The Better Government Association has updated its publicly accessible database of public pension payouts, showing that in 2017 the 17 major government retirement funds in Illinois will collectively pay $17.3 billion in benefits to 483,000 retirees and survivors.

The watchdog group has compiled the data annually since 2012. It can be found under the Tools & Data section of the BGA website here.

“The BGA is making this information easily accessible so taxpayers can learn about the health and leadership of the pension funds they’re financially supporting,” said BGA President and CEO Andy Shaw. “A lack of knowledge about pension finances has contributed to the State of Illinois’ current fiscal crisis, marked by massive underfunding and huge obligations for retirement systems. All of us should be paying better attention to the flow of these tax dollars.”

Included in the database are records for pension funds covering public school teachers and university employees, state, Chicago, and Cook County employees, and tens of thousands of other public workers in the suburbs and Downstate. Excluded from the analysis were records from hundreds of smaller, municipally operated pension funds covering police and firefighters outside of Chicago.