Cook County Treasurer Pappas releases more evidence that pension system is upside down
There are almost as many people in Cook County now receiving public pension funds as there are active government workers, according to calculations recently released by the office of Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.
The Debt Disclosure Report, officially released on Feb. 19, finds that there are currently 135,757 local government employees, compared to 126,528 retirees. The numbers were compiled by researchers who analyzed as many as 384 units of government across Cook County.
In the city of Chicago, the ratio breaks down to 35,655 government employees vs. 47,592 retirees.
Statistics also show that across the county’s 547 core units of government, nearly one-third, or 169 of them, have fewer employees paying into pension funds than retirees receiving payments from the funds.
Indeed, the trend of public pension funds paying out more than they bring is just one of many ominous signs for the state, with researchers also finding that municipal and school debt in general has skyrocketed by nearly $14 billion since 2016 to a grand total of around $145 billion.
On the average, the typical Chicago household now owes upwards of $106,000 in total debt and the average suburban home is at $36,875.
According to the Street.com, in 2018, Chicago contributed in the neighborhood of $1 billion to its pension funds, while Cook County doled out upwards of $550 million.