The Chicago Transit Authority retirement plan had a $1.5 billion hole in its stash of assets in 2007. At the height of a four-year bull market, it didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay its retirees through 2013, meaning it was underfunded to the tune of 62 percent.
The CTA, which manages the second-largest public transit system in the U.S., had to hope for a huge contribution from the Illinois state legislature. That wasn’t going to happen.
Then the authority found an answer.
“We’ve identified the problem and a solution,” said CTA Chairman Carole Brown on April 16, 2007. The agency decided to raise money from a bond sale.