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Cook County Faces Pension Fund Deficit: Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The state of Illinois and city of Chicago aren't the only entities dealing with pension problems.

    Cook County's pension fund could go broke within 26 years without drastic changes, according to a report driven by county Commissioner Bridget Gainer.

    Gainer told the Chicago Tribune the funding deficit ballooned to $5.2 billion at the end of 2010, seven times bigger than the gap in 2000. The county faces the same issues as Illinois and Chicago, including the rising costs of health care.

    Changes to balance the books could include an increase in employee contributions and later retirement ages.

    Gainer plans to launch a website Monday with her findings and encourages the board to act immediately to redirect the fund's future.

    Meanwhile, Gov. Pat Quinn instructed a pension reform panel to review the state's situation and recommend ways to fix its own deficit. Mayor Rahm Emanuel similarly launched a website to lay out Chicago's $25 billion pension gap.