State Universities Retirement System | University of Illinois Archives

Name: State Universities Retirement System

Historical Note:

Enacted December 13, 1924 the first retirement system was "The Retiring Allowance and Death Benefits Act."1 On September 1, 1941 House Bill 701 created the University Retirement System of Illinois.2 This in turn was repealed by an act approved March 18, 1963;3 resulting in a new system, the State Universities Retirement System (SURS).4 It covers faculty and non-academic employees of the State Universities and Colleges, the Class I Community Colleges, the State Scientific Surveys and other related agencies.5 Certain modifications of the 1941 system remain a part of SURS: contributions are payable from appropriations made to employers;6 summer school earnings were included after June 1, 1943;7 employer contributions were increased from 3 1/2% to 5% by House Bill 4008 (in 1979 this was 12.66%9 while employees are paying in 8% currently10); and, reciprocity between State, University, and Teachers Retirement funds was maintained.11 New provisions have been: Sec 15-106 of the Illinois Pension Code, approved March 18, 1963, as amended created the staff annuity program;12 in 1967 the salary annuity option was extended to persons under the Federal Employees Retirement System plus those who were employed after age 58.13 In 1977 the policy on reemployment of retirees limiting the sum of pension plus earnings to 100% was adopted.14 In 1941 the headquarters was established at the University of Illinois in rented quarters.15 In 1969 the University donated land for a building which was completed in 1972.16 The administrative board has had different configurations during the existence of SURS. In 1977, it was made up of two members of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, one trustee from Southern Illinois University, the Director of the Department of Registration and Education, one member each of the State Junior College Board, the Board of Governors of the State Colleges and Universities and the State Board of Regents, and a SURS participant chosen by the governor.17

1. Board of Trustees Transactions, 41st Report, August 5, 1941, p. 414.

2. Ibid., p. 413-14.

3. Chronological Laws of the State of Illinois, March 18, 1963, p. 161.

4. Illinois Statutes, Chap 108 1/2, Sec 15-101, 1963.

5. "Your Retirement System: General Provisions," State Universities Retirement System, 1979, p. 1.

6. Board of Trustees Transactions, 41st Report, March 10, 1942, p. 817.

7. Ibid., 42nd Report, July 25, 1942, p. 20.

8. Ibid., 45th Report, July 28, 1949, p. 529.

9. "Your Retirement System: General Provisions," p. 3.

10. Ibid., p. 2.

11. Board of Trustees Transactions, 45th Report, July 28, 1949, p. 529.

12. Ibid., 52nd Report, May 20, 1964, p. 1212.

13. Ibid., 54th Report, January 12, 1967, p. 316.

14. Ibid., 59th Report, February 16, 1977, pp. 211-12.

15. Board of Trustees Transactions, 41st Report, August 5, 1941, pp. 415-16.

16. Ibid., 55th Report, January 21, 1970, p. 766; Bill Jackson of State Universities Retirement System telephone call of February 4, 1980.

17. Board of Trustees Transactions, 41st Report, July 15, 1941, p. 387; 59th Report, November 18, 1977, p. 467; "Your Retirement System," State Universities Retirement System Bulletin no. 1, September 1967, p. 3.

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