Crain's Chicago Business: State pension hole hits record $133.5 billion

Despite a roaring stock market, combined unfunded liabilities in the state's five pension funds rose again and hit a record $133.5 billion in the year ended June 30.

That's the depressing news on a sunny spring day as the Legislature's fiscal unit released its annual report on the state's ever-deepening retirement fiscal hole.

According to the Commission on Government Forecasting & Accountability, the difference between what the state has set aside for retirement benefits and what it has committed to pay (the unfunded liability) rose $4.8 billion in fiscal 2018, up 3.7 percent from the prior year.

Only twice in the last decade has combined unfunded liability dropped. As a result, the shortfall ballooned from $54.8 billion as recently as 2008 to $133.5 billion now.

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