Champaign, IL – Following the SURS’ Board of Trustees meeting on March 11, Chairperson John Atkinson released the following statement regarding Gov. Pritzker’s call for the state pension funds to take all steps within their authority to explore divestment from Russian holdings. 

“Like many of our fellow Americans, SURS’ thoughts are also with the Ukrainian people who are standing up and fighting for their lives and democracy during the Russian invasion. Given this hostile and unwarranted attack, SURS’ trustees directed the SURS’ investment team to take all prudent action to explore options for divestment from all Russian holdings.” 

SURS’ Russian holdings represent less than .1% of the portfolio. SURS released a letter sent to Gov. Pritzker in response to his call to action.  Read the full letter here.

Chairperson Atkinson also issued the following statement in support of Gov. Pritzker’s proposal to fully fund the state pension systems’ certified contributions for fiscal year 2023 and contribute an additional half billion dollars to help alleviate the unfunded liabilities for all five public pension systems.

“The governor’s introduced budget honors the state’s commitment to its pension systems and highlights the value of prepaying pension debt beyond what is required. We encourage the General Assembly to make this additional payment which will have a significant impact on the systems’ unfunded liabilities and provide long-term savings to the state of Illinois.”

The governor’s proposal, if approved by the General Assembly, will be the first time since the 1994 funding plan was implemented that additional state revenues will be provided above the statutorily required certified amounts. These additional contributions will help pay down the state’s pension debt more quickly and will save taxpayers an estimated $1.8 billion by fiscal year 2045.

In Board Business – a commitment of $75 million to the GI Partners Essential Tech + Science (ETS) Fund was approved, subject to successful contract negotiations.