In 2012 the funds made about $1.5 billion less than in 2011. Experts say it is not something to worry about, though. Markets fluctuate all the time and better years balance out years in which the investments earn less.
The numbers still have some people worried though. Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) spent more than 30 years as a teacher. She says pensions were a big concern back when she started, but are an even bigger issue for teachers and other state workers today.
A new audit has people worried about their futures. Illinois has the worst funded pension system in the country. The pension funds get money from state and employee contributions, plus use investment returns to help fill the gap. In 2012, the returns did aid much. Experts say we're still ahead, but have a long way to go.