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Resolution No. 14 - Investigate Social Security Options/Changes

INVESTIGATE SOCIAL SECURITY OPTIONS/CHANGES
Submitted by: University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100

WHEREAS, the State of Illinois does not contribute to Social Security for educators; and

WHEREAS, state employees who are enrolled in the state’s self-managed pension plan do not have a guaranteed retirement income; and

WHEREAS, many of these state employees signed up for the self-managed plan may not have anticipated a life-long career in Illinois and may not have a spouse/partner with guaranteed benefits; and

WHEREAS, many of these state employees who are signed up for the self-managed plan have had life changing/altering events that have significantly changed their career goals and retirement needs; and

WHEREAS, Illinois state law prohibits employees from changing their retirement benefit options once an individual selects a retirement plan; and

WHEREAS, this provision prevents any state employee from changing his/her retirement plans based on changing personal needs; and

WHEREAS, all state employees who receive a pension and have qualified for Social Security benefits through other employment are penalized by Social Security for having earned a pension; and

WHEREAS, federal Social Security is a separate retirement system from the State of Illinois’ pension system; and

WHEREAS, the federal Social Security’s windfall elimination provision and spousal offset provision penalize those who have worked two careers and faithfully paid into each retirement system; and

WHEREAS, these provisions have created significant harm because they impact a person’s retirement security; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) studies the possibility of changing the pension code to potentially permit an employee to change his/her pension decision; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT studies the possibility of adding a provision to the self-managed plan that either guarantees some level of return or a member’s option to enroll in Social Security; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT, working in conjunction with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), studies the legal ramifications due to the economic harm created by the windfall elimination provision and spousal offset provision to those who have both a state pension and qualify for Social Security; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that if the results of these studies demonstrate harm, the IFT will work cooperatively with the AFT to change federal law to alter the windfall elimination provision and spousal offset provision to create fairness and protect retirement security.

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