance Research Center in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As Associate Director she designs, conducts, and manages research in the GFRC's priority areas. Amanda also works with the faculty and external advisory panels to advance the GFRC’s goals and disseminate its research.
David Merriman is the Stukel Presidential Professor in the Department of Public Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago and a Senior Scholar at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois. He co-founded and directs the University of Illinois’ Fiscal Futures Project, which monitors the fiscal condition of the State of Illinois. He has published many research articles on various aspects of state and local public finance.
Read the report here.