The We Are One Illinois coalition has issued a “White Paper” that explains the origins of Illinois’ pension problem and proposes ideas for addressing the issue.

What is IEA’s position on pensions?

  • Any proposed changes must be legal under the Illinois Constitution:
    “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.” – Article XIII, Section 5
  • After meeting the constitutional requirement, any modifications should be fair to our members.
  • Any change must maintain the stability of the state retirement systems.

What do YOU need to know?

  • TRS, SURS, and IMRF are Defined Benefit Plans – Protect them.
  • Defined Benefit plan – your retirement benefit is defined for LIFE (predictability)
  • Defined Contribution plan – (similar to a 401(k) plan) – your retirement benefit is determined by your ability to invest in tumultuous markets! Imagine retiring on a 401(k) in 2009 without social security benefits, as teachers receive none.

Other information/updates on pensions and pension systems:

Illinois Teachers Retirement System (TRS)
TRS is a public pension plan for Illinois public school teachers and administrators.

State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS)
SURS serves a diverse group of employees with occupations ranging from professors and teachers to clerical, building service workers, groundskeepers and provides retirement, survivor, disability, and death benefits to over 212,000 members throughout the world.

Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF)
IMRF has provided employees of local governments and school districts in Illinois (with the exception of the City of Chicago and Cook County) with a sound and efficient system for the payment of retirement, disability, and death benefits.