SB 1300 consolidates the investments of downstate and suburban police and firefighter’s pension funds into the Police Officers’ Public Investment Fund and the Firefighters’ Public Investment Fund, respectively.
As it relates to SURS, SB 1300 makes three changes: it allows Tier II police officers and firefighters to retire at age 60; it requires the governor to designate the SURS chairperson; and it makes a technical change related to the accelerated pension benefit payment option for Tier I and Tier II vested, inactive members.
Retirement Age for Tier II Police Officers and Firefighters
SB 1300 allows a Tier 2 member with at least 20 years of service as a police officer or firefighter to retire at age 60 with an unreduced retirement annuity under the special formula for police officers and firefighters. Currently, a Tier 2 member can retire under the special formula for police officers and firefighters at age 67 with an unreduced retirement annuity or at age 62 with a reduced retirement annuity (whereby his or her retirement annuity is reduced by 0.5% for each full month that his or her age is less than 67). This change provides parity between the retirement ages of Tier 2 members under the alternative retirement formula under the State Employees’ Retirement System and Tier 2 members under the special formula for police officers and firefighters under SURS.
SURS Chairperson Designated by Governor
SB 1300 requires the Governor to designate the SURS Chairperson from among the trustees. Currently, the Chairperson of the Illinois Board of Higher Education automatically serves as the Chairperson of the SURS Board of Trustees.
Technical Change for Accelerated Pension Benefit Payment Option for Vested Inactive Members
SB 1300 establishes that, upon acceptance of an accelerated pension benefit payment under the accelerated pension benefit payment option for Tier 1 and Tier 2 vested, inactive members, all beneficiary designations previously filed with SURS will be canceled. This change ensures that a member who receives an accelerated pension benefit payment as a vested, inactive member will be treated as a new employee upon any subsequent re-participation in SURS.
SB 1300 also makes other changes.
SB1300 takes effect on January 1, 2020.