WIUM Tristates Public Radio

More Lawsuits Over Illinois Pension Plan

Jan 2, 2014

Two more groups of retired Illinois state employees have filed lawsuits challenging a new plan to eliminate the state's $100 billion public pension shortfall.

The Retired State Employees Association and the Illinois State Employees Association Retirees filed separate lawsuits Thursday in Sangamon County Circuit Court in Springfield.

The groups argue the pension reform plan violates the Illinois Constitution, which states pension benefits cannot be reduced.

The RSEA wants to create an escrow fund while its 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.

Governor Pat Quinn and other supporters of the pension system reforms said they're confident the changes will be upheld.