Dan Rutherford, treasurer of the state of Illinois, seen here in a Jan. 2011 file photo, believes a lower-cost pension system should be created, even if it means a court battle. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois should create a second, lower-cost retirement plan for government employees, even if it triggers a legal battle, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford said Tuesday.

The Republican said current employees should have a choice between the existing plan, which guarantees certain retirement benefits, and a new 401(k)-style investment plan. He said offering a new option would not run afoul of the state constitution, which bars cutting retiree benefits.

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