This case chronicles events in the State of Illinois over the period 1970 through 2017 that led to an increase in the State's unfunded pension liability from under $1.5 billion to over $137 billion—and growing. It recounts efforts to resolve the impending crisis that yielded unexpected consequences, both large and adverse, and highlights the role of accountants in educating policy makers on the financial impact of pension funding decisions. With these striking events as a backdrop, students use the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) to analyze Illinois' financial condition, assess its revenues and expenditures, interpret disclosures regarding its pension plans, and evaluate plans for their funding. The analyses will provide students with a deeper understanding of the structure and content of the CAFR and of governmental pension accounting, a complex topic on which accounting rules have undergone significant changes.

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