Saturday, March 31, 2012

Insolvency by Cinda Klickna, IEA President

We are likely to see an increase in the level of news coverage about the Teacher's Retirement System (TRS).  News coverage is expected to result from this week’s meeting of the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) Board of Trustees. That meeting concluded March 30th. 

The TRS executive director, Richard Ingram, reported to the board that the failure of the state to make its required pension payments has created a situation that, unless it is addressed, could result in TRS becoming insolvent years from now.

In the recent TRS meeting Ingram told the board that, “The evidence has mounted to the point that it is prudent to assume that we will not be funded at the levels provided in statute.  Leading members of the General Assembly have all but said as much, and in the final analysis that is what really matters.”

The TRS actuaries have run figures that show decreases in State funding could lead to insolvency.  These are realities that the TRS Board feels must be shared with members and discussed with legislators. IEA will continue in our ongoing efforts to find solutions.

Ingram’s point is that the pension issue needs to be addressed. Continuing to underfund the pension systems is not acceptable.

You can expect to see news stories about this report, though it’s really a restatement of what Ingram has been saying for some time. In fact, much of what is likely to be reported will seem familiar to those who heard Ingram’s remarks at the IEA Representative Assembly in March.

IEA is part of the labor coalition that is focused on making sure that our members get the pensions they have paid for. IEA is also part of Gov. Quinn’s workgroup that has been meeting to discuss ideas for addressing the pension issue.

IEA’s participation in negotiations on pension policy is guided by the principle that we will only consider proposals that are constitutional and will help stabilize the systems and ensure that members get the pensions they have paid for.  Please check the IEA Website regularly for updates on pensions.


  1. Glen,

    You are right on target. We need a new critical perspective like you offer. When our executives including Ingram begin talking the same language as the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, as the Tribune so clearly showed in its April 4, 2012 editorial, we have to step up our organizing and coalesce a dissenting, justice orientated effort. I see you have already launched that voice. I am interested in considering with you and others an organized way to advance the alternative analysis and actions you articulate.

    John Duffy
    Retired NEA Lifetime Member
    English and Social Studies, Proviso East and Hinsdale Central High Schools

    1. IEA President Cinda Klickna made the aforementioned points that "are right on target."