December 5, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

As expected, the Illinois General Assembly on Tuesday narrowly passed a legislative overhaul of the state’s public pension systems, including the State Universities Retirement System (SURS), and the governor has promised a speedy signing of the new law.

A summary of the legislation was posted by SURS ( on Wednesday. It is likely to be challenged in court as unconstitutional and the judicial process could result in continued uncertainty about the timing and full impact of the changes.

The changes made to reduce the cost of the pension systems to the state and fully fund them within 30 years falls, to a large extent, on employees and retirees, including those of us at the University of Illinois. We are keenly aware of the negative impact of these changes for all of us in the university community and are committed to maintaining a competitive retirement program. To this end we are exploring potential options including a supplemental retirement plan offered by the University. We expect to be able to provide additional information in time for the Board of Trustees meeting in January.

In the meantime, we urge you to follow information provided by SURS and the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA) (


Robert A. Easter, President, University of Illinois
Phyllis M. Wise, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Paula Allen-Meares, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Susan J. Koch, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Springfield