Fifth Pension Lawsuit Filed by U of I Employees

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- A fifth lawsuit has been filed by state employees challenging Illinois' new pension law.

The lawsuit from current and former employees at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and Parkland Community College was filed in Champaign County Circuit Court Thursday.

It says the legislation passed by the General Assembly in December violates several provisions of the state constitution, which says retirement benefits should not be diminished or impaired and private property should not be "taken or damaged for public use."

The Illinois Supreme Court this week consolidated four other lawsuits challenging the legislation in Sangamon County Circuit Court.

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

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

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