Crain's Chicago Business: $250,000,000,000 and counting

Thanks to a roaring stock market, Illinois and its taxpayers aren't quite as deeply in a pension hole as they were. But with gross unfunded pension IOUs still running at nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars—just for the state alone—the Land of Lincoln continues to drown in red ink.

That's the bottom line of the latest annual look at the conditions of the government retirement systems in the 50 states by Moody's Investors Service.

Moody's uses a lower discount rate than others who monitor state debt, which tends to increase the size of Illinois' hole. Ergo, according to the bond-rating firm, Illinois' adjusted net pension liability as of June 30, 2018, stood at a cool $240.8 billion.

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