Employment of UI Retirees and Other State Universities Retirement System Annuitants

Policy Highlights

Starting August 1, 2013, there are new limits on re-hiring employees who have retired from the University or hiring someone who is receiving an annuity from the State University's Retirement System (SURS) under Public Act 97-0968 (Return to Work). In response to Public Act 97-0968, the Board of Trustees revised its policy concerning the re-employment of retirees.

On November 19, 2013, Public Act 98-0596 (known as University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations Act), was signed by the Governor and includes an amendment to the Return to Work law. The changes provide relief from some retiree requirements and simplify some administrative aspects. The University's process and procedures have been updated to reflect the changes. Please be aware, however, that the University's policy remains unchanged regarding the rehire of University retirees and other annuitants of the State Universities Retirement System (SURS).

When a SURS annuitant is employed in a position that earns more than 40 percent of his/her highest annual rate of earnings earned prior to retirement, Public Act 97-0968 requires the University to make an additional SURS contribution equal to the retiree's annual annuity. These limits are coordinated when a SURS annuitant works for more than one university or college, and are waived when the position is funded by federal, trust, foundation, or corporate funds, or by a state grant that names a principal investigator.

Important provisions of the Board of Trustees policy are:

  1. Positions in all employee groups are covered – faculty, clinical/research professional, academic professional, status civil service, extra help, and all other temporary, part-time or seasonal positions - although current and future status civil service appointments are exempt from the provisions of the Return to Work Act, campus procedures (i.e. Retiree Rehire Form) for receiving approval to fill the position with a SURS annuitant must still be followed.
  2. All SURS annuitants are covered – employees who retired from the University or from any other employer participating in SURS.
  3. All appointments require prior approval by the appropriate campus or central administrator; approval may be withheld if financial penalties will be incurred, including status Civil Service positions even though they are exempted from the provisions of the Act.
  4. Each employing unit is responsible for all costs, additional SURS contributions, and penalties associated with exceeding the limit on earnings.

Procedures and Processes

To start the hiring process of a SURS annuitant:

  1. The SURS annuitant completes the Statement of Annuity Status and submits it to the hiring unit.
  2. Before an offer is made, the hiring unit completes the Proposal for Re-Employment of a SURS Employer Retiree (Retiree Rehire Form) and submits it to the designated Human Resources office.