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Quinn wants workers to pay for state pension backlog

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 13:31:53 CDT
By: AP/Charlie Schlenker

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to raise the retirement age for Illinois public employees and require them to contribute more money to their retirement funds. Those are the key parts of what Quinn calls a ``bold plan'' to shore up state pension systems. They're now about $85 billion short of the money they'll eventually need. The Democratic governor says the retirement age should be raised to 67 and employee contributions should climb by 3 percent. Quinn says his plan offers current workers a choice not to enter the new plan, but there is a significant stick....

   

Quinn also wants to freeze benefit amounts based on current salaries for those employees who choose to stick with the current systm. He says he anticipates most of the people in the state's five pension systems would agree to the change that would save more than $65 billion. Quinn acknowledged the pension problem was largely caused by the state falling short. But the cost of his new plan mostly falls on workers. He also wants downstate and suburban school districts to start contributing to the pensions of their employees, though that element of the plan is still under negotiation. The state pays for that now.

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