I am writing you today to inform you that the process for making up SURS contributions for furlough days has been finalized. A fact sheet describing the process is posted on the SURS website at http://www.surs.com/pdfs/furloughUI.pdf. In addition, a link to the fact sheet is located on the university furlough website at https://hr.uillinois.edu/PolicyCompliance/PolicyLibrary/HRPolicy/Furlough.cfm.
Please note that SURS will not have any furlough information from the University of Illinois prior to May 31, 2010. Therefore, employees wishing to make up contributions for furlough days are encouraged to wait until AFTER May 31, 2010 to contact SURS.
The following process has been outlined by SURS as the method for employees to make up their missed contributions without incurring additional interest charges:
1. By May 31, 2010, the University will report to SURS the furlough days taken by employees as formal leaves of absence. The furlough days will be reported as follows:
§ For employees required to take 4 furlough days, all 4 furlough days will be reported in mass to SURS by May 31, 2010.
§ For employees required to take 10 furlough days, the first 8 furlough days will be reported in mass to SURS by May 31, 2010. The remaining 2 furlough days will be reported in mass to SURS in June 2010.
2. Beginning on June 1, 2010 and continuing through June 30, 2010, a special leave election form will be available online at www.surs.org. If the employee does not have internet access, this form may also be obtained by contacting SURS. This form will allow the employee to inform SURS of their intention to make leave contributions for his or her furlough days. The form will include a section requiring the employee to estimate the amount due to make up the missed contributions due to the furlough days along with instructions on how to submit payment to SURS. This advanced payment method may only be made using after-tax dollars. Employees wishing to make payments using pre-tax dollars cannot use the online form.
3. The employee must submit to SURS the completed election form and corresponding payment no later than June 30th under the special leave election form option described above. Postmark dates on or before June 30th will be accepted.
4. Upon receipt of the completed election form and corresponding payment, SURS will compute the actual cost for the reported furlough days based on the official information supplied by the University.
§ Any resulting overpayments will be refunded to the employee.
§ Employees will be billed for any difference due to underpayment.
Due to the increased volume of payments that SURS may receive due to this process, your patience is requested as they work to compute the actual costs and complete the posting of the payments made.
5. SURS will automatically mail a receipt to the employee confirming the posting of the funds once posting is complete.
Please be advised that the impact of furlough days on SURS benefits varies significantly between employees, based on years of SURS participation, SURS retirement plan eligibility, earnings history, and retirement date.
Maureen M. Parks
Assistant Vice President, University Human Resources