Smaller Payouts
4:22 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Illinois Governor Releases Pension Overhaul Plan

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn unveiled a plan to overhaul the pension system for state  employees.

It would force state workers to choose between two  plans, both of which would reduce their benefits.

If  employees voluntarily go along with the governor's proposed changes, they would have to pay more into their retirement plans, work longer before they retire, and face reduced cost-of-living adjustments in retirement.

"If  they choose not to accept the changes I've outlined, then they can continue in the current system, but they will not have their future pay increases included in their pension calculation," Quinn said.

Quinn said his plan would get the underfunded pension systems caught up.

Senate  Republican leader Christine Radogno is receptive to the plan.

“There are some outstanding components here that will make a huge difference in the out-year costs and really begin to get a handle on our  pension  system," Radogno said.

Quinn's plan is only a starting point. Democrats and Republicans in the legislature are expected to offer their own ideas in the coming weeks.

Any plan is likely to be challenged in court. The state constitution guarantees that pension benefits "shall not be diminished."

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio