Illinois governor merges pension funds in cost-cutting move

State News

CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 12: Illinois gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker attends the Idas Legacy Fundraiser Luncheon on April 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The luncheon helps support the Ida B. Wells Legacy Committee which works to develop progressive female African-American political candidates. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a measure into law consolidating 649 local pension programs for police employees and firefighters, a move designed to bolster investment returns and save overhead costs.

The Democrat signed the measure Wednesday. It creates two statewide accounts _ one for police and one for firefighters _ a goal that has eluded Illinois politicians for 70 years.

The first-term governor says by pooling the combined $15 billion in assets in the two funds, returns will grow by as much as $2.5 billion in the first five years while cutting municipal costs for administering separate funds. 

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