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Member Account Access will be unavailable Thursday, December 1, 2016 from 2 a.m. until 4:30 a.m.
Early Retirement Option Sunset - UPDATE
Active and inactive TRS members can apply now online for a refund of the payroll contributions they paid between 2005 and 2016 to help fund the ERO. Notification letters are still in the process of being mailed to active members. All ERO Sunset Refund emails have been sent to members with email addresses on file.
In total, 159,000 active members will be contacted and the TRS phone lines are very busy now as a result.
TRS member IDs can be found at the top of the ERO Sunset Refund emails and letters sent from TRS. The member ID is required to initially log in to the secure Member Account Access area to start the refund process.
The ERO sunset does not affect retired TRS members.
2017 Board Election Petitions Online
The election of two teacher trustees and one annuitant trustee to the TRS Board is set by law for Friday, May 1, 2017. To be nominated and placed on the ballot, prospective candidates must collect and deliver to TRS a minimum of 500 eligible signatures as defined by state law. Read more about this and access the petitions.
Preliminary FY 2018 State Contribution to TRS Set
Decades of state underfunding and weakening investment returns led the Teachers’ Retirement System trustees in October to give preliminary approval to a $4.6 billion state government contribution. Please read Director Dick Ingram’s comments on the FY 2018 contribution, read the TRS news release and view a presentation by the TRS actuaries, Segal Consulting, explaining the calculation of the contribution amount.
TRS Reduces Assumed Long-term Investment Rate to 7 Percent
The Teachers’ Retirement System trustees In August reduced the System’s long-range assumed rate of investment return to 7 percent from 7.5 percent, a move that reflects changes in the world economy which have dampened investment results. Please read Director Dick Ingram’s comments on the rate change and view a presentation explaining the rate change from the TRS actuaries, Segal Consulting.
For meeting dates and locations, please see the Member Meeting Schedule.
Retirement Eligibility Rules Unchanged
The sunset of the ERO does not change any TRS retirement eligibility rules.
Tier I members can retire between the ages of 55 and 59 if they have at least 20 years of service, but their initial pensions will be reduced by 6 percent for each year they are under age 60. This automatic reduction does not apply to members under age 60 who have at least 35 years of service.
Pension Buyout Bills Scrutinized
TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram recently presented comments about legislation that would allow retiring TRS members to trade their pensions for a one-time payout. Please read Director Ingram’s testimony to the Illinois House Committee on Personnel and Pensions.
2017 State Contribution for TRS Set at $3.9 Billion
TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram recently testified before legislators on the $3.9 billion state contribution to TRS for fiscal year 2017. Please read Director Ingram’s remarks to the Illinois Senate Appropriations I Committee.
Information for TRS Annuitants
Setting Up an Online Member Account
If you have not yet set up your online member account, please watch this video to learn how: http://trs.illinois.gov/members/videos/acctAccess.htm. Your member ID is required to set up an account. To obtain your member ID, please contact TRS Member Service at (800) 877-7896.
No “Proof of Birth” Requirement for Retired Members
If you are receiving a TRS pension, you do not have to send TRS a copy of your birth certificate or another “proof of birth.” Your pension will continue even if TRS does not have your proof of birth on file. A new TRS policy requires only active and inactive members to submit a “proof of birth” in order to assist in the future administration of benefits. Members receiving a pension are classified as “retired.” Members currently employed in a TRS-covered position are classified as “active.”
TRS Pension Payments Unaffected by State Budget Dispute
The on-going dispute over finalizing the State of Illinois budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 also will not affect the payment of pensions by TRS.
In July of 2015, a Cook County Circuit Court ruled that all TRS pensions and benefits must be paid even if Illinois State Government does not have a comprehensive state budget in place. For more information, please read the TRS Statement.
TRIP Health Insurance Payments Unaffected by State Budget Problems
The State of Illinois will continue to pay its share of health insurance bills for retired TRS members in both the Teachers' Retirement Insurance Program and the Total Retiree Advantage – Illinois (Medicare) program.
Because of on-going financial problems, state government decided in September 2015 to stop paying health insurance bills for 146,000 current and retired state government employees who are members of three self-insured health plans. TRIP and TRAIL insurance plans were not part of this decision.
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