Members of the University Community:
The state of Illinois continues to experience severe financial stress caused by the largest economic downturn in decades and resulting insufficient revenue to meet the needs and obligations of the state, including pensions.
Last Friday, Gov. Quinn announced his proposal to stabilize the state's public pension system that includes the State University Retirement System (SURS). The proposal is limited to the SURS traditional benefit plan and does not impact employees in SURS self-managed plans.
The Governor's proposal includes increasing employee contributions, raising the retirement age, and reducing cost-of-living adjustments. The proposal does not identify an effective date for the changes or suggested phase-in periods.
Let me stress that this is only a proposal, and no legislation has been introduced. We will closely monitor its progress through the legislative session.
We also will be actively engaged in proposing adjustments and amendments to the proposal to minimize the financial impact on our dedicated employees and protect retirement benefits earned. Approval of the proposal by the legislature in its present form is uncertain.
I fully appreciate the concern you may have about your retirement system and the impact these proposed changes may have on you and our great University. We will keep you informed as this proposal moves forward for legislative consideration and do everything possible to protect the retirement benefits you have earned.
Robert A. Easter
University of Illinois
For More Information
Gov. Quinn's news release - http://www.illinois.gov/PressReleases/
SURS fact sheet on governor's proposal - http://www.surs.com/pdfs/facts/GovQuinnPensionPlan.pdf
Rockford Register Star coverage of governor's proposal, including sidebar with key points -