State standout: Audit finds Oswego police pension fund at nearly 90% funded

Unlike many other Illinois municipalities, the village of Oswego’s police pension fund is on a sound financial footing, according to information provided by the village.

In a statement, the village announced that an annual budget audit found its police pension fund “nearly 90% funded.”

Village officials attributed the high funding level to “strong investment returns and the village board’s commitment to funding beyond the required contribution whenever possible,” according to the statement.

“The village has been aggressive in ensuring the village’s police pension is funded so that we are prepared to meet those obligations in the future,” Village President Troy Parlier said. “This commitment not only helps Oswego residents, but also shows our commitment to our police officers who serve our community each day.”

The village’s near 90% police pension fund status compares favorably to public safety pension funds in municipalities across the state, which average approximately 55% funded, according to information provided by the village.

Earlier this year, Wirepoints, an independent nonprofit company that researches and offers commentary on Illinois economy and government, released an analysis of municipal pension funding levels across the state and found that out of 175 municipalities, 99 had police, fire and municipal pension funds that were less than 60% funded.

The information concerning Oswego’s police pension funding level was included in an annual audit of the village’s fiscal year that ended April 30. The audit was presented to the village board Oct. 19.

The audit found the village in good financial condition and getting stronger, with improved fund balances based on expenditure reductions and higher than anticipated revenues, according to the statement.

“We have made it a priority to continue to look for ways to reduce costs to ensure we are using our community’s resources in the best way possible,” Parlier said.

The village ended the fiscal year with an additional $2.9 million in the general fund balance, the equivalent of setting aside additional savings to support the village’s day-to-day operations.

The village’s financial standing remained strong despite the impacts of COVID-19 and the village’s commitment to keeping major initiatives moving forward.

Village officials listed the following projects among the key achievements for the past fiscal year:

*Completion of Phase I environmental engineering for Wolf’s Crossing Road improvements, and Phase II design engineering for Harvey Road intersection improvements,

*Construction and the opening of Venue 1012, a new outdoor amphitheater near the northwest corner of Orchard and Mill roads.

*Continuing the village’s water meter replacement program set for completion well ahead of the original 5-year schedule.

*Opening of a new public parking deck as part of The Reserve at Hudson Crossing mixed-use development in the village’s downtown, as well as continuing to see more commercial and residential growth within the village.