Tuesday, January 28, 2014

APAC Hosted Event 01/29/2014

APAC and SUAA are hosting "Illinois Pension Reform: How it Impacts You Now and After You Retire" on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 from 11.30 am to 1.00 pm.  Details are below.  

Date: January 29, 2014, Wednesday
Time: 11.30 am to 1.00 pm
Location: Student Center West, Michelle Thompson Room A & B, 828 S. Wolcott
Presenters: Jeff Houch, Legislative Liaison SURS (State Universities Retirement System of Illinois), Brenda Russell, President of the UIC Chapter of SUAA (State Universities Annuitants Association)                        
Panelists will address SURS retirement plan design change details as provided by Senate Bill 1 (Public Act 98-599), and what it means for SURS members (both current employees and retirees), legislative challenges trying to overturn SB1 and retiree health insurance issues.

The presenters will address questions submitted via the registration form. They will also allow time at the end of the presentation to answer the audience's questions. Registration is required, please register as soon as possible.

Registration:  https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/4045729

Monday, January 27, 2014

SUAA Updates 01/27/2014

To All SUAA Members and Readers:
  • Governor Quinn will be making his State of the State Address at NOON on Wednesday, January 29th before the General Assembly.  According to the media his focus will be on his victories (cutting YOUR pension benefits), job creation, raising the minimum wage and the financial challenges that the State is facing.  Check your local TV and radio listings and the General Assembly’s website to hear the speech.
  • For those of you who signed up for the State sponsored Medicare Advantage Health Insurance Plan remember that it goes into effect on Saturday, February 1st.  No changes to those who are currently working.
  • CIGNA’s recent exit of networks, especially in Southern Illinois and other places around the State, sent many clients into a frenzy. CIGNA’s responsibility ended on December 31, 2013.  This departure outwardly had nothing to do with changes to the Medicare eligible retirees health insurance; it actually affected all ages.  Unfortunately, CIGNA and/or CMS neglected to get the message out to those who needed to have this information.  Re-scheduling of medical treatments were of consequence.  Some of you might have gotten stuck with out-of-network costs, therefore, making your personal financial responsibility much higher.
  • Look for SUAA’s Pension Lawsuit to be filed in February.  SUAA is still seeking contributions.  Goal is $500,000. Please send your contributions to SUAA Legal Fund; c/o SUAA; 217 East Monroe Street, Suite 100; Springfield, IL 62701.  All contributions pay for the costs associated with the lawsuit.  Check out the SUAA website for making a credit card contribution.  All contributions are important, regardless of the size. Click Here to make a contribution
  • SUAA will be scheduling Regional Meetings throughout the State to discuss PA 98-0599, the lawsuit and proposed changes to the SUAA constitution and by-laws.  SURS will be assisting with the PA 98-0599 wherever they can. The campus Human Resource departments will schedule seminars for those who are currently working.  I will be providing assistance and be in attendance whenever I can.  The Regional Meetings and the HR Campus Meetings will have different content; both working to meet the needs of the audience. 
  • Watch for a schedule of events!  Check the SUAA website often – www.suaa.org

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pension Reform Law Won't Fix Fiscal Problems

"Illinois has two very serious fiscal problems: 1) a large and growing gap between sustainable revenues and projected spending levels, and 2) the largest-in-the-nation unfunded pension liability. The December 2013 changes to Illinois pension law — should they survive a constitutional challenge — eliminate the unfunded pension liability problem over the next 25 years.

In this Dec. 24 2013 phoGov. PQuinn talks about Illinois’ $100 billipensicrisis other issues (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Unfortunately, the pension law changes do not even come close to solving the structural budget deficit problem.
For the past six years the Fiscal Futures Project at the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs has developed a robust measure of the state’s fiscal problems and a technique for projecting the gap between total revenue and total spending into the future. Our measure is broad-based, takes a long-term perspective, and focuses on sustainable revenue." READ MORE

Title: “Pension reform law won’t fix Illinois’ fiscal woes”
Author: Richard F. Dye
Date Published: January 22, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Illinois Pension Law Under Scrutiny

Gov. Pat Quinn, who is seeking re-election, has declined to say whether he’ll push to keep the state's personal income tax rate. Wall Street and credit agencies are examining the state's fix to the pension law.

"SPRINGFIELD — When Illinois lawmakers narrowly approved major changes to the public employee retirement system last month, supporters touted the measure as saving $160 billion over 30 years.

While that estimate was more than a back-of-the-cocktail-napkin figure, the final version of the pension law is now being scrutinized by several other number crunchers to see if the math adds up." READ MORE

Title: "Illinois pension law under financial scrutiny" 
Author: Ray Long
Source: Chicago Tribune
Date Published: January 06, 2014