The Illinois state comptrollers office is being sued by the city of Chicago over claims that the state has been diverting money that should be going to pension contributions.
The lawsuit also names the Chicago Policeman’s Annuity and Benefit Fund, the Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund, and the Laborers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund as additional defendants.
It is stated in court documents that the city contends that state comptroller has been diverting funds that would have gone to city programs to support the social welfare of Chicago residents.
“The comptroller’s continued interception of these grant funds creates a significant threat that certain unallocated city funds intended for future risks and unanticipated shortfalls will be depleted and unavailable when needed,” said the city in its suit. “This could lead to cuts in services and a reduction in personnel if there are not enough unallocated funds to respond to an emergency or other unexpected budget shortfall.”
According to the Illinois Pension Code, the city of Chicago is required to provide a certain level of contributions to the city’s pension funds each year. This is in order to have the various pension funds in the city obtain a funding ratio of 90% of assets to liabilities by the middle of this century.
The code also stipulates that a “grant intercept” will be activated if the city fails to make its required contributions to the pension funds for more than 90 days after the payment due date. After giving the city notice, the state comptroller has to certify that the amounts are delinquent. This amount will then be deducted and deposited in the fund.
The city of Chicago claims in its suit that it was not given adequate notice by the state comptroller in order to dispute the pension fund’s allocations. The city went on to claim that this is action is contrary to the rules and regulation of comptroller office and against state law.