Retired state employees sue over Ill. pension plan

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- A group of retired state employees has filed a lawsuit challenging a new Illinois plan to eliminate the state's $100 billion public pension shortfall.

 

The Retired State Employees Association filed its lawsuit Thursday in Sangamon County Circuit Court. They argue the plan violates the Illinois Constitution, which states pension benefits cannot be reduced.

 

The organization also wants to create an escrow fund while the case is pending. The state would be required to deposit the difference between previously scheduled pension payments and the payments as scheduled under the new law.

 

Illinois has the nation's worst-funded public-employee pension systems. Lawmakers in December approved a plan to reduce the unfunded liability, largely by cutting benefits.

 

Members of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association and the Illinois Association of School Administrators sued last week.

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