May 8, 2015

Dear colleagues,

Today, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously struck down a pension law that would have scaled back employee benefits, ruling that it violates a provision in the 1970 state constitution that says benefits shall not be diminished or impaired. A link to a Chicago Tribune story is here.

Now that the Supreme Court has spoken on the law’s constitutionality, we await the state’s reaction to the ruling. Although the ruling leaves the pension issue unresolved, it is an important next step and may provide guidance as elected officials consider other alternatives.

Adequate funding of Illinois’ public pensions is of great concern to University of Illinois employees and annuitants. Pensions are a key element in a competitive compensation program that is critical in recruiting and retaining faculty and staff.

The U of I will continue to track this important issue and provide its input and expertise to those who must chart a new path to a sustainable pension system.

Sincerely,

Robert A. Easter
President