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

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