SURS Board Adopts New ‘Money Purchase’ Interpretation
By Jeff Bossert
The board of the State Universities Retirement System has voted to accept a new interpretation of last year's pension reform law. The vote at Thursday's meeting in Chicago should prevent thousands of employees from losing portions of their pension benefits.
SURS Spokeswoman Beth Spencer said the board's executive committee voted unanimously to follow other state pension systems and accept the interpretation of the ‘money purchase’ provision of the 2013 law.
The State Universities Retirement System and Illinois' public universities had recently argued that language mistakenly written into the law would sharply reduce many university employees' pensions.
SURS' intial interpretation of the 'money purchase formula' provision in the pension law meant that thousands of university workers would lose year's worth of retirement benefits, and schools said the glitch would provide an incentive retire before July 1st.
Since the law takes effect June 1st, SURS understood that to mean retirement funds from last June 30th through the current fiscal year would be lost.