Retirement Plan on Hold

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Illinois House leaders have placed a proposed five-year extension for a program that allows teachers to retire early with full benefits on hold to analyze its cost.

The Early Retirement Option, which is popular among suburban Chicago and downstate teachers, allows educators under 60 to retire early and receive full benefits.

The Illinois Senate voted this year to extend the retirement program for five years, but the measure is on hold in the House as leaders determine whether the state can afford its $870 million expected cost.

But some teachers groups worry that teachers are being unfairly treated. Lawmakers have renewed the early retirement program in the past to reward long-time teachers and recruit newer teachers.