Pension crisis endangers Chicago's future

By By SARA BURNETT

CHICAGO (AP) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel likes to talk about his city as a thriving center of commerce and a modern transportation hub.

But Chicago's image is threatened by a severe pension crisis.

Ballooning city pension payments could result in layoffs, higher property taxes and cuts in services.

Emmanuel wants the state legislature to raise the retirement age for city workers and cut cost-of-living increases for retirees. Morningstar Inc. says Chicago has the worst funded pension system of the 25 largest U.S. cities. The system is only 35 percent funded, compared to New York's 60 percent and San Francisco's 88 percent.

Lawmakers say they'll take up the issue next year. Labor unions are promising a fight.

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