FILE- Illinois Budget Pensions, Teachers Retirement System, Illinois

The Illinois Teachers' Retirement System serves more than 400,000 teachers.

The total liability of the Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois increased $4.5 billion over the year that ended June 30, 2019, while its funding ratio decreased over the same period, according to the most recent audit of the state’s largest public employee retirement fund.

TRS covers all public retired teachers in Illinois, outside of Chicago Public Schools. An Auditor General financial audit published Tuesday for the previous fiscal year showed the system had a total pension liability of $134.4 billion, an increase of $4.5 billion from the previous year when the fund had a total liability of $129.9.

The funding ratio for TRS decreased from 40 percent in 2018, or $77.9 billion underfunded, to 39.6 percent in 2019, or $81.1 billion underfunded.

Total administrative expenses in 2019 were $24.3 million, up more than $2.7 million from the year before. Investments were up nearly $755,000.

There were nearly 124,300 TRS benefit recipients, an increase of more than 1,870. There were 163,000 active members, an increase of more than 2,100. Inactive membership also increased by more than 2,000 to 136,178.

The report found no findings using the Government Auditing Standards, the Auditor General reported.

TRS is one of five public sector pension funds operated by the state. In total, taxpayers are on the hook for more than $136 billion in unfunded liabilities, among the highest in the country.

Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience, and previously hosted “Bishop On Air,” a morning-drive current events talk show.