Pension Board Move Could Hike Illinois’ Payment

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(AP) – The board of Illinois’ largest public-pension fund could take action that would increase the state’s annual contribution by hundreds of millions of dollars amid a budget crisis.

Teachers Retirement System trustees are expected to vote Friday to lower the assumed rate of return on the fund’s investments. The move comes as pension systems across the United States are seeing lackluster returns and analysts are warning they should adjust expectations.

Lowering the rate will increase the amount the state has to contribute to the hugely underfunded account.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has warned that could lead to higher taxes or have a “devastating impact” on education and social services.

Rauner wants the board to delay the vote.

Illinois has the worst-funded pensions of any state, with $111 billion in unfunded liabilities.

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