This panel features Eric M. Madiar, among others:
'Pension funding has historically been a political football and something not to worry about until tomorrow. And so past governors and General Assemblies really only made the contributions after they had made contributions on things that were politically popular… Simply put, pension funding for the system was shortchanged really as a way to stave off the pain of tax increases or service cuts.'
'Our current pension disaster cannot be blamed on benefit increases or salary increases. Between 1985 and 2014 pension unfunded liabilities grew by $97 billion. Benefit increases only account for 8 percent or $8 billion of that growth. Pay increases were actually less than what actuaries assumed they would be and actually helped bring down the unfunded liabilities by about $1.3 billion. The state’s failure to properly fund the pension system, however, accounts for 49 percent, or ($47 billion) of that growth. So simply put, the main reason we are in this mess is because of insufficient pension contributions'" (Reboot Illinois).