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Speaker Madigan calls state pension system "too rich"

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' House Speaker told a bipartisan legislative committee that the state's pension systems are "just too rich" to be afforded in the future.

Madigan is a Chicago Democrat and the state's longest-serving House Speaker. He says Tuesday that a $160 billion reform proposal was designed to keep long-term low-income workers in mind.

He called the plan a balanced approach, "not just a reduction in benefits."

Leaders announced the compromise last week. A vote is expected Tuesday afternoon.

The proposal pushes back workers' retirement age on a sliding scale, has a funding guarantee, adds a 401(k)-style option and reduces employee contributions.

It'd also replace the current 3 percent annual cost-of-living increases. Retirees would continue to receive that rate up to a certain amount of annuity payments, based on years of employment.

 

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