A member of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees wears a protest message on his shirt while rallying against new pension rules at the Illinois state Capitol in Springfield.
Police officers, teachers, caregivers and other rank-and-file public servants join Illinois AFL-CIO members to protest the state's pension situation in October 2011 in Springfield.
Associated Press photos
A teacher protests in April in downtown Naperville in opposition to proposed pension changes.
Mark Black | Staff Photographer
Matthew LaPierre, representative for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, talks to a crowd at a Lake County Federation of Teachers union rally to protect pension security in October 2011 in Gurnee.
Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer
About this Article
Complicated by political forces, perceptions of unfairness and an Illinois Constitution that seems to prohibit reducing workers' benefits, solving the state pension is like the hardest math problem in the textbook. Here are some of the numbers you'll hear as state lawmakers convene next week to try to address the problem.