Illinois may be forced to cut pensions for currently retired teachers. This may violate the state constitution, but arithmetic is even more powerful than constitutions.

The Illinois Teachers Retirement System could be insolvent as soon as 2029, leading executive director Dick Ingram to raise the politically explosive possibility of reducing pension benefits for already retired teachers. ...

The state owes TRS $43 billion, an amount that will not change even if benefits for working and future teachers are reduced.

"This painful collision between what is fair and what is real is the outcome of the fact that the unfunded liability has grown to such a level that no one has been able to determine a reasonable plan or expectation to pay down this amount," Ingram wrote. "If that is the case, the only other option available that would significantly change the amount owed is to reduce past service costs for active members and retirees."

The baby boomer generation has been plundering its decedents' wealth for decades. Boomer electoral clout is fading as the generation dies off and their children and grandchildren come of age. It's understandable that the boomers would like their plunder to be secured by law and tradition, but it's unlikely that their victims will go along with the existing arrangements once the power balance has shifted.

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