As we've noted before, Defined Benefit Pension Plans are, almost by definition, a ponzi scheme. Current assets are used to pay current claims in full in spite of insufficient funding to pay future liabilities: classic Ponzi. But unlike wall street and corporate ponzi schemes no one goes to jail here because the establishment is complicit. Everyone from government officials to union bosses are incentivized to maintain the status quo - public employees get to sleep better at night thinking they have a "retirement plan," public legislators get to be re-elected by union membership while pretending their states are solvent and union bosses get to keep their jobs while hiding the truth from employees.
That said, certain states are better at the ponzi game than others and the great state of Illinois, we must say, is one of the best. As we noted a few months ago, Illinois governor Bruce Rauner even admitted to being a willing participant in his state's pension ponzi warning that should his largest public pension fund do what it should have done long ago, it would put a big dent in the state's already fragile finances and lead to "crippling" pension payment hikes. But, if you ignore the problem then surely it will just go away...good plan.