To foment apprehension in the public at large will have underlying, political repercussions. Using funding ratios from selected sources, causal oversimplifications, wishful thinking and begging the question will reinforce public bias regarding the sustainability of the state's pension systems.
We might agree that there is no certitude in comparing pension assets and liabilities in the future; nor is there an absolute way to determine anticipated returns. Likewise, there is no certainty that future legislators and taxpayers will inherit exorbitant, unfunded pension liabilities because these calculations will confront a future of “unknown” factors (though to not fully fund the pension systems will undoubtedly increase their unfunded liabilities!). Nonetheless, we must remember public pensions do not have to be fully funded ever!
Most importantly, will the State, through transparency and an act of good will, finally keep its long-overdue promise to fully-fund the pension systems every year, and how will that be guaranteed? How can we trust Illinois policymakers based upon past history and the wealthy and powerful organizations that influence them? We can't.