Champaign, IL – The State Universities Retirement System (SURS) Board of Trustees on Dec. 8 voted to commit the lesser of $50 million or 10% of total fund commitments to Ember Infrastructure Fund II, subject to successful contract negotiations. Ember Infrastructure invests in infrastructure projects that reduce carbon intensity, increase resource efficiency and enhance climate resilience.

Ember Infrastructure currently administers approximately $12 million in SURS assets through a commitment to Ember Infrastructure Fund I.

SURS currently has a $2.5 billion non-core real assets portfolio.

In other business,

  • Trustees certified the System’s fiscal year 2025 state contribution of $2,212,810,000, an increase of less than 4% from FY 2024.

    Each year, an independent actuary retained by SURS evaluates the System and determines the required state contribution under the formula outlined in Illinois law (40 ILCS 5/15-155). The formula requires the state to make an annual contribution to SURS that will allow it to reach a funded status of 90% by the end of fiscal year 2045. Several actuarial assumptions impact the state contribution including the investment return, mortality rates and salary growth.

    The board is required to certify the final state contribution for fiscal year 2025 by Jan. 15, 2024.
  • The board increased the fiscal year 2025 effective rate of interest to 7.0% from 6.5%. The SURS effective rate of interest is used for the calculation of service credit purchases, refunds of survivor and excess contributions, Traditional and Portable defined benefit plan refunds, and lump-sum Portable plan retirements.
  • Trustee Scott Hendrie was elected treasurer of the board for the remainder of the FY 2024 year automatically making him a member of the SURS Executive Committee.
  • Michael Schlachter, SURS chief investment officer designee was appointed to serve on the Illinois Investment Policy Board.
  • Former SURS Chair John Atkinson was presented with a service plaque in recognition of his outstanding dedication and leadership.  Atkinson served as the board chair of SURS and the Illinois Board of Higher Education for four years. He guided SURS through digital system updates, investment portfolio restructuring, trustee elections, executive searches and the global pandemic. He strongly supported organizational diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, as well as SURS diverse investment manager program promoting opportunities for minority-, women- and persons with a disability-owned (MWDB) investment firms.

    John Lyons was appointed SURS chair by Gov. Pritzker in November.