CHICAGO (WEEK) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker is creating two new taskforces to look at consolidating the state’s public pension funds and transferring state real estate assets into pension funds.
“The enormity of Illinois’ pension problems at all levels of government cannot be overstated, and these two taskforces will provide concrete recommendations on two ideas that will improve the health of pension funds around the state: potential consolidation of funds to achieve the highest investment returns and transferring valuable state-owned assets to the pension funds to help address our nearly $134 billion in unfunded liabilities,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes.
The Pension Consolidation Feasibility Taskforce will look at consolidating Illinois’ 671 public pensions in an effort to reduce administrative costs and increase returns on investment.
Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis and other mayors under the umbrella of the Illinois Municipal League have pushed to consolidate fire and police pension funds in particular. Those funds are often run at the local level.
The Illinois Public Pension Fund Association warns that consolidating public pension would require asset liquidation, potentially running up $155 million in one-time costs, per CapitolFax.
The Pension Asset Value and Transfer Taskforce will look at moving some of the state’s billions of dollars of real estate and infrastructure assets into pension funds to undercut the current $134 billion in unfunded liabilities.