Illinois House defeats proposals to reform pension system

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:46pm EST

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Feb 28 (Reuters) - The Illinois House of Representatives on Thursday soundly defeated proposals from Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan to make substantial changes to pension programs for public sector workers.

After brief debate, the House voted 66 to 2 to reject a proposal to terminate cost-of-living increases for retired workers. It voted 62 to 5 against suspending cost-of-living increases until the state pension systems are 80 percent funded.

His proposal to raise the retirement age to 67 years for pension eligibility failed 66 to 1 and a proposal that workers contribute 5 percent more to the cost of their pensions failed 61 to 3.

Republicans, who are in the minority, boycotted the votes, saying the process of considering them was not serious.

Illinois has the worst funded state pensions systems in the nation at only 39 percent.

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