As Vice-Chair of the Pension Subcommittee, I understand the urgent need to address the large and rapidly increasing gap between the funding of our pensions and the benefits they are required to pay out. Cook County is responsible for many vital government functions, including the court system, elections, records and the health & hospitals system. Funding for all of these functions is threatened by the substantial financial burden the unfunded pension liability will place on the county budget in years to come.
The “Truth in Numbers” report on OpenPensions.org tells a story of Cook County and its employees following the rules and making the annual pension contributions required by State Statute. Despite this, it shows how in 10 years the Cook County Pension Fund went from over 90% funded to its current funded status of just 60.7%.
It is not fair to undermine the retirement security of the public servants who work hard to provide quality government services; nor is it fair to impose a substantial property tax increase on already overburdened county residents or impose crippling cuts to vital county services.
The current situation is simply not sustainable and the issue has been put off for far too long. OpenPensions.org creates a forum for stakeholders to come together and have a genuine conversation about the issue. I encourage employees and taxpayers to explore the information presented by the website and jump into the conversation.
Cook County Commissioner – 14th District
Vice-Chair, Pension Subcommittee