Sunday, November 28, 2010

Suburban fire and police pensions underfunded by $5 billion - chicagotribune.com

Suburban fire and police pensions underfunded by $5 billion - chicagotribune.com

Great, St Charles makes this list,
...in St. Charles, the board overseeing pension cash has used some to pay the board president's wife for clerical work and to send board members, all expenses paid, to out-of-state conferences while the pension fund's health worsened.

The flaws and excesses were long masked by a strong economy, when big investment returns pushed average funding levels to nearly 80 percent a decade ago — which many experts consider to be healthy. The latest figures from 2009 show suburban public-safety pension funds, on average, have just 52 percent of the assets needed to be fully funded.

Though the true cost will vary from place to place, the unpaid tab averages nearly $2,700 for every suburban household. A strong economy could boost investment returns and lessen the liability, but experts say the financial sins of the past are too great for pension systems to merely invest their way out of them.

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