News Local/State

Illinois Schools Struggle To Soften Pension Losses


The solution Illinois' lawmakers came up with last year to the state's underfunded pension problem has provided incentives for many public university employees to leave before losing retirement money.

State schools say they expect to lose hundreds of employees by June who wouldn't otherwise retire.

But while the University of Illinois considers paying for pension supplements to keep employees around, other schools can't afford it.

Matt Bierman is budget director at Western Illinois University. He said the school doesn't have the money to make up for what its employees will lose.

Beirman said that will make tough-to-recruit positions like accounting professors even tougher.

Some schools may have to scrap classes they would otherwise offer. Southern Illinois University spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith says that could be the case at SIU this fall.