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We are going to talk more about the Cook County Pension Fund, which provides retirement, health, annuity benefits to county employees and their dependents and survivors. Have you heard or read anything about Cook County’s Pension Fund recently?

Which is the closest to what you think should happen to the county pension fund?

The county pension fund is underfunded by 5.8 billion dollars, which means that benefits promised to retirees and active employees for time they have already worked exceeds the amount of money in the pension fund by 5.8 billion dollars. In other words, the pension fund has 57.5% of the assets it needs to pay pension benefits. Do you consider that a major problem, minor problem, or not a problem at all?

Which is closer to your view?   

One potential pension reform plan would increase the county retirement age by five years and reduce the amount each year of service adds to an employee’s pension.  It would also tie cost of living increases to the Consumer Price Index, thus reducing them, and suspend these increases for retirees until the pension fund is financially sound. Would you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose this plan?

Many will see a new box on their W2 forms (box 12) with information on the total cost of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. The disclosures, required by the 2010 Affordable Care Act, are meant to make workers more cost-conscious.

Were you surprised by the amount you saw?

Is the total cost of your employer-sponsored health insurance coverage more or less than you thought?

Cook County retirees pay 45% of that total cost annually - does that make you want to start saving more now?