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CHICAGO, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund (CTPF) completed a comprehensive review of the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) charter school system's pension fund contributions. The review, conducted by an independent accounting firm, found that the UNO system had not made pension contributions on behalf of more than 90 certified teachers, and had made inadequate contributions on behalf of 30 additional plan-eligible employees. The UNO system, CTPF's second largest employer, includes more than 700 teachers and administrators.
CTPF receives contributions from approximately 108 CPS charter school employers. CPS teachers do not contribute to or receive social security benefits, and Illinois law requires that all certified personnel participate in CTPF.
CTPF, 99.9 percent funded as recently as 2002, has suffered from chronic underfunding during the last two decades. Diversion of the fund's dedicated tax levy, inadequate employer contributions and Illinois General Assembly-permitted pension funding "holidays" have resulted in a $3.2 billion loss in revenue since 1995. This funding deficit is the primary reason CTPF's funded ratio fell to 53.9 percent in 2012.
"Our fund has a legal obligation and fiduciary duty to collect all revenue due to us, and this means we must ensure that employers make contributions on behalf of all certified teachers," said Jay C. Rehak, president of the CTPF Board of Trustees. "These findings demonstrate the reason we've undertaken a comprehensive review of charter schools.
"CTPF is a well-managed but underfunded pension plan. This review will help ensure that the problems we've experienced with our primary employer will not spread to other employers."
Established by the Illinois state legislature in 1895, the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund manages members' assets and administers benefits. The $9.6 billion pension fund serves approximately 59,000 active and retired educators, and provides pension and health insurance benefits to more than 25,000 beneficiaries.
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