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Judge grants pension reform restraining order

May 15, 2014

'Road to Retirement' highway signSangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz stopped Illinois’ state pension overhaul law from taking effect Wednesday by issuing a temporary restraining order until the court can rule on its constitutionality.

The overhaul was designed to close a $100 billion deficit in five state pension systems. The law was signed into law last fall, and parts of it were to take effect June 1. Five lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law were consolidated earlier in Sangamon County court.

NIU will be as flexible as possible in honoring the wishes of those employees who wish to rescind their retirement paperwork and any associated letters of resignation, recognizing that some units may have already undertaken efforts to refill vacant positions.

“We understand that the court ruling may create additional questions and challenges for employees making retirement decisions,” said Bill Nicklas, Northern Illinois University Vice President for Operations and Community Relations. “While we have no timeline for a court decision to be rendered, the university is making accommodations to provide the most current information to employees on retirement options under SURS guidelines.”

SURS: State Universities Retirement System of Illinois logoThe State Universities Retirement System of Illinois is anticipating that some of its members will choose to rescind their applications for retirement. Those members must have their signed letters to SURS indicating their desire to rescind their applications as follows:

  • For applications with a date anytime in May –no later than July 1, 2014.
  • For applications with a date anytime in June – no later than August 1, 2014.

NIU requests those employees contact Human Resource Services regarding their plans as soon as possible.

Those retirement-eligible employees who still need assistance should contact SURS, as only SURS can provide retirement counseling. Employees eligible for retirement should visit the SURS website or call SURS at 800-275-7877 to schedule an appointment.

“We understand how difficult the decision to retire can be, and we intend to support our employees as they make these difficult decisions,” Nicklas continued, noting employees considering rescinding their retirement plans may contact Human Resources Services representative Sandra Woodson (815-753-1338) or email [email protected] for assistance with this process.