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State of Illinois Budget Summary 2017
Source: Commission on Government Forecasting & Accountability

Public Act 92-0067 mandates that the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) prepare and publish a BUDGET SUMMARY REPORT detailing Illinois’ most recently enacted budget. The report is to be made available to all citizens of the State of Illinois who request a copy. The summary report is to include information pertaining to the major categories of appropriations, issues the General Assembly faced in allocating appropriations, comparisons of appropriations from previous State fiscal years and other information related to the current State of Illinois Budget.

The following report fulfills this mandate. The report begins with a discussion of the budgeting process. The budgetary process is then summarized chronologically. A highlighting of the bills that constitute the budget follows, along with other major legislation passed during the past spring legislative session. A review of the previous year’s budget is then provided. The FY 2017 budget is summarized including a listing of appropriations by agency. Various areas of the budget and State government operations, such as Elementary/Secondary Education, Medicaid, and State pensions, are looked at in detail. The report concludes with a Glossary of Terms and a Description of the various funds.

The Illinois Constitution requires the Governor to prepare and submit a state budget to the General Assembly that includes recommended spending levels for state agencies, estimated funds available from tax collections and other sources, and state debt and liabilities. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by statute a part of the Governor’s office, is responsible for estimating revenues and developing budget recommendations that reflect the Governor’s programmatic and spending priorities. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, by statute, is responsible for estimating revenues for the legislative branch of government.

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Unions fear state lawmakers will close public pensions
Source: Detroit Free Press

LANSING — Lawmakers may take action during the lame-duck session to force school workers and other public employees out of defined benefit pensions into 401(k)-style plans, though Republican leaders say no plans are finalized about what bills will move.

Action on bills already introduced to force new school employees into 401(k)’s is one possibility. But some public employee unions are worried the Republican-controlled Legislature could go further than that before year’s end, possibly closing some public pension systems at the state and local level, and curbing health care benefits for local government retirees.

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The Impacts of Funding Reforms and Investment Returns on Fund Solvency
Source: Illinois Public Policy Institute

Unfunded pension liabilities are one of the greatest fiscal concerns for Illinois’
state and local governments. This concern became more acute as unfunded pension
liabilities grew in the face of declining asset values following the recent
recession; however, there are many further factors. These factors include
employers’ funding levels, benefit changes, and misestimation of future demographics
and payroll.

The Illinois Public Policy Institute requested that Anderson Economic Group
estimate the impact of various factors on police and fire pension funding levels
in downstate Illinois. In this report, we look in particular at the past and projected
future performance of downstate police and fire pension funds in Illinois
under different employer funding requirements. We also benchmark the performance
of fund investments by comparing investment returns across a sample of
municipalities over the last 25 years to a benchmark index.

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2017 MidAmerican Pension Conference – Update
Source: IPPFA

Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station

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201 South 20th Street
St. Louis, MO 63103
P: 314-231-3900

 

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The Truth About John Arnold
Source: National Public Pension Coalition

The Truth About John Arnold is a project sponsored by the National Public Pension Coalition and Californians for Retirement Security. It is a roadmap that shows just how far one billionaire has gone to decimate retirement security for millions of public servants all over the country. Arnold spends through a number of channels, including his private foundation and political PAC, Action Now.

Today, Arnold is leveraging his fortune to bend public policy to his will.  According to his own disclosures, he has spent up to $50 million on a nationwide campaign to gut public pension benefits. He has financed every facet of anti-pension movement, including tainted research, political advocacy organizations, ballot initiatives, journalism, and the campaign coffers of anti-pension politicians.

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State Retirement Systems Overview
Source: Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability

CGFA staff has reviewed the State-funded retirement systems’ FY 2016 actuarial reports, which were issued prior to November 1st, pursuant to P.A. 97-0694, the State Actuary Law. Under the State Actuary Law, the systems must annually submit a proposed certification for the following fiscal year prior to November 1st of the current calendar year. The State Actuary then must issue a preliminary report concerning the systems’ proposed certification by January 1st. The State Actuary’s report must identify any recommended changes in actuarial assumptions based upon the review of the retirement systems’ actuarial assumptions.

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The Mortality Effects of Retirement: Evidence from Social Security Eligibility at Age 62
Source: Center for Retirement Research

This paper examines the link between retirement and health by examining whether mortality changes discontinuously at the Social Security eligibility threshold at age 62. It uses data from the National Center for Health Statistics’ Multiple Cause of Death, the Health and Retirement Study, and the Social Security Master Beneficiary Records and Numident Files. Critical components of the analysis include the regression discontinuity framework and the use of detailed objective health outcomes. Key limitations of our estimates are of the effects on mortality net of any anticipatory changes in health investments, the difficulty in knowing whether the results extend to retirement at ages other than 62, and a lack of available data on other objective health outcomes.

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2016 Public Pension Funding Study
Source: Milliman White Paper

The Milliman Public Pension Funding Study annually explores the funded status of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans. The 100 plans in this study reported assets totaling $3.24 trillion on a market basis, up from $3.06 trillion in the 2015 study. Funded ratios dropped by a few points in the 2016 study relative to the 2015 study, largely reflecting the downturn in the equity market in 2014 and 2015. The decline in the median discount rate from 2013 to 2016 provides a clear illustration of what many investment experts are referring to as the current “low return environment.”

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Does Public Pension Funding Affect Where People Move?
Source: Center for Retirement Research

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Individuals who move generally go to places with the best mix of amenities, including low tax rates and a robust economy.
  • An open question is whether a state’s unfunded pension liabilities could also affect moving decisions.
  • While movers generally know little about a state’s pension finances, critical news stories could signal poor fiscal management.
  • The analysis finds that, in addition to traditional factors, a state’s pension funding does play a role, albeit small.

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U.S. Pension Plan Discount Rate Comparison 2009-2014
Source: Society of Actuaries

The SOA is pleased to make available an article comparing the recent historical relationship between pension plan funded status and discount rates used to compute liabilities for funding purposes. The comparison spans years 2009-2014 and covers single employer plans, multiemployer plans, and public plans run by states and large cities.

This article compares the recent historical relationship between pension plan funded status and discount rates used to compute liabilities for funding purposes.1 Comparisons include all three major categories of defined benefit pension plans in the United States: single employer (SE) plans, multiemployer (ME) plans, and state and large city public plans (PP).2.

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