by Ben VarMetre, Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner
Illinois Policy Institute
December 05, 2013
Illinois’ $100 billion pension crisis is the worst in the nation. The Illinois General Assembly’s failed attempts to solve the pension crisis in the past have only perpetuated Illinois’ problem. Politicians have done nothing more than tinker at the margins of reform to avoid making tough decisions. The retirement age is one of the most powerful levers lawmakers can use to reform Illinois’ pension system. The simple problem with the retirement age for Illinois government workers is this: workers are living longer and the labor force’s demographics are changing. Retired workers are collecting more retirement benefits for longer periods than in the past. It’s unfair to force taxpayers to bail out a broken pension system that allows government workers to retire a decade or more before they can. It’s also not fair that young government workers are trapped in a pension system that may collapse before they reach retirement age.