teachers retirement system

GETGREDIT.COM / FLICKR-CREATIVE COMMONS

A recent report shows Illinois is facing a teacher shortage. But changes to teachers’ pensions — including cutbacks on the state’s share of contributions — spells uncertainty for anyone going into the profession.

  

When the Illinois General Assembly approved a budget last summer, they also agreed to cut back on about $500 million to the state's pension system. This might sound like a good idea if the money is allocated to pay for other needs in the immediate future. For teachers, however, it means the state might not be able to cover their pensions. 

flickr: https://www.seniorplanning.org/

The Illinois state pension funds are among the worst-funded in the nation.  Yet a new state law allows less money to be put toward that purpose. 

The largest state pension system covers Illinois teachers outside Chicago. Each year, an estimate is made of how much the state should contribute. But a change approved this summer means Illinois is paying $500 million less than that amount. Dave Urbanek, with the Teachers Retirement System, said the state is following the law -- and that's the problem.