Comment: This liability is constitutionally guarantied along with pension benefits thanks to the infamous Kanerva decision by the Illinois Supreme Court we wrote about two years ago. The press routinely ignores this liability, which is entirely unfunded, and which alone increases officially reported pension liabilities by 50%. This is a major reason we’ve been saying often that official pension numbers are junk.
Note also that the $56 billion figure is from 2013 and is probably much higher now. It’s for state liabilities only. Difficult to say what Chicago and other local liabilities are because the financial reporting is so opaque.