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Study Examines Illinois' State Pensions

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A new study claims that changing the pension system for Illinois state workers would cost taxpayers more money. Chicago Public Radio’s Lynette Kalsnes reports.

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The state’s pension system is underfunded by $40 billion. One of the things proposed to deal with that huge shortfall is to switch from a traditional pension system, to retirement savings accounts. These would be similar to 401(k)'s, like what the private sector has.

But Jourlande Gabriel says that won’t help. She’s director of the Illinois Retirement Security Initiative that did the study. Gabriel says the savings accounts would cost more to administer, and cut retirement benefits.

But the head of the Civic Federation says his initial reaction is the study lacks in-depth statistical analysis of the differing plans. He says the state needs to fully fund its pensions, and cut future benefits, to deal with its budget issues.

I’m Lynette Kalsnes, Chicago Public Radio.

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