Friday, December 27, 2013

IL Teachers Sue to Block Pension Reform Law

“A group of teachers and public school officials filed a class-action lawsuit on Friday in state court seeking to void Illinois' new pension reform law on grounds the cuts to pension benefits violate the state constitution.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, claims that changes to current and retired teacher pensions passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn earlier this month violate protections for public sector worker retirement benefits in the Illinois Constitution.” READ MORE

Title: “Illinois teachers sue in effort to block pension reform law”
Source: Reuters
Date Published: December 27, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

TRAIL Informational Seminar Now Available

Editor's Note: This Video Seems to Be The Best Place for Retirees to Start

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The CMS Total Retiree Advantage Illinois (TRAIL) Informational Seminar is an informative online video presentation explaining Medicare Advantage and TRAIL enrollment.

This presentation was videotaped at the Legacy Theatre in Springfield, IL on November 12, 2013 at the seminars sponsored by Representative Raymond Poe and SUAA.


(viewable on PC or Mac, not on mobile devices at this time):

SUAA FAQ: Health Insurance for SURS Retirees


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1. How do I certify dependents, and how do I check for that? Everyone with a dependent needs to certify dependents regardless of age or Medicare status. Go to https://auditos.com/ and log in using the reference number on the letter from CMS dated September 25, 2013.  The date for filing verification has been extended from October 25 to December 6.

2. Do any of the changes for retiree health insurance affect me?
You will be affected ONLY if you are now on Medicare A+B for yourself and for all dependents (unless you live outside the USA).
 

3. How do I enroll in a state Medicare Advantage (MA) plan?  What is the deadline for enrolling in state MA?

By now, you should have received the 8-page State Open Enrollment Form from CMS mailed in the week of November 11, and also the additional materials mailed directly from the insurance companies applicable for your residential address. December 13 is the CMS deadline for enrollment. Complete questions on ALL pages and return the entire form postmarked by December 13.

4. How do I opt out of the state MA?

You opt out on page one of the State Open Enrollment Form from CMS and can make other changes on page 3. You must return the entire form postmarked by December 13. 

5. If opting out of state, how do I enroll in private Medigap and Part D (drugs)? What is the deadline?

To replace Cigna (or the new MA plan) you need to enroll in a Medicare supplement (Medigap) plan and Part D by the deadline of December 7; see www.Medicare.gov.

Unfortunately, the interpretation by the legal team from the Illinois Department of Insurance about the "guaranteed rights issue" is that changes in state plans do not constitute "loss of coverage" for purpose of guaranteed rights. This has major impact on what plans you can buy in the private insurance market because companies can deny coverage or raise prices because of your preexisting health conditions. Also, you need to register in the current open enrollment period by December 7 because we do NOT get the extension to the end of March, which would have been granted under "guarantee issue." There is still some ongoing discussion about this legal ruling, but it is risky to assume that it will be granted. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois waives the medical underwriting for preexisting health issues. We do not know what is available in other states.

6. How do I find Medigap and Part D policies for my dependents and myself?

You can use the Medicare link to find a policy but it is very complicated (http://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/medigap-home.aspx).  Policies available vary depending on your home zip code, health status, age, gender, and more. We cannot advise you on what to do, but Medicare has excellent free personalized health insurance counseling (SHIP--State Health Insurance Assistance Program). To find the telephone number in Illinois and other states, go to:
http://www.medicare.gov/contacts/state-search-results.aspx?stateresult=ALL&stateabbr=IL|Illinois.

You can use the SUAA portal, which also lists a set of private insurance brokers. Note their disclaimer: "The information being provided is for general plan comparison only. While the companies strive to be accurate, we cannot guarantee the above information to be a perfect representation of benefits, nor can we guarantee the accuracy of the premium amount shown. Licensed Medicare Supplement Insurance Specialists should be consulted for a detailed description of benefits and limitations."

7. Will I continue to have dental coverage if sign up for state  MA or opt out?

Yes.  Every SURS retiree keeps dental.

8.  Will I keep vision?

Yes, if you sign up for state MA, but not if you opt out.

9. What are the comparable costs for SURS retirees on the new MA plans?

You and your spouse continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium just as you do now. The actual amount is based on your taxable income and is typically $104.90.

The premium will be 1% of your pension per month until July 2014, when it becomes 2% per month.

The spouse/dependent premium is $89.91 (HMO) or $110 (PPO).

The deductible is $100 for the PPO and $0 for the HMO. The out-of-pocket maximum is $1,300 for the PPO and $3,000 for the HMO.

The % of costs covered is 90%; the participant pays 10%.

For drugs, the PPO has a $100 annual deductible and copays: generic ($10), preferred brand ($30), and non-preferred or specialty ($60).

For drugs, the HMO has a $75 annual deductible and copays: generic ($8), preferred brand ($26), and non-preferred or specialty ($50).

10. What are the costs for Medigap if I opt out of the state plan?

You and your spouse continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium just as you do now. The actual amount is based on your taxable income and is typically $104.90

You will pay nothing ($0) to CMS.

You will pay for private supplemental insurance. For a Plan F policy, you will pay a monthly premium that varies based upon your age and health (it starts under $100 a month per person for a healthy 65-year-old, but more with age and preexisting conditions).

For Part D drug coverage, you may expect to pay about $23 a month per person, but more based upon the drugs you need. Talk to your pharmacist or a qualified insurance agent, OR fill your shopping cart with your drugs to get a quote from Medicare at:

https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx

If you are opting out of the state plan, do so NOW because it takes 10-15 days after the application before everything is processed through the medical underwriters, since preexisting conditions are not exempt in Medicare supplementary plans. December 7 is less than 3 weeks away.

11. What are the other issues, such as access to my current doctor and hospital?

We cannot advise you on whether selecting a state MA or opting out is better because it is a balance of prices and your own health-care needs. MA will serve many people well.  Opting out is more predictable, because almost all hospitals take the original Medicare A and B; most doctors take most of the Medigap private insurance policies; and Part D is widely accepted with the best rates at the preferred provider.  You will need to check with your doctor and hospital and in the materials mailed by the MA companies to you to see whether they will accept the MA plan. You may lose universal acceptance, even with the PPO. We are getting very mixed information about denial of service, billing, and payment processes. You may have to self-pay and then be reimbursed by your new MA plan.  The new MA plans will cover up to the same Medicare amounts.

If you believe your provider and/or hospital will not accept the United Healthcare PPO/MA, you may want to call the UHC number and ask to speak with a supervisor.  Request that person to complete forms and mail them to your provider/hospital requesting a contract for service.

12.  Can I switch back and forth between MA and Medigap?

SURS annuitants can try the MA for 2014 and then switch to Medicare plans in next fall's open enrollment for Medicare, or vice versa.  (Note that teachers and community college annuitants cannot make the switch back to the MA).

For further information from CMS on FAQ, go to:

http://www2.illinois.gov/cms/Employees/benefits/trail/state/Documents/State_FAQ.pdf.

CMS phone lines (217-782-2548 and 800-442-1300) have been very busy during the open-enrollment period.

You may contact SURS via www.surs.org and submit a question via email. Dial toll free: 800-ASK-SURS (800-275-7877) or dial direct:
217-378-8800. Fax: 217-378-9800.

Title: Update: Health Insurance for SURS Retirees
Author: UIC Chapter of the State Universities Annuities Association
Date: Released November 18, 2013
Source: UIC United Voice: Fall 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

SUAA Mini Briefing Alert

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This is an URGENT message for YOU to contact your State Representative and State Senator beginning November 25, 2013.

The four legislative leaders of the House and the Senate are calling a Special Session on December 3rd & 4th to vote on a "pension reform" bill (Bill number is unknown at this time)

In addition to the "We Are One" Coalition phone-in, let's begin a writing campaign! Mail, Fax or Email a note to your State Representative and State Senator!

Tell your thoughts about:

  • Reduction in Automatic Annual Increases (COLA) which most likely will apply the 3% rate to the lesser of (1) your current annual annuity, or (2) the sum of $1,000 multiplied by each year of service credit.*

  • The failure to peg the $1,000 multiplier for automatic annual increases to the same consumer price index as Social Security makes it a mathematical certainty that, over time, state pension benefits for the lowest-paid employees will fall below the Social Security benefits to which they might otherwise be entitled!

  • Annuitants not yet retired subject to a staggered delay in automatic increases.

  • Reduction of Tier I employee pension contributions by 1% for lesser benefit upon retirement.

  • Delays

  • The failure to peg the $1,000 multiplier for automatic annual increases to the same consumer price index as Social Security makes it a mathematical certainty that, over time, state pension benefits for the lowest-paid employees will fall below the Social Security benefits to which they might otherwise be entitled!

  • Annuitants not yet retired subject to a staggered delay in automatic increases.

  • Reduction of Tier I employee pension contributions by 1% for lesser benefit upon retirement.

  • Delays in retirement eligibility from age 45 down to age 26.
  • Pensionable Earning Limitations for those currently working.

  • Recent announced significant changes to retiree health insurance, designed to save the State money, have caused stress and anxiety to the State, university, community college and teacher retiree populations. These changes coupled with the reduced AAI (COLA) will reduce annuitant income by significant amounts of money which cannot be replenished.

  • Draconian changes to benefits significantly reduces the attraction to become an employee in the public sector.

  • This is the message we need to communicate to our State legislators:

These pension reductions will significantly impact the quality of your life.

  • Make it personal! It is not just about the numbers!

  • Legislators' votes on pension reform have a real-life consequence for you - both currently retired and those currently working who will be retiring.

  • Let them know that you and your family are constituents.

  • For years you have fulfilled your pension obligation; you ARE fulfilling your pension obligation. Proposed changes will inflict huge financial penalties for you. 
Make sure you communicate quickly! Time is imperative! The financial losses to you will be substantial! Contact legislators' DISTRICT offices immediately!

The legislative process will be greatly accelerated to make it difficult to generate strong opposition before voting takes place. SUAA will provide the legislative roll call vote to its members.

  • Example of proposed change to AAI - Mr./Ms./Mrs. Annuitant retires after 35 years of service with an annual annuity of $40,000. Under the current practice, his or her AAI is $1,200 (3% of $40,000), which is compounded annually.

The possible proposed legislation would reduce the AAI to $1,050 ($35,000 x 3%). Thus Mr./Ms./Mrs. Annuitant's AAI will be reduced by 12.5%. It is not clear if this will be a simple or compounded increase.

Instructions and Link to Search for Current Legislative Districts/Officials on the Illinois State Board of Elections Website:

1. (Click OK on Illinois State Board of Elections pop-up message box)
2. (In "Search for Districts/Officials" box, type in address, city state and zip/click Search)
3. (In "Search Results" box select "More Details" under State Representative District and State Senate District; details include both District and Springfield contact information)

(Be patient: The website may take a few seconds to load).

Click Here to search for State Representative and State Senator name and district contact information.

Title: SUAA Mini Briefing Alert
Date: November 22, 2013
Source: State Universities Annuities Association
Link:http://tinyurl.com/k6a2tvz

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

SUAA Email Briefing for 8.23.2013



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SUAA continues to meet with Central Management Services (CMS) on a regular basis.  Today we met to talk about the current health insurance initiatives and issues regarding the State Health Insurance Program for retirees.  Changes are coming and should be coordinated within the next month.  However, other than a State sponsored Medicare program which will include HMOs and a Nationwide PPO there isn’t much to report at this time.

The content or plan design for the State-sponsored Medicare program is not finalized as yet. CMS is working to coordinate by October 1.  People will need to make a choice of opting out or staying with the their current federal Medicare.

Those who are Medicare age but not Medicare eligible with 20 years of service will be provided a $500 incentive to leave the State-sponsored Medicare Plan.  This incentive will be provided for their life-time. 

A person who chooses to continue in the State-sponsored Medicare plan will have to pay a premium which is still 1% of their pension for this year and in addition the cost of Medicare Part B.  It seems that a prescription plan will be included.

There will be seminars held to help educate those who are affected. (No dates are set as yet).

In addition, those who are community college retirees will see changes to the College Insurance Program (CIP).  A meeting will be held for the stakeholders later just as was done for TRIP.  See notice below since CIPs changes will be much if not all the same as TRIP.  

Neither CIP nor TRIP will be given a $500 incentive to leave their respective health insurance plans.

This is all of the concrete information that can be provided at this time.  While IEA lists the possibility of a Medicare Supplement Plan, it doesn’t seem that at this juncture that is going to be available.

SUAA will be kept in the loop as progress is made.  We will keep you updated as we are able to make solid informational reports.  Visit the CMS website on a regular basis.  Much will happen in the next few weeks!

Copied from the Illinois Education Association

On Aug. 21, the Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) Committee met with the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS).  The committee is made up of representatives from the Illinois Education Association (IEA), Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), Illinois Education Association-Retired (IEA-R), Illinois Retired Teachers Association (IRTA) and school management.  Items discussed included program funding and plan design. In addition, CMS announced that TRIP Medicare primary retirees would be required to enroll in a state-sponsored Medicare plan.  The premiums and plan design of the state-sponsored Medicare plan have yet to be made public.

The State of Illinois requested bids for a state-sponsored Medicare plan on June 21.  It is the goal of CMS to have a contract in place by Oct. 1, which will allow an enrollment period to make choices that will be effective Jan. 1.  One or more of the following options will be available choices for coverage for anyone who has Medicare as their primary coverage:
  • Medicare Advantage Plan
  • HMO
  • Nationwide PPO
  • Medicare Supplement
Once the contracts are in place, CMS will schedule informational/educational seminars regarding the new health plan options for those retirees who will be affected. The locations and times of the seminars will be posted on the IEA and CMS websites once they are scheduled.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.  Please check back often.

NoteAt this time, members who have one or more dependent(s) on their coverage, who do not have Medicare as their primary coverage, will not be required to change to one of the new Medicare plan options.

The committee will be meeting again in October. All stakeholder groups will be working together to continue to keep you updated on the Medicare plan.

Have a great weekend!  Summer is unfortunately coming to an end!


Linda L. Brookhart
Executive Director
State Universities Annuitants Association

Monday, July 1, 2013

Conference Committee Public Hearing

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The first Conference Committee hearing was held in Chicago on June 27th to a standing room only audience. Clearly, the Committee is not threatened by Governor Quinn's July 9th deadline to have a solution in place and ready to pass by both Houses. An immediate implementation date requires a super majority which would not be attainable. A July 1, 2014 implementation date would only require a simple majority which actually means the Committee has time to take into consideration new approaches along with previous proposals.

The usual testimony came from Ty Fahner, President of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, who testified for over 40 minutes with nothing new to offer. He continues his support of Speaker Madigan's amendment to SB 1. Mr. Fahner believes that even more money could be saved from its passage. Doug Whitley, President of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, also testified on behalf of SB 1 with nothing new to offer.

Other testimonies came from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability and the Office of the Auditor General. Jerry Stermer, Director of the Governor's Office of Management and Budget let the Committee know that their office was available 24/7 to make the pension deadline. The Governor himself failed to show at anytime during the 4.5+ hours of the hearing just as he failed to show during the final days of the legislative session.

Representative Lou Lang suggested that the Committee take a serious look at his pension bill which he introduced in February (HB 1251). Because Lang did not go through leadership, he admitted that his bill was dead on arrival before it even reached the House Pension and Personnel Committee. While Representative Mike Fortner was not in attendance, his pension bill was also mentioned (HB 2365) as a means to offer sensible solutions.

The We Are One Coalition provided testimony to the point of bringing a national negotiator from AFSCME to the table. Their focus is still on SB 2404. Again, nothing new to offer the Committee.

By the end of the day, no new ideas were heard from the rank and file testifiers even though the hearing was supposed to provide new approaches, methods, and considerations. It was still a battle between SB 1 and SB 2404. Let us hope that we all hear something different, something new at the next hearing scheduled for July 3 in Chicago at 9:00 a.m. The intent of the Conference Committee is a new agreed upon solution. Committee Co-chair Senator Raoul admits this will take time.

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability will be addressing the Committee on July 3rd.

Title: SUAA Mini Briefing: Conference Committee Public Hearing
Date: June 28, 2013
Source: State Universities Annuities Association

Thursday, June 27, 2013

SUAA Testimony at the Conference Committee Hearing

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Testimony provided to the Conference Committee to Senate Bill 1 Bilandic Building - C600 Chicago, Illinois June 27, 2013 11:00 a.m.

Good morning. I am Linda Brookhart, the Executive Director of the State Universities Annuitants Association. I truly appreciate the opportunity to address the Conference Committee.

Our membership is 16,000 strong. SUAA advocates on behalf of all individuals who are participants and especially those who are beneficiaries of the State Universities Retirement System. Both state supported universities and community colleges are part of this retirement system none of which participate in Social Security while working for the State or a local unit of government. Upon retirement, many fall into the Federal Pension Offset or Windfall provision of the Federal Government if they have considerable time in the Social Security System.

It is important I relay to you that SUAA supports responsible pension reform and the important work before this Conference Committee. Our association is based upon preserving and protecting a strong public pension system, healthcare benefits, and the general well-being of all SURS participants and beneficiaries.

As a representative of SUAA, I would like this committee during the next 11 days to consider the following five items:

First, to the extent possible, the SUAA Executive Committee on behalf of the membership would like this Committee to reach out to us and other stakeholders in order to draft the best legislation possible.

Second, we believe that any legislation should apply the debt service for existing State bond and note issues to the payment of the unfunded pension liability as these loans are repaid.

Additionally, we respectfully ask you to consider revising the terms of the amortization of the current pension ramp schedule, to a percentage that is less than 100% funding. For several years, we have heard experts discuss an acceptable range of what constitutes a well funded pension system. We believe a number less than 100%, perhaps an 85% level of funding, is achievable, given the State’s current fiscal condition.

Third, a survey of the SUAA membership did provide support for the Cost of Living Allocation or more rightfully defined as the Automatic Annual Increases be based on the Social Security formula. However, we believe that further discussion is warranted. Reports need to be made public; the reports that actually show significant savings for the State as well as those that show how the retirees will be significantly affected. In other words, we would ask for transparency and how the numbers were actually determined.

Fourth, retirees receiving less than $25,000/year should be exempt from any legislation modifying the current COLA/AAI. Remember, these people are most likely not eligible for Social Security. Accordingly, this committee should protect their standard of living. If they are not protected, other problems could be created that would cost the State additional money through other hardship support and services that would need to be provided to them.

Fifth, while SUAA is in agreement that those who are working should contribute an additional 2% to their pensions, we would caution against having those in Tier II to contribute additional money. Tier II's benefits are, at this time, below those they could receive from Social Security. In addition, their benefits are not vested until year 10. There could be even more pension earnings lost for them.

Finally, SUAA is here today in an effort to help resolve Illinois’ pension concerns. The public pensions must be protected for future generations. How this is done must be carefully crafted so current problems do not continue to spiral.

Thank you for allowing me to address you today.

Title:Testimony provided to the Conference Committee to Senate Bill 1
Date: June 27, 2013
Source: State Universities Annuities Association

SURS Update: SB 1, Comprehensive Pension Reform


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SB 1 (as amended by House Amendment #1)– Comprehensive Pension Reform

Speaker Madigan (D)

SB 1 contains:
  • Tier 1 Participant and Tier 1 Retiree Benefit Reform
  • State Funding Reform

The bill applies to the General Assembly Retirement System, the State Employees Retirement System, the State Universities Retirement System, and the Teachers’ Retirement System. The following analysis is specific to the State Universities Retirement System.

The bill has an immediate effective date.

Tier 1 Participant and Tier 1 Retiree Benefit Reforms

Pensionable Earnings Limitations

SB 1 caps the pensionable earnings of a Tier 1 participant at the applicable Social Security Wage Base. The limitation does not apply to a participant’s earnings that are determined under an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement in effect on the effective date.

Participants currently receiving salary in excess of the Social Security Wage Base, shall have their
pensionable earnings limited to their salary received 365 days prior to the effective date.

Normal Retirement Age

SB 1 reforms Tier 1 participants’ normal retirement age. The following adjustments apply to Tier 1
participants retiring after July 1, 2013:

  • Members age 45 or older on the effective date shall not be subject to any delay in retirement eligibility;
  • Members age 40-45 on the effective date shall be subject to a 1 year delay in retirement eligibility;
  • Members age 35-40 on the effective date shall be subject to a 3 year delay in retirement eligibility; and
  • Members younger than age 35 on the effective date shall be subject to a 5 year delay in retirement eligibility.

Automatic Annual Increases

SB 1 reforms automatic annual increases provided to Tier 1 participants and Tier 1 retirees. Moving
forward, such members shall receive an annual increase to his or her retirement annuity that is equal to 3% of the lesser of, the previous year’s retirement annuity, or the sum of $1,000 multiplied by each year of service credit.

Members shall not be eligible for an automatic annual increase until the January 1st following attainment of age 67 or the January 1st following the 5th anniversary of the annuity start date.

Automatic annual increase received prior to the effective date are protected and not diminished.

Employee Contributions

SB 1 requires employees to contribute an additional 1% of payroll in FY 14, plus an additional 1% in FY 15. The total contribution increase is 2% of payroll.

The employee contribution increases are exempt from Money Purchase Plan calculations.

Effective Rate of Interest

The amendment recommends that the Comptroller adopt a more conservative number for what is known as the “effective rate of interest” (“ERI”). Under current law, the Comptroller determines the effective rate of interest for Money Purchase benefits for university and community college employees hired before 2005. The amendment still provides that the Comptroller set this rate, but advises a figure that is to reflect less risk (lower rate) in the rate to be used to determine benefits for certain participants. SB 1 also rovides that the Comptroller shall establish the effective rate of interest for portable plan lump sum payouts, portable plan refunds, purchases of service credit and is to follow the same recommendation as mentioned above. The rate for these purposes is currently set by the SURS board of trustees.

Prohibition of non-public employers and new employees participating in SURS

SB 1 provides that employers that are not defined as an employer under the SURS article shall be excluded from enrolling new employees in SURS. Those employees of such employers that are already SURS participants shall remain participants. SURS is given the authority to determine whether or not a person is an employee and is eligible to participate in SURS.

Eliminate the subject of pensions for collective bargaining.

Bargaining units and employers with participants in the State systems would be prohibited from negotiating changes related to pensions.

Prohibition for new employees converting unused sick and vacation days to service credit and lump sum payouts for such unused days being included in final rate of earnings

SB 1 amends several articles under the Illinois Pension Code (IMRF, Cook County Pension Fund, SERS, SURS, TRS, and Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund) by prohibiting payment for unused sick days and unused vacation days from being included in final average salary. SB 1 also prohibits unused sick days and vacation days from being used to establish service credit. This provision shall only apply to participants that first become participants on or after the effective date of this Act.

State Funding Reform

SB 1 enhances statutory funding requirements so that the State shall be required to adhere to a funding schedule that provides an annual contribution of an annual amount determined by the System to bring the total assets of the system up to 100% of the total liabilities of the System by 2044. The current statutory amount is to bring the total assets of the System up to 90% of the total liabilities by 2045. Beginning FY 14, the State shall be responsible for i) the state’s portion of projected normal cost for that fiscal year, plus ii) an amount sufficient to amortize 100% of liabilities by FY 2044.

State Funding Enforcement
 

Beginning July 1, 2013, the State shall be contractually obligated to contribute to the System in each State fiscal year an amount not less than the sum of the State's certified contribution. The obligations are contractual obligations protected and enforceable under Article I, Section 16 and Article XIII, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the State fails to pay in a State fiscal year the amount
guaranteed under this subsection, the System may bring a mandamus action in the circuit court of
Champaign or Sangamon County to compel the State to make that payment, irrespective of other remedies that may be available to the System. In ordering the State to make the required payment, the court may order a reasonable payment schedule to enable the State to make the required payment without significantly imperiling the public health, safety, or welfare.

Any payments required to be made by the State pursuant to this guarantee are expressly subordinated to he payment of the principal, interest, and premium, if any, on any bonded debt obligation of the State or any other State-created entity, either currently outstanding or to be issued, for which the source of repayment or security thereon is derived directly or indirectly from tax revenues collected by the State or any other State-created entity.

Pensionable Stabilization Fund

SB 1 revitalizes the Pension Stabilization Fund. The now unused fund begins receiving $1 billion annually in FY 2020. GRF transfers into the Fund will continue until each of the state retirement systems are funded at their targeted funding ratio. Contributions from the fund to the systems are in addition to required contributions, however the systems shall not include such contributions from the fund for the purposes of projecting current and future contributions until the systems receive such payment from the fund.

Entry Age Normal Actuarial Cost method

SB 1 changes the actuarial cost method for the 5 state retirements from “projected unit credit” actuarial cost method, to “entry-age normal” actuarial cost method. The impact this change will have on the liabilities should be minimal, and this method is the most common accurate actuarial cost method as used in the public retirement systems.

Require separate appropriation request for employer normal cost and amortization of unfunded liability.
 

The Governor must introduce and the systems must certify these costs separately.

Status: Passed the House on May 2, 2013, failed to pass Senate on May 30, 2013



SB 1687 (as amended by House Amendment #2) – Shifts Pension Costs to SURS-covered employers
 

Sponsor – Speaker Madigan

Employer Cost Shift and Enforcement

SB 1687 provides that beginning on July 1, 2014, SURS-covered employers shall begin paying the cost of the annual accruing retirement benefits of their employees. Beginning on July 1, 2014, SURS covered employers shall begin phasing in this cost at a rate equal to 0.5% of payroll. Each fiscal year thereafter, this payment shall increase annually at a rate equal to 0.5% of payroll until the SURS Board has certified that the employers are paying the full employer’s share of normal cost (present value of the annual cost of the benefits earned by the member population).

SB 1687 also provides that an employer may accept or reject any future increase to the benefits of the SURS retirement plan, but if an employer accepts such benefit increase, it shall be applied to all of its covered employees. An employer that accepts such benefit increase shall pay the full annual increase in normal cost associated with that increase. An employer that accepts such benefit increase shall also be responsible for amortizing the unfunded liability created as a result of the benefit increase over a 10 year period.

SB 1687 provides that employers shall also be responsible for financing any unfunded liability created on that employer’s share of assets and liabilities resulting from changes in actuarial assumptions, investment losses, or any other actuarial increases to the employer’s share of liabilities. The schedule to finance such unfunded liabilities shall be a 30 year rolling amortization schedule.

In order to achieve the intent of this proposal, notional employer accounts shall be created for the purposes of determining an employer’s notional assets and liabilities to be used in order to determine costs to be paid by each employer. Service credit accrued after July 1, 2014 shall be liabilities of the employers and contributions made after July 1, 2014 shall be assets of the employers. Service credit accrued before July 1, 2014 shall be liabilities of the State and contributions made before July 1, 2014 shall be assets of the State.

If a covered employer fails to transmit to the System contributions required of it under this legislation
within 90 days that such payment is due, then the System shall certify to the State Comptroller or the
applicable county treasurer the amount of the delinquent payment and either the Comptroller or county treasurer shall redirect state or local government revenue payable to the employer that is delinquent to pay the delinquent amount. If State or local funds payable to that employer is not available, the System may proceed against the employer to recover the amounts of such delinquent payments in the circuit court of Champaign county.

The System may provide for an audit of the records of an employer, other than the State, as may be
required to establish the amounts of required contributions. The employer shall make its records available to the System for the purpose of such audit. The cost of such audit shall be added to the amount of the delinquent payments.

State Funding

The State shall make payments to finance its portion of liabilities so that it has funded 100% of its portion of liabilities by 2044. Upon amortizing 100% of its portion of liabilities, the State shall no longer be liable for any payments to the State retirement systems. It should be clarified that the State shall pay the difference between employer normal cost and the amount phased-in by employers at the rate of 0.5% of payroll. It should be mentioned that the system shall not include such contribution for the purposes of projecting current and future contributions until the system receives such contribution.

SURS Board

SB 1687 alters the make-up of the SURS board of Trustees and provides that beginning on July 1, 2014, 1 trustee appointed collectively by universities and 1 trustee appointed collectively by community colleges shall serve on the SURS board of trustees. As the current terms of the appointed trustees expire or become vacant, then such terms shall instead be appointed by universities and community colleges.

As the terms of the elected trustees expire or became vacant, then moving forward, such elected trustees shall be comprised so that such elected trustees are split equally among participants or annuitants of community colleges and universities. Said different, after the expiration of the 4 active member trustee terms, 2 shall be active employees of universities and 2 shall be active employees of community colleges.

Upon the expiration of the current terms of the annuitant trustees, 1 annuitant trustee shall be a retired
community college employee, and 1 annuitant trustee shall be a retired university employee.

Beginning on July 1, 2014 the trustees shall elect among themselves the Chairperson of the board and that Chairperson shall serve 2 year terms. On such date, the IBHE chairperson shall not be a de facto Trustee of the SURS board. It is important to mention that the board will be increased to 12 trustees on January 1, 2014 as the current make-up consists of 11 trustees.

Entry Age Normal Actuarial Cost method

SB 1687 changes the actuarial cost method for the 5 state retirements from “projected unit credit” actuarial cost method, to “entry-age normal” actuarial cost method. This method is the most common and accurate actuarial cost method as used by public retirement systems.

Require separate appropriation request for employer normal cost and amortization of unfunded liability.

The Governor must introduce and the systems must certify these costs separately.

Amendment to Public Act 97-968

SB 1687 extends the effective date of Section 15-139.5 (Return to work restrictions created by PA 97-968) rom August 1, 2013 to August 1, 2014. SB 1687 also provides that such provisions of Public Act 97-968 shall not apply to SURS annuitants that are “status employees” under the Civil Servant Code, and eliminates the “18 paid week condition” of Public Act 97-968. For review, PA 97-968 tightens up the SURS return to work provisions so that if a SURS-covered employer employs a SURS annuitant under certain conditions, the SURS-covered employer is to a pay a penalty to SURS.

Status: Passed House on May 30, 2013 with vote of 60-55-2, failed to pass the Senate with a vote of
21-33-5.




SB 2404 (as amended by Senate Amendment #2) – Comprehensive Pension Reform for the 4 of the 5 State Retirements – SURS included 


Sponsor – Senate President Cullerton (D)

Tier 1 Election

Dependent upon whether a member retired before January 1, 2013, members will be required to make an election among the following choices. Elections must be made by May 31, 2014, with the benefit changes taking effect on July 1, 2014.


Tier I Non-Retired Participants (those who retire on or after January 1, 2013):

Choice A

Those electing Choice A, automatic annual increases shall be equal to the 3% of the originally granted annuity. This will be a non-compounding annual increase (calculated with simple interest). Such individuals electing such choice would also not receive annual increases in the first 2 years following retirement. After such delay, those individuals shall receive annual increases moving forward.

Such members electing Choice A shall remain eligible for access to his or her public retirement healthcare plan. Also, all future increases in earnings shall be included in the calculation of his or her future retirement benefit. Finally, only those who elect this choice shall be eligible to participate in the Optional Cash Balance Plan as described in this summary.

Choice B

Those electing Choice B shall receive annual increases equal to the current rate for Tier 1 members, but shall lose access to his or her public retirement healthcare plan. Also, all future increases in earnings shall not be included in the calculation of his or her future retirement benefit. This is also the default choice for those that fail to make an election before the deadline.

Choice C

Tier 1 active participants electing Choice C shall receive annual increases equal to the current rate for  Tier 1 members, but would not receive annual increases in the first 3 years following retirement. Such members electing this Choice will be required to contribute an additional 2% in employee contributions phased in over 2 years beginning in FY 14. The 2% in additional employee contributions will NOT count for money purchase formula purposes.


Election for Tier I Retirees (those who retire before January 1, 2013)

Choice A

Those that elect this choice are subject to a 2 year delay in receiving an automatic annual increase.

For example, a retiree would not receive the scheduled increase for January 1, 2015. However, he or she would receive the increase payable beginning on January 1, 2016 but the increase scheduled for January 1, 2017 would be suspended. Finally, beginning on January 1, 2018, such individuals shall no longer subject to suspension to their automatic annual increases. For those that have not yet retired, then such staggered delays don’t start until the year that follows the first year in which that retiree has received his or her first annual increase. Retirees making this election shall retain access to his or her public retirement healthcare plan.
 
Choice B

Reject Choice A, but lose access to his or her public retirement healthcare plan. This is also the default choice for those that fail to make an election before the deadline.

Funding Enforcement

If the State fails to contribute required contributions within 90 days of SURS submitting a voucher for payment, SURS shall have the right to commence a mandamus action in the Illinois Supreme Court to compel the Comptroller to satisfy the voucher.

Pension Stabilization Fund

SB 2404 revitalizes the Pension Stabilization Fund. The now unused fund begins receiving approximately $1.1 billion annually in FY 2020. GRF transfers into the Fund will continue until each of the state retirement systems are funded at their targeted funding ratio. Contributions from the fund to the systems are in addition to required contributions, however the systems to not have to include contributions from the fund for the purposes of projecting current and future contributions until the systems receive payment from the fund.

Prohibition of Non-Public Employers

Employers that are not defined as an employer under the SURS articles shall be excluded from enrolling new employees in SURS. Those employees of such employers that are already SURS participants shall remain participants. SURS is given the authority to determine whether or not a person is an employee.

SURS members shall not be eligible to receive service credit for a leave of absence for service with a teacher organization if that leave of absence begins on or after the effective date.

CIP Reform

The College Insurance Program (CIP) is reformed to increase employer costs, active employee costs, and recipient costs. Employees of community colleges who are members of SURS are currently eligible to participate in CIP upon vesting with SURS.

Beginning July 1, 2013, employers and active employees shall contribute .93% of salary (currently .5% of salary) to CIP.

CIP recipient costs shall be an amount equal to the difference between the projected costs of health benefits under the program and projected contributions from community college districts, active contributors, and other income of the program. Other income of the program excludes contributions made by the State to retire unpaid claims of the program.

Under current law CIP recipients currently receive up to 75% of the total insurance rate in subsidized
premiums.

City Colleges are given the opportunity to voluntarily participate in CIP.

Cash Balance Plan

Tier 1 employees that select option 1, shall be eligible to participate in the notional cash balance plan. The cash balance plan is a notional account credited with employee contributions that will be annually adjusted by an interest credit. Annuities are determined at retirement and the level of annuity is dependent on the notional account balance and other variables, such as the member’s age at retirement and their life
expectancy.

Employee Contributions
  • Members, including Tier 1 employees who elect Option 1, may elect to make additional contributions into an optional Cash Balance Plan at 2.0% of pay.

Employer contributions
  • There shall be no employer contributions

Investment Credit

A complex formula is used determine the investment credit that will annually be determined to credit the cash balance accounts. The credit shall be an amount no less than the assumed treasury rate (the annual 30 year yield of treasury bonds in no event less than 4%). If SURS’ 5 year investment returns and the SURS 1 year return is in excess of the assumed treasury rate, the percentage difference between the System’s 1 year return and the assumed rate of return shall be multiplied by .67% to determine a percentage to be added to the assumed treasury rate and applied as an interest credit. In no event shall a cash balance account interest credit be in excess of 4%.

Retirement Annuity
 

A cash balance plan member may begin collecting an annuity at age 59 ½. The annuity shall be calculated based on the balance in the notional cash balance account as well as other relevant actuarial assumptions. Cash balance plan annuities are life annuities.

Survivor’s annuity

When a cash balance plan member retires, they may elect to reduce their retirement annuity to provide for a survivor’s annuity. The reduction shall be actuarially determined, and the member can elect to provide a survivor’s annuity equal to 50%, 75%, or 100% of the retirement annuity.

If a cash balance plan member who has not yet retired dies with more than 5 years of service, the eligible survivor shall be entitled to an annuity beginning at age 59 ½ that is based upon the members cash balance account at the time of death. The survivor of a cash balance plan member who dies with less than 5 years of service shall be entitled to a refund of employee contributions without interest.

Automatic Annual Increase in Retirement Survivor’s Annuities
 

Retirement and survivor’s annuities shall be subject to a non-compounded annual automatic increase of 3% that will begin on the January 1 occurring on or after the first anniversary of the annuity start date.

Tier 2 Taskforce

SB 2404 establishes a taskforce to review the Tier 2 retirement plan to determine that plan’s effectiveness to provide adequate retirement and whether or not the Tier 2 meets federal compliance.

Status: Passed the Senate on May 9, 2013 with a vote of 40-16-0
 



SB 2591 – Comprehensive Pension Reform to State Universities Retirement System only


Sponsor – Senator Hastings

SB 2591 reflects the pension reform proposal produced by the Institute of Government Public Affairs and endorsed by the university presidents. Such reforms are only applied to the State Universities Retirement System

Automatic annual increases

SB 2591 reforms automatic annual increases provided to Tier 1 participants and Tier 1 retirees. Moving forward, such members shall receive an annual increase to his or her retirement annuity that is equal to ½ the increase in the consumer price index-u with compounding interest.

Automatic annual increase received prior to the effective date are protected and not diminished

Tier 1 active employee contributions
 

SB 2591 requires Tier 1 active employees to increase their contributions by 0.5% of pay over the next 4 years so that such active members will eventually be contributing an additional 2.0% of pay towards their retirement plan.

The employee contribution increases are exempt from Money Purchase Plan calculations.

Effective rate of interest

The amendment provides that in future fiscal years, the “effective rate of interest” (“ERI”) shall be an
amount equal to the rate of 30 year US treasury bonds plus 75 basis points. This effective rate of interest shall apply prospectively towards crediting interest to money purchase plan accounts, portable plan lump sum payouts, portable plan refunds, purchases of service credit, etc.

State Funding

The State shall make payments to finance its portion of liabilities so that it has funded 100% of its portion of liabilities by 2044. Upon amortizing 100% of its portion of liabilities, the State shall no longer be liable for any payments to the State retirement systems.

Beginning July 1, 2013, the State shall be contractually obligated to contribute to the System in each State fiscal year an amount not less than the sum of the State's certified contribution. The obligations are contractual obligations protected and enforceable under Article I, Section 16 and Article XIII, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the State fails to pay in a State fiscal year the amount
guaranteed under this subsection, the System may bring a mandamus action in the circuit court of
Champaign or Sangamon County to compel the State to make that payment, irrespective of other remedies that may be available to the System. In ordering the State to make the required payment, the court may order a reasonable payment schedule to enable the State to make the required payment without significantly imperiling the public health, safety, or welfare.

Any payments required to be made by the State pursuant to this guarantee are expressly subordinated to the payment of the principal, interest, and premium, if any, on any bonded debt obligation of the State or any other State-created entity, either currently outstanding or to be issued, for which the source of repayment or security thereon is derived directly or indirectly from tax revenues collected by the State or any other State-created entity.

Tier 3 Retirement Plan
 

A Tier 3 retirement plan is created for employees who first become participants on or after January 1, 2014. Tier 2 participants are allowed to opt into the plan by making an irrevocable election to participate on or before June 1, 2014.

The Tier 3 plan is a stacked hybrid plan, meaning that participants concurrently participate in a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan. It should also be mentioned that Tier 3 participants are
prohibited from participating in the self-managed plan or portable plan.

Defined Benefit

The defined benefit plan of the Tier 3 package is very similar to the Tier 2 benefit but with the following alterations:
• Benefit multiplier is reduced from 2.2% to 1.5% for each year of service.
• Tier 3 participants receive automatic annual increases equal to ½ the increase in the consumer price index-u with compounding interest, rather than simple interest.
• Tier 3 participants are subject to a pensionable salary cap equal to the federal social security wage
base rather than the Tier 2 earnings cap, which increases annually at a more modest rate than the
social security wage base.

Defined Contribution Plan for Tier 3 participants
 

Employers shall contribute a minimum 1% of earnings on behalf of their employees participating in the Tier 3 plan. An employer may choose to contribute a higher rate on behalf of their employees participating in the Tier 3 plan.

Employee Contributions

Employees shall contribute 5.35% of earnings to fund the defined benefit plan, and 2.65% of earnings to fund the defined contribution plan.
Employees may make additional contributions to the defined contribution plan.

Vesting

A participant has a vested right to its employee contributions upon becoming a participant. A participant shall vest employer contributions as follows:
• 20% after accruing 2 years of service credit;
• 40% after accruing 3 years of service credit;
• 60% after accruing 4 years of service credit;
• 80% after accruing 5 years of service credit; and
• 100% after accruing 6 years of service credit.

Status: Assigned to Senate Assignments


HB 206 – Fiscal Year 2014 State Contribution to SURS

HB 206 appropriates $1,509,766,000 to SURS, which represents the fiscal year 2014 certified state
contribution to SURS.

Status: Passed the House on May 28, 2013, passed the Senate on May 30, 2013

Title: SB 1 (as amended by House Amendment #1)– Comprehensive Pension Reform
Date: June 26, 2013
Source: State Universities Retirement System






Thursday, May 30, 2013

SUAA Mini Briefing


 http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-g8LjH78OyfA/T7LMU6HZEFI/AAAAAAAAAZc/ZTrvIVC0O_E/s320/SUAA+Logo.jpg
Sitting in the Senate or House Gallery always provides a view of lawmaking that most of you cannot imagine. During these final days of session, passing legislation is sometimes done a bit differently than nearly everyone realizes. This Mini Briefing provides information as to where legislation is at this moment - in real time. However, the latest action of the following bills might have changed before this email is even read by you.

SB 1 - House Speaker Madigan's pension reform sits in the Senate on order of Concurrence.

SB 1515 - passed both Houses; Specifies that the procurement of the program of group health benefits for Medicare-primary members and their Medicare-primary dependents by the Department of Central Management Services is subject to the approval of the applicable Chief Procurement Officer.

This basically allows the CMS Chief Procurement Officer to by-pass the Commission of Government Forecasting and Accountability when securing bids for the State sponsored proposed Medicare health insurance.

SB 1687 - Cost shifting is still waiting on the final language, but is on Second Reading in the House as a Floor Amendment. Previously it was SURS return to work bill; however, it was shelled this past Sunday night.

SB 2404 - Senate President Cullerton's pension reform bill sits in the House Rules Committee.

Now possibly making their way through the Senate are the three Madigan bills. These bills along with Cost Shifting could be the pension deal for now:

HB 1154 - provides that pensionable earnings shall not exceed the Social Security Wage Base (wage base is $113,100 for FY 13). Tier 1 participants that are receiving earnings exceeding the social security wage base as of the effective date are grandfathered and will be limited to their annual earnings rate on the effective date. Participants subject to a collective bargaining agreement or employment contract shall be exempt from this limitation until the expiration of the existing agreement or contract. No calculation of benefit shall include earnings in excess of this limitation.

HB 1165 - reforms automatic annual increases provided to Tier 1 participants and Tier 1 retirees. Members receiving an annuity of less than $25,000 a year shall continue to receive a 3% compounded automatic annual increase, members receiving an annuity of $25,000 or more shall receive an automatic annual increase of $750. Members shall not be eligible for an automatic annual increase until the January 1st following attainment of age 67 or the January 1st following the 5th anniversary of the annuity start date. Automatic annual increase received prior to the effective date are protected and not diminished.

HB 1166 - reforms Tier 1 participants’ normal retirement age. The following adjustments apply to Tier 1 participants retiring after July 1, 2013:

·         Members age 45 or older on the effective date shall not be subject to any delay in retirement eligibility;
·         Members age 40-45 on the effective date shall be subject to a 1 year delay in retirement eligibility;
·         Members age 35-40 on the effective date shall be subject to a 3 year delay in retirement eligibility; and
·         Members younger than age 35 on the effective date shall be subject to a 5 year delay in retirement eligibility.

Appropriations are moving smoothly except for the Republicans acknowledging that they have been mostly left out of discussions especially in those that refer to Higher Education. $35 M from the Higher Education budget was given to Elementary and Secondary Education. Accordingly it was because the State supported universities have the opportunity to raise tuition and fees. The reduction seems to leave all those participating in the decision satisfied and the higher education appropriation flat-lined (same as last year). Detailed information is in HB 208 Amendment 1.

For those of you who are wanting more information check out FY 2014 Group Health Insurance Report (click on title).

May 31st is the deadline to make health insurance changes to CMS.

Title: SUAA Mini Briefing
Source: State University Annuities Association
Date: May 29, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Senate Bill 1 House Amendment 1 Passes the House


Senate Bill 1 House Amendment 1
passes the House with 62 Yeas and 51 Nays and 2 Present

Please keep this information for a reference going forward!


First and most importantly the above referenced bill now needs to go back to the Senate floor for passage; under concurrence. It will need 30 YEA votes for concurrence or passage.  Most likely the votes to pass are already counted in the Senate.  Look for SB 1 to be on the Senate Calendar upon the Senate's return to Springfield on Monday.


Secondly the bill does affect both those currently working and retired.  The pension systems included are State Universities Retirement System (SURS), State Employees Retirement System (SERS), Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and General Assembly Retirement System (GARS).  The Judges Retirement System is not included.

Thirdly, the Senate did not vote Thursday, May 2nd; only the House.

Fourth important notation is that the bill has an immediate effective date if passed in the Senate.  The legislature will have 30 days after passage to send the bill to the Governor.  The Governor then has up to 60 days to sign the bill for Enactment. 

Fifth detail is Tier I is defined as those who were hired on or before December 31, 2010.  Tier II is defined as those who were hired on or after January 1, 2011.

The Senate will return on Monday, May 6th; the House will return on Tuesday, May 7th.

Please find out who your Senator is for purpose of contacting them in reference to Senate
Bill 1.  The vote could be taken quite early this next week.

All information will be posted on the SUAA website.  We ask that you refer to the website often.  Past Mini Briefings, news articles, alerts, and other items of interest are always available. 

The possible changes to Tier I currently employed and retirees are divided starting on the next page.  It is important that you become knowledgeable about your current benefits and how the proposed changes could affect you.  Only benefit changes are addressed in this issue of the Mini Briefing.   

There are no changes to Tier II employees.

For retirees the Automatic Annual Increase (AAI) - (previously referred to as a COLA) - will be 3% of the number of years worked known as service credits multiplied by $1,000 (for SERS retirees use $800).  The matrix below is an example of how the AAI (COLA) will be administered going forward.  Thank you to the House Republican's Blog for providing the following information.
AAI Examples with the Same Starting Annuity but Varying Years of Service
Years of Service
10
15
20
25
30
Year 1 Annuity
$50,000
$50,000
$50,000
$50,000
$50,000
3% AAI Based On
(Years of Service x $1,000)
$10,000
$15,000
$20,000
$25,000
$30,000
Annual AAI Increase
$300
$450
$600
$750
$900
Year 2 Annuity
$50,300
$50,450
$50,600
$50,750
$50,900
Year 3 Annuity
$50,600
$50,900
$51,200
$51,500
$51,800

The AAI is not compounded.  The determined fixed amount will be the same every year going forward.  All  AAI increases received prior to the effective date are protected and not diminished.
This change is for all Tier I retirees; there are no Tier II retirees at this time. 

Pension system members shall not be eligible for an AAI until the January 1st following attainment of age 67 or the January 1st following the 5th anniversary of the annuity start date.

An example would be someone who retired at age 55 and is now 57.  The retiree would have to wait until age 60 to receive an Automatic Annual Increase because this person is under the required five years of retirement and not age 67.

Currently employed would be affected in the following ways:
Pensionable earnings of a Tier 1 participant are capped at the applicable Social Security Wage Base  - however the legislation reads $109,971 which is the Tier II salary cap, not the current Social Security Wage Base of $113,700.

Participants currently receiving salary in excess of the Social Security Wage Base shall have their pensionable earnings limited to their salary received 365 days prior to the effective date.

Tier I participants' normal retirement age is changed for those retiring after July 1, 2013:
  • Members age 45 or older on the effective date shall not be subject to any delay in retirement eligibility;
  • Members age 40-45 on the effective date shall be subject to a 1 year delay in retirement eligibility;
  • Members age 35-40 on the effective date shall be subject to a 3 year delay in retirement eligibility; and
  • Members younger than age 35 on the effective date shall be subject to a 5 year delay in retirement eligibility.

Tier 1 employees will be required to contribute an additional 1% of payroll in Fiscal Year 2014, plus and additional 1% in Fiscal Year 2015.  This is a total of 2% of over a two year period.

The employee contribution increases are exempt from Money Purchase Plan calculations.

SB 1 requires the Comptroller to determine all effective rates of interest (ERI); currently the Comptroller only determines the effective rate of interest as it applies to Money Purchase Formula calculations.

The bill directs the Comptroller to provide special consideration to the rates of return achieved by long term U.S. Treasury Bonds.

The change is an attempt to influence the Comptroller into lowering the effective rate of interest to devalue the Money Purchase Formula.  The rate is currently set by the SURS Board of Trustees.

SB 1 grandfathers in those employees of non-public employers.  New employees will be excluded from enrolling in SURS.

SB 1 prohibits bargaining units and employers with participants in the State systems from negotiating changes related to pensions.
_____________________________________________
At this time there are Benefit Fairs being held around the State to address the changes in the health insurance. Eastern Illinois University, Illinois State University and Southern Illinois University have already held their Fairs. 

  • May 6, Western Illinois University, Union Building - Grand Ballroom from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • May 10, SIU-Edwardsville, Morris University Center from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • May 14, UIUC, Illini Union Building, 1401 West Green Street, Rooms A - C from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • May 15, Governor State University, Hall of Governors, 1 University Park, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • May 16, UI College of Medicine, 1 Illini Drive, Peoria, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • May 21, NEIU - Chicago, Alumni Hall, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave. from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Changes to Medicare are not scheduled to take effect until January 1, 2014.  Enrollment is not scheduled until the month of October 2013.  This will be addressed in the next edition of the Mini Briefing.

Title: SUAA Mini Briefing
Date:May 3, 2013
Source: State Universities Annuities Association