Pensions in the Senate



A union-backed approach for dealing with Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis is getting its first full airing.
 
A Senate committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the new legislative proposal.
 
The measure gives workers and retirees a choice of benefit packages. For example, if workers choose to receive health insurance in retirement they would get smaller cost-of-living increases. Those who choose to keep 3 percent cost-of-living increases compounded annually wouldn't get health insurance.
 
Senate President John Cullerton says the plan saves money and would survive a court challenge.
 
Critics say the cost savings may not be enough to properly address Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension shortfall.
 
Senate Democrats opted to move forward with the union-supported proposal over a plan approved in the House last week that would unilaterally cut retirement benefits.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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