Illinois will contribute $1.87 billion to its five state retirement systems in fiscal 2007, starting July 1, according to the state budget passed by the Legislature. Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich hasn't signed the budget legislation yet, said Lena Parsons, spokeswoman. She couldn't say when he would sign the bill but did say he supported the pension funding provisions.
Of the total, the $35.4 billion Teachers' Retirement System of Illinois will receive $738 million; the $11.5 billion Illinois State Retirement Systems — comprising the Illinois State Employees' Retirement System, Judges' Retirement System and General Assembly Retirement System — will receive a total of $384 million; and the $14.4 billion Illinois State Universities Retirement System will get $252 million. Also, $496 million will go to debt service on $10 billion in pension obligation bonds sold by the state in 2003.
In fiscal year 2008, which starts July, 1, 2007, the state will have to contribute an estimated $2.489 billion to the five systems, including $546 million in debt service, noted Robert V. Knox, executive secretary of the Illinois State Retirement Systems.
"I'm concerned with next May," when the state's annual budget is usually adopted, he said. "I don't know what they are going to do. I don't know where they are going to get the money."
The fiscal year 2007 contribution is a reduction from the $2.937 billion that the state would have to make under the original funding schedule, which the Legislature changed to lower the rate.
For fiscal 2006, the state contributed $1.434 billion, including $96 million in debt service.