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FY2023 Pension Funding Boost

Governor Pritzker has signed into law SB2803 (Public Act 102—0696). This bill adds an additional $64.7 million to this fiscal year’s fully funded annual payment of $1.8 billion (for SERS). The last time the State paid more than the statutory minimum contribution into the state employee pension system was back in 1994. Pension Boost Announcement

 

Benefit Choice online fair sessions for the State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) are scheduled for the following dates and times:

​Benefit Choice Open Enrollment Employee (SEGIP) Virtual Seminar #1 (Morning Session)
Tuesday, May 3, 2022  -  10:00 am - 12:00 pm
https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0f928a7835752d6a1b57cc855d90138e

​Benefit Choice Open Enrollment Employee (SEGIP) Virtual Seminar # 2 (Afternoon Session)
Thursday, May 5, 2022  - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e7f3e2856e35f987b0eee3e5ff18ae845

Benefit Choice Open Enrollment Employee (SEGIP) Virtual Seminar #3 (Morning Session)
Thursday, May 12, 2022 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=ea8836c810e94ab7ac5edfece79ffd0f8

Benefit Choice Open Enrollment Employee (SEGIP) Virtual Seminar #4 (Afternoon Session)
Tuesday, May 24, 2022  - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e8db4babfa594c64df81c3a27fa909390

CMS representatives, as well as benefit vendors, available in your area, will be present during the webinars to answer questions.

 

Today, Aprill 22, 2022, RSEA Staff received an update from SERS on the back wage adjustments remaining to be processed. 

SERS is currently processing for folks who retired in July 2017.  There are about 2300 adjustments left to process. 
SERS appreciates your continued patience.

 RSEA Staff

 

Retirees Asked to Update Information on Life Insurance Beneficiaries

 

We understand retirees have received correspondence from Met Life Recordkeeping & Enrollment Services for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Several members have called and are concerned about providing their social security number or other sensitive personal information to them. As CMS previously advised us, the State of Illinois changed the state approved carrier providing Group Term Life Insurance for retirees as of July 1, 2021. Metropolitan Life (or Met Life for short) is the new state carrier for our Group Term Life Insurance benefit,  and they have recently sent these letters to all state retirees. It seeks to provide all of us with the opportunity to confirm or update the information Met Life received from the previous carrier, Minnesota Life, regarding the beneficiary or beneficiaries you wish to designate to receive this important  life insurance benefit the State of Illinois provides you.

 

 If the letter you received is from Met Life Recordkeeping & Enrollment Services, specifies that it is for the State of Illinois and includes the correct customer number of 0029500, we encourage you to take this opportunity to review and update who Met Life has on file as one or more of your beneficiaries. This will help insure that upon your death they (and your representative) can be certain Met Life is properly distributing your life insurance benefits to the person(s) you want. The more personal identifying information you can provide them now regarding your designated beneficiaries, such as full legal name, relationship to you, current address, current phone number, date of birth, and their SSN, the more secure you can be that such benefits will actually be provided to the person(s) you wish upon your death. Without an updated beneficiary designation, Met Life advises that they have to distribute any proceeds for you based on the terms of the insurance certificate.

 

To update your beneficiary information, you can do one of the following:

  1. If you have access to a computer, go to www.metlife.com/stateofillinois and click on the View/Change Beneficiary button—this will take you to the MetLife website and you will be asked to login or register on this site. After you do that, click on the “My Accounts” tab up top, and you will see the Life Insurance card on that page. Click on the blue button “Add or update your beneficiary” and follow the rest of the instructions (items 6 & 7) under “What you need to do” in the letter you received from Met Life.
  2. Fill out the form that was sent to you and mail it back to MetLife.
  3. Call 1-800-880-6394, press option #4, enter your social security number (to confirm its really you), and proceed to update information as the system goes through each item.

 

If you have updated your life insurance beneficiary with MetLife after 7/1/2021 or find that the one you have on file is correct, you do not need to return the beneficiary designation form. Keep in mind, however, it never hurts to double check your beneficiary designation when given the opportunity. While the names may be correct, the contact information may be incomplete or out of date. Hopefully doing so will help prevent your spouse or other heirs from discovering after your death that this information was out of date (due to subsequent births, marriages, divorces and/or deaths) and you meant to change it but never took the time to do it. Take ten minutes now to make certain that everything is correct.

 

 

 

 

Governors State of the State & Budget Adress for FY2023

On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, Governor Pritzker presented a combined State of the State Address AND his $45.4 billion Budget Address from the Old State Capitol. The State of the State address allows the Governor to highlight the good conditions of the state and perhaps suggest areas where improvements should be made. Most Governors use this time to laud the past year’s accomplishments. The Budget address is required by law to be given on a precise date and details the Governor’s spending PROPOSALs for the year.

Today, the Governor’s address had some interesting items that would affect state retirees. The Governor’s proposal would contribute an additional $500 million to the Pension Stabilization Fund for the State pension systems. He said that this would reduce future interest payments by $1.8 billion. He also wants to pay additional money to eliminate nearly $898 million owed for employee health insurance costs. His proposal spends nearly $900 million to the Rainy-Day Fund over FY22 and FY23.

Other items in his proposed budget are tax relief in the form of:
-$360 million by suspending the state’s tax on groceries;
-$135 million by freezing the planned gas increase;
-$475 million for property tax rebates in the form of up to a 5% rebate up to $300 for those homeowners who use property tax deductions on their state taxes.

From here, the General Assembly will begin analyzing his proposals and holding Appropriation committee hearings where many will come to testify. (The Senate has one Appropriation committee and 16 appropriation subcommittees. The House has five Appropriation committees with an additional 4 subcommittees.) Testimony will begin with each agency, who will outline the budget it needs to do its work and fund its various programs. Citizens, lobbyists, and all interested parties are also able to testify at the committee hearings and give input into how much should be spent on what programs.

If the General Assembly likes one of his proposals, agrees it is a priority, includes it in their budget, passes that budget by May 31, 2022, and the Governor approves that proposal in the budget, it will become law. Now comes the weeks/months of negotiations.

To hear the Governor’s speech, go to: Illinois State of the State Speech 2022

To view the proposed budget via a PowerPoint Presentation, go to: FY2023 Budget Book

 
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