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THE WATCHDOGS: Generous pension benefits only one part of state, city financial crisis

May 17, 2015

One of every four retired workers from the state of Illinois, the city of Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools is getting a pension of more than $60,000 a year. Are these workers to blame for the pension crisis that sparked historic downgrades last week in Chicago's and CPS' bond ratings - ratings that might require City Hall to pay $2.2 billion to financial institutions much earlier than planned? Not by a long shot. The downgrade from Moody's means the reworked deals will come at a steeper price than if the city's bond rating had remained higher, said Brian Battle, director of trading for Performance Trust Capital Partners, a Chicago firm that analyzes bonds for investors.

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