SURS has learned that many of our members recently received a letter from the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) urging them to end their automatic deductions for union dues and/or dues to retirement organizations.

This letter was sent without SURS knowledge or consent. SURS does not support this effort by the IPI or approve of any actions meant to dissuade our annuitants from joining or backing organizations of their choice.

Via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the IPI requested a list of all SURS annuitants who have dues withheld from their monthly benefit checks. SURS released only the information required under Illinois law. SURS did not provide personal identifying member information such as home addresses, phone numbers, personal email addresses or Social Security numbers.

Union dues deductions and deductions for other retirement organizations have always been a voluntary choice for SURS members. Members have the ability to start or stop dues deductions at any time. SURS will never start deductions without a signed deduction authorization form nor will we stop deductions without a member’s signed written consent. Additionally, although SURS processes deduction requests, we do not enroll or accept resignations of union or organizational memberships. The choice to enroll or resign is between the member and the union or retiree organization.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please call SURS at 800-275-7877 or 217-378-8800 in the Central Illinois area.