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City Failing To Address Exploding Pension Problem, Watchdog Says

Laurence Msall

Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of a government watchdog group says Chicago aldermen and others aren’t doing enough to help end the city’s growing pension crisis.

Lawrence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, says he was surprised that City Council members, during their day of pension hearings this week, said it’s only state lawmakers who can help lower the city’s $17 billion in unfunded pensions.

Msall says the city could increase its pension contributions as one way to reduce the liability.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

He says there is no one advocating for that in Springfield.

City officials are asking for changes in benefits, including an end to automatic cost-of-living increases.

Msall also says aldermen could look at the example of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

The commissioners did ask the state to allow them to increase contributions, and the employee unions agreed to have workers contribute more as well.

Along with other reforms he says the MWRD pensions are heading toward stability.

Lawrence Msall is the guest on WBBM Newsradio’s “At Issue” program this weekend and you can hear more of his comments Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.