Presentation examines differences in two-tiered retirement plan system

Sarah Wetmore,  Civic Federation

Larry Curtis, State Universities Retirement System

By Sonya Booth

Under the two-tiered system of retirement plans for state university employees, those hired after Jan. 1, 2011 (Tier II), will receive benefits that are substantially less than the benefits for employees hired before 2011 (Tier I).

Learn more about the Tier II plan, and the latest on the Illinois pension debt crisis, at “Second-class Pensions? Understanding Tier II,” a Feb. 27 presentation sponsored by the UIC chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association.

The brown bag discussion will be held in 302 Student Center East. It begins with registration and coffee at 11:30 a.m., followed by the presentation and a Q & A session, noon to 1 p.m.

Panelists are Larry Curtis, employee services manager for the State Universities Retirement System, and Sarah Wetmore, vice president and research director of the Civic Federation.

The Tier II plan was set by Illinois legislators to help reduce the state’s pension debt, now estimated as more than $130 billion. However, some Tier II pensions could be less than Social Security, a violation of federal law.

“As employees under Tier II begin to retire in the next several years, and its pension disparities compared to Social Security become apparent, expect to see SUAA take this fight to court,” said Brenda Russell, president of UIC SUAA and professor emeritus in the College of Medicine.

All members of the campus community are invited. An RSVP is requested (but not required). Send RSVP and Q & A questions to

UIC SUAA works to protect a strong public pension system and health care for UIC employees and annuitants. Learn more about membership at

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