State

Retiree groups want pension lawsuits consolidated

SPRINGFIELD — Efforts are underway to consolidate four lawsuits challenging Illinois' new pension reform law.

Lawyers representing the respective groups of state retirees who filed class-action suits have asked the Supreme Court to allow them to present their cases as one.

The groups share the common claim that the new pension reform plan violates the state constitution, which says benefits may not be diminished.

Because three of the cases were filed in Sangamon County Court and another in Cook County Circuit Court, the Supreme Court must choose a court to hear a case if the motion is granted.

Illinois' five public-retirement systems had a $100 billion unfunded liability when the Legislature passed the measure in December.

The bill saves an estimated $145 billion, largely by cutting benefits for employees and retirees.

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