With Illinois officials talking about pension cuts, more government employees are choosing to retire now in hopes of locking in their benefits. Nearly 4,750 state employees retired in the past fiscal year. That's almost as many as the prior two years combined. Roughly the same number of university employees retired, too. That's the highest in at least five years. But retiring immediately may not protect the employees' benefits. State officials are considering plans that would raise retiree health insurance costs if they don't agree to pension cuts. Pension systems for state employees, university staff and teachers outside Chicago are roughly $85 billion short of the money they'll have to pay out some day.
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