“In addition, the Supreme Court has recognized… that if a pension fund were ‘on the verge of bankruptcy or imminent bankruptcy’ and ‘benefits [were] in immediate danger of being diminished,’ then pension participants would have a cause of action in circuit court to enforce their right to receive payments (McNamee, 173 Ill. 2d at 446-47, 62 N.E.2d at 1166; Sklodowski, 182 Ill. 2d at 233, 695 N.E.2d at 379.).
“This conclusion comports with the drafters’ original intent, (See IV Proceedings 2926 (statements of principal sponsor, Delegate Kinney) (defining the word ‘enforceable’ as ‘meant to provide that the rights established shall be subject to judicial proceedings and can be enforced through court action’; and defining the word ‘impaired’ as ‘meant to imply and to intend that if a pension fund would be on the verge of default or imminent bankruptcy, a group action could be taken to show that these rights should be preserved’); id. (Statements of cosponsor, Delegate Kemp) (stating he understood the Clause as making ‘certain that irrespective of the financial condition of a municipality or even the state government that those persons who have worked for often substandard wages over a long period of time could at least expect to live in some kind of dignity during their golden years’) (emphasis added) and the voters’ understanding that pension recipients would receive their full benefits… (See supra notes 196-202 and accompanying text (discussing the Convention’s official explanation and newspaper articles).
“In sum, if the Illinois Supreme Court were confronted with a circumstance where a pension fund was on the verge of default and pension payments were diminished, then the court would most likely permit a mandamus action to proceed and resolve that action in the same manner as Jorgenson v. Blagojevich  (211 Ill. 2d 286, 811 N.E.2d 652 (2004). See People ex rel. Sklodowski v. Illinois Retired Teachers Association, 284 Ill. App. 3d 809, 817-18, 674 N.E.2d 81, 86-87 (1st Dist. 1996)…
“As noted, that provision bars the diminishment of judicial salaries just as the Clause prohibits the diminishment of pension benefit rights. Accordingly, the Supreme Court would most likely grant pension participants the same relief provided in Jorgenson by compelling the Comptroller to pay the needed funds from the State General Revenue Fund, especially since the State Pension Funds Continuing Appropriation Act requires automatic appropriations be made from the Fund to the five State pension systems. (40 ILCS 15/1 (2008); 40 ILCS 15/1.1 (2008); 40 ILCS 15/1.2 (2008).)…” (IS WELCHING ON PUBLIC PENSION PROMISES AN OPTION FOR ILLINOIS?
AN ANALYSIS OF ARTICLE XIII, SECTION 5 OF THE ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION by Eric M. Madiar, former Chief Legal Counsel to Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton and Parliamentarian of the Illinois Senate, (pages 65-70). (What happens if the Illinois public pension funds are “on the verge of bankruptcy?”