Illinois state workers trying to lock in pension benefits retired at a much higher rate than normal in April. About 1,100 government employees were on track to retire last month. Final totals weren't immediately available. The average is about 200 retirements per month. Lawmakers overhauled the state's pension system in December in an effort to save $145 billion. The law cuts benefits and raises the retirement age. Lawsuits over the measure are being litigated. Thousands of state university employees also are retiring early because of a mistake in the law that could miscalculate benefits. Timothy Blair is executive director of the State Employees Retirement System. He says there's no way of knowing if retiring early will lock in pre-overhaul benefits.
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