A group of retired public employees has defied Puerto Rico's government and reached a deal with a control board overseeing the island's finances as it works to restructure more than $50 billion in pension liabilities.

The employees said the deal would protect more than 60% of retirees from any cuts. They also said it limits cuts to a maximum of 8.5% for those receiving $1,200 or more a month in retirement benefits. The board sought a maximum of 25% in cuts.

The deal announced Wednesday angered the U.S. territory's government, which insists on not slashing a crumbling public pension system amid a 13-year recession.

It still has to be approved by a judge overseeing a bankruptcy-like process for Puerto Rico's government.

The cuts would start July 2020 at the earliest.