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Chicago Park District Pension Deal Struck Down. Now What?


Big changes aimed at saving the Chicago Park District’s pension fund are a bust. A Cook County judge has struck down a 2014 overhaul deal as unconstitutional.

The reforms were supposed to bring in more money to the underfunded system by raising the retirement age and cutting benefits. But those changes sparked anger from Park District employees and retirees.

The local chapter of the Service Employees International Union, which represents Park District employees, filed suit against the city in October 2015.

After this week’s ruling, the Park District pension fund is back to the drawing board. It’s about $611 million short of what it needs to pay future benefits – and, the judge ordered the district to pay back its employees contributions with 3-percent interest. 

Joining Chicago Tonight to explain the ruling and what city leaders might do next is Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.


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