Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Illinois Record Budget Impasse Makes It Worse for the State's Pension Disaster

  • Land of Lincoln faces worst pension shortfall of all 50 states
  • No budget impedes efforts to stem mounting retirement deficit
Updated on

As 2015 draws to a close, Illinois marks half a year without a budget. No spending plan has driven up borrowing costs, sunk its credit rating, and perhaps worst of all, exacerbated the state’s biggest problem: its underfunded pensions.

Home to the least-funded state retirement system in the nation, Illinois has $111 billion of pension debt, which breaks down to more than $8,000 per resident. Partisan gridlock has produced the longest budget impasse in Illinois history. The stalemate has not only weakened state finances, it has kept lawmakers from finding a fix for those mounting liabilities.