Illinois sells $3.7 billion in pension bonds, averaging 5.56%

Illinois on Wednesday sold $3.7 billion in pension bonds, priced at an average price of 5.56% for securities whose maturities range from 2014 to 2019, according to Kelly Kraft, spokeswoman for the state Office of Management and Budget.

The bonds were sold to fund the state's required annual contribution for the current fiscal year to its five statewide retirement systems.

Moody's Investors Service rated the bonds A1 and Standard & Poor's A+, both with a negative outlook, according to the reports of the credit-rating companies.

The $34.6 billion Illinois Teachers' Retirement System, Springfield, expects to receive $2.2 billion from the bond sale and the $13.5 billion Illinois State Universities Retirement System, Champaign, $777 million.

The $9.97 billion Illinois State Employees' Retirement System expects to receive $690 million; the $420 million Illinois Judges' Retirement System, $47 million; and the $100.5 million Illinois General Assembly Retirement System, $9 million. The three plans are overseen by the $10.5 billion Illinois State Board of Investment, Chicago.