The director of the Illinois Teachers Retirement System says financial troubles are so great it could consider reducing pension benefits to teachers who have already retired. A confidential memo written by Dick Ingram warns of the politically explosive possibility. In the memo, Ingram says the state's largest pension system has been underfunded for decades and he's no longer confident the state will continue to pay enough money into the fund to keep it solvent. The suggestion is an indication of just how concerns have risen over Illinois' pension problems. Ingram says pension funding is under severe threat from the state's unpaid bills, soaring Medicaid costs and the $85 billion in overall unfunded pension liability.
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