SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers intend to push forward with a plan to cut government pension costs by making employees pay more or accept lower benefits, an idea that outraged a key union Wednesday.

The plan, endorsed by the top Democrat and the top Republican in the Illinois House, would require many state employees to pay nearly 17 percent of their salaries into the pension system to keep their current benefits. Or they could keep more of their money but receive lower benefits at retirement. A third option would be a new 401(k)-style investment plan.

Officials said the savings will depend on which options employees choose. But the amount will be billions of dollars over the years to come, with employees contributing hundreds of millions of dollars more, said Sara Wojcicki, spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego.

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