US - The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an inquiry into public statements by Illinois officials about the state's underfunded pension fund, according to a report.
The Wall Street Journal claimed the inquiry was focused on public statements concerning a measure passed last year intended to shore up the retirement system.
"We are fully cooperating" with the inquiry, it quoted a spokesman for Governor Pat Quinn as saying. "We feel our disclosure was always accurate and complete."
The newspaper said one issue being examined is whether Illinois was taking future savings and treating them as current reductions in the cost of the pension fund.
A measure Illinois took to save costs was to raise the retirement age for newly hired Illinois workers.
It is understood Illinois has included mention of the SEC inquiry in documents being prepared for the imminent sale of $3.7bn in bond, the newspaper added.
In October Moody's Investor Services downgraded Illinois general obligation bonds following concerns over its unfunded pension liabilities.
The ratings agency revised its outlook on the state from stable to negative, affecting $25bn of debt in the state.
Moody's said Illinois reported a very large negative fund balance for the last fiscal year and faced fragile economic conditions and continuing uncertainty over its ability to meet pension funding obligations.
So far, Illinois has incurred over $7bn in long-term debt and $3.8bn of pension funding debt.
Neither the SEC Quinn's office was available for comment at the time of writing.
PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte must break up their consultancy and audit businesses into distinct firms to provide greater focus on the "most challenging and objective audits", the competition watchdog has said.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released its first batch of guidance setting out how the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion legislation may be used to resolve unequal payments.
This week's top stories include the government spending £800,000 on a Gogglebox advert and MPs writing to The Pensions Regulator about its engagement with the Railways Pension Scheme.