Illinois settles SEC fraud charge over pensions

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois is settling a federal securities-fraud charge that it misled investors about the health of its pension system.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office agreed Monday to a cease-and-desist order in the Securities and Exchange Commission case. The SEC said in a news release that Illinois admitted no wrongdoing but has made more complete disclosures since 2009.

The case revolved around more than $2 billion of municipal bonds sold from 2005 to early 2009 to pay state obligations to public-employee pension programs.

The SEC charged that the state did not adequately inform investors that a 50-year funding plan adopted in 1995 did not adequately cover pension liabilities.

The five pensions systems are now $97 billion in debt and a solution is lawmakers' top priority.