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Arkansas retirement system to draft bills targeting debt

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Leaders of Arkansas' second-largest retirement system are considering how to adjust retiree benefits with the goal of reducing the system's nearly $2.3 billion in unfunded liabilities.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that trustees for the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System decided Tuesday to draft bills.

The bills would increase the amount newly hired members and members with less than five years of service pay to the system, reduce the benefit multiplier, increase the period used to determine final average compensation and reduce interest paid on member contributions.

Trustees are also researching the potential savings from determining retirees' cost of living adjustment.

Retirees have expressed concerns that the changes could greatly harm retired employees who live on a fixed income.

The filing deadline for retirement bills is Jan. 24.