Illinois pensions face dwindling cash flow

Oct 15, 2015

Retirees will still get their state pension checks next month, despite the government being unable to pay the different systems that oversee benefits.  But the systems could still face a cash flow problem going forward. 

Dave Urbanek with the Teacher's Retirement System says It has happened before:

"You remember a few years ago, the state was in a similar position and didn't have enough cash on hand to pay all of its bills and delayed payments to the pension systems.  What we had to do in that instance was sell a certain amount of our investment portfolio."

The systems rely on money from the state, as well as member contributions and investment income.  In the case of the Teachers' Retirement System, school districts also chip in.   Selling assets like stocks and bonds limit the investment return to the already underfunded pension systems.  A decision to sell could be made later this month. 

The state budget impasse in Illinois is in its fourth month.