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Quinn Proposes Costly Pension Reform

By Camela Furry in News on May 21, 2009 2:40PM

In an effort to tackle the $11.6 billion budget deficit, Gov. Quinn proposed a pension reform plan that, according to Fox Chicago, would cut in half the amount of money put into retirement systems for state employees over the next five years.

The plan is being labeled a short-term fix as it will get the state off the hook for the total $4 billion it is required to contribute to the already underfunded pension system this year, but over the next three decades it could cost Illinois taxpayers up to $95 billion.

Quinn spokeswoman Katie Ridgway countered that, ultimately, Illinois pension systems would wind up owing less to retirees under the governor's proposal because benefits would be scaled back. In 2045, for instance, the amount owed under Quinn's plan would be $150 billion less than under the current system.

As of yet there is no final pension plan; talks with legislators continue.