This graph released by the Illinois State Universities Retirement System (SURS) demonstrates a host of reasons that its unfunded liabilities have increased significantly since 1995. Note especially that most of the underfunding is failure to pay the Actuarial Required Contributions (ARC) in green, like our legislature has failed to pay PERA . Note also the relative unimportance of investment performance. Assume they use some version of smoothing that would tamp this down but so does PERA. PERA would have a large component of actuarial changes for 2010 when they reduced our annual increases, changed the rate of investment assumption and went to a 100% funding target within 30 years. It would take lots of work to get the specific data from PERA needed to produce a similar graph for Colorado and then integrate it into a similar spreadsheet/graph.
Note: the Illinois Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional the Illinois Legislature’s retrospective reduction of benefits last year for all pre-2011 employees and retirees. The apparent difference was that Illinois has clear language in its constitution about not doing that! Read more at http://www.surs.com/news-article/052915/state-supreme-court-finds-pension-reform-law-unconstitutional