A news release said the state contribution for FY 2011 was generated by the recent sale of $3.7 billion in bonds by state government. Of the total bond proceeds raised for all state-operated pension systems, TRS received $2,000,918,488.
Coupled with $170 million that the state already had paid to the System over the last seven months and the total state contribution for the fiscal year is $2,170,918,488. That total approximately matches the amount required for FY 2011 to meet current and future pension obligations.
“The System will not have to sell any existing assets this fiscal year in order to fund benefit payments. The contribution pays our members back for most of the assets that the System had to sell since July in order to generate cash for pensions and benefits,” said TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram, in the news release.
Between July and the end of January, TRS sold $2.368 billion worth of investment assets to generate the cash needed for pensions and benefits. While TRS has sold more than $1 billion in assets in each of the last six years to meet cash flow needs, the FY 2011 total was higher than normal due to the amount of time between the start of the fiscal year and the receipt of the state contribution. Normally, TRS is supposed to receive the state contribution in 12 equal installments. In all, TRS sold $1.759 billion in stocks and $609 million in bonds and other securities.
TRS will pay out an estimated $4.1 billion in pensions and benefits during FY 2011. In the last fiscal year, TRS paid out $3.928 billion in pensions and benefits; and received a total of $6.831 billion in revenue – contributions from teachers and administrators, school districts and state government, as well as investment income.The Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to teachers, administrators and other public school personnel employed outside of Chicago. The System serves 372,000 members and had assets of $34.6 billion as of December 31, 2010.