Share Tweet Share Email

SURS updates members on pension reform

February 25, 2014

'Road to Retirement' highway signThe State Universities Retirement System of Illinois has posted an update regarding pension reform amendments.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed PA98-599 Dec. 5, 2013.

Because the amendments pertaining to employees in SURS Tier I (Traditional and Portable) Defined Benefit plan are complex, retirement plan administrators must rely on SURS when they interpret options and benefit calculations that could impact retirement planning.

Major plan amendments (effective either June 1 or July 1) that will affect currently employed Tier I personnel include:

  • Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
  • Effective Rate of Interest (ERI)
  • Money Purchase Actuarial Changes and the Effect on the Pension Calculation
  • Maximum Pensionable Earnings Cap
  • Retirement Age Eligibility

Perhaps the most significant point of concern among many participants throughout the system is the effect of these amendments on the Money Purchase formula calculation, which has a July 1 effective date (pages 8-13 of the SURS presentation summarize these changes).

Employees considering retirement options in advance of the effective dates of PA 98-599 should participate in one or more informational forums and/or make contact with the SURS as soon as possible. Individual cases vary considerably depending on each individual’s earnings history and/or the retirement date selected for a retirement estimate.

A SURS retirement counselor will speak in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium of the Holmes Student Center from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 24, on pension reform.

This presentation will be most beneficial for SURS Tier I members. Tier I members are members who first began participation in SURS or another reciprocal system prior to Jan. 1, 2011.

SURS: State Universities Retirement System of Illinois logoItems discussed will include:

  • Employee Contributions
  • Retirement Age Eligibility
  • Maximum Pensionable Earnings Cap
  • Effective Rate of Interest
  • Money Purchase Actuarial Changes
  • Automatic Annual Increase (AAI)
  • New Defined Contribution Plan
  • Funding Changes

SURS recommends members bring copies of their 2013 Benefit Summary Statements to the presentation. Members can print this statement from their member account at

Because of the high level of interest in this seminar and a large anticipated in-person turnout, a monitor will be placed in the Regency Room to accommodate possible room overflow. Additionally, arrangements are being made to live stream the seminar over the internet. The details of the streaming access will be announced closer to the date of the seminar in the NIU Today and on the NIU main webpage.

Additional information about SURS seminars and information resources is available online.

For more information, call (815) 753-6000.