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Pension problems now extend to savings forecast

SPRINGFIELD -- The state's special pension committee is starting to get back numbers on how much different reform plans could save the state.
SPRINGFIELD -- The state's special pension committee is starting to get back numbers on how much different reform plans could save the state. One is a little different than what was expected.

Lawmakers had a curve-ball thrown at them Tuesday. One of the two major plans they were toying with this spring was the first choice for many because it saved "a lot" of money.

Now, one of the retirement systems says, it made a mistake. Speaker Mike Madigan's (D) plan would make across-the-board cuts and save about $185-billion over the next 30-years. But, the Teachers Retirement System says it did its math wrong and the savings are about $25-billion less than the estimate. State unions hope the deflated figures will help put the plan to rest.

The unions are backing the second of the two major plans. It would give workers options for cuts instead of a one-size-fits-all deal. But, a lot of critics complained $50-billion doesn't save enough money.

As far as a plan going forward, the pension committee says it hasn't voted up or down on anything yet, but it's closer than ever. Members have scheduled a sit-down for later this week. They say they think they can bring a deal to Springfield before the end of October.
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