Ill. pension fix would offload teacher retirement

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The top Republican in the Illinois House and the Democrats' chief pension-reform negotiator are teaming up for another run at the state's retirement-fund crisis.

Minority Leader Tom Cross and Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz proposed a new fix Wednesday they say would reduce the debt by $30 billion and eventually move the state away from funding teacher and university professor pensions.

It's the latest twist on a problem that has bedeviled lawmakers for more than a year. Decades of state underfunding has left Illinois' five pension accounts $96 billion short of what they need to cover all workers.

The new wrinkle would make public school and university employees enter a system that includes a 401(k)-style plan and negotiated contributions by the local employer.

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The bill is HB3411.

Online: http://www.ilga.gov

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