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  • Unemployment fraud, phishing on the rise via text, email, social media

    Following is a general notice and reminder to all University of Illinois System faculty and staff to be aware of an increase in identity theft-related unemployment fraud and phishing schemes.

    The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) issued a press release urging citizens to be on high alert for phishing schemes attempting to impersonate and exploit IDES and unemployment systems across the country. Note: IDES will never send a text message seeking your personal information, such as your social security number or driver’s license number.

  • Reminder: Be Alert for Phishing Attempts

    Be cautious of unexpected messages or emails asking you to urgently log in to a website or service. Please protect your personal information.

  • Introducing University 403(b) Plan Enhancements

    We are pleased to announce important upcoming enhancements to the University 403(b) Plan.

    The University of Illinois System is committed to providing a best in class Supplemental 403(b) Plan to help support your financial wellbeing and to help you prepare for your retirement goals.

  • ConnectYourCare is transitioning to Optum Financial

    ConnectYourCare (CYC), the current vendor for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), is transitioning to Optum Financial over the coming months. During this time, you may see both the CYC and Optum Financial names on program materials.

  • Junteenth Holiday

    I am delighted that President Biden and Governor Pritzker each signed legislation this week declaring Juneteenth a holiday on both the federal and state levels.

  • June 2021 Wellness Connection

    The June 2021 Wellness Connection Newsletter is now available! In this issue: Active Recovery for Better Workouts, Cherry Berry Smoothie, Step Up for PTSD Awareness, The Benefits of the Great Outdoors, and A BIG Thank You to Leana Coffey.

  • State of Illinois Budget Update

    Over the holiday weekend, the Illinois legislature approved a budget for the coming fiscal year that would hold state appropriations at current-year levels for the University of Illinois System. The proposed budget will be sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who is expected to sign it into law.

  • HSHS Medical Group Provider Coverage for FY22

    HSHS Medical Group will continue to serve Aetna HMO, Aetna OAP, Quality Care Health Plan (QCHP) and Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) for FY22.

  • Last Chance: Benefit Choice Ends Tuesday, June 1!

    Benefit Choice ends Tuesday, June 1! This is your final reminder to make your State benefit elections or changes for the upcoming plan year on Elections will be effective July 1, 2021

  • Flexible Spending Re-Enrollment and Reminders

    The end of Benefit Choice is June 1. If you haven’t re-enrolled in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Program for the plan year beginning on July 1, 2021, you have until June 1 to do so at No action is required if you are not re-enrolling in an FSA or making any other Benefit Choice changes!

  • Deadline Approaching: Benefit Choice Ends June 1!

    The last day to make Benefit Choice changes will be here soon! Remember, you only have until June 1 to make your State benefit elections or changes for the upcoming plan year on, including health, dental, life insurance, flexible spending account (MCAP/DCAP) enrollment, and health savings account (HSA) enrollment. Elections will be effective July 1, 2021. For help registering and logging in to MyBenefits, see the MyBenefits FAQs.

  • Benefit Choice: Flex Spending Re-enrollment is not automatic!

    Re-enrollment in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is not automatic! To continue participation, you must re-enroll! For more information, see the FSA Program.

  • Avijit Ghosh named interim executive VP for U of I System

    Avijit Ghosh, vice president/chief financial officer and comptroller for the University of Illinois System since 2018, has been named interim executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs, effective July 15, President Tim Killeen announced today.

  • Salary Program 2021

    I am pleased to announce the authorization of a 2 percent, merit-based salary program for faculty, academic professional and civil service staff across the University of Illinois System, effective August 16, 2021.

  • Benefit Choice: Make Your Choices by June 1

    We’re half way through Benefit Choice at! Remember, you have until June 1 to make your State benefit elections or changes for the upcoming plan year. Elections will be effective July 1, 2021. For help registering and logging in to MyBenefits, see the MyBenefits FAQs.

  • Benefit Choice: Submit Your Documentation

    If you made a Benefit Choice change that requires supporting documentation, please remember to provide your documents by the deadline!

  • CDHP and Health Savings Account Benefit

    Are you considering the Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA) during Benefit Choice this year? The CDHP is a high-deductible health plan as defined by the IRS. CDHP participants may choose any physician or hospital for medical services; however, you receive enhanced benefits, resulting in lower out-of-pocket costs, when receiving services from a CDHP in-network provider. CDHP has a nationwide network of providers through Aetna PPO.

  • COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Available

    Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

  • Expanded Funeral/Bereavement Leave and Parental Leave

    The University of Illinois System is pleased to announce the expansion of funeral/bereavement leave and parental leave for leave benefit-eligible employees. These leave enhancements are effective 8/16/21.

  • Barbara J. Wilson named president of the University of Iowa

    Barbara J. Wilson, a longtime University of Illinois faculty member and administrator who has served as second-in-command of the U of I System since 2016, was unanimously approved as president of the University of Iowa today by the Board of Regents.

  • Benefit Choice Virtual Benefit Fairs

    Do you have questions about changes and plan options available for the FY2022 Benefit Choice period? The State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) Benefit Choice Open Enrollment Fairs will be held online throughout the month of May.

  • FY 2022 Benefit Choice Announcement

    The State Department of Central Management Services (CMS) has announced that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Benefit Choice enrollment period will begin May 1 and end June 1, 2021.

  • Benefit Choice: Save on Taxes with a Flexible Spending Account!

    Have you considered participating in the State of Illinois Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Plan? If you spend $265 or more per year on recurring eligible medical or dependent care expenses, then you may save money by paying for them with an FSA. You can reduce your taxable income when you contribute to this plan.

  • Springfield Clinic Provider Coverage for FY22

    Effective July 1, 2021, Springfield Clinic will no longer have providers available under the HMO Illinois (Physicians Health Association of Illinois (PHAI) Medical Group) or Blue Advantage HMO plans for State of Illinois.

  • Urbana: Faculty and Staff Emergency Fund Drive Spring 2021

    The Emergency Fund needs your help!

  • 2021 Distinguished Employee Leadership and Team Awards

    We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Employee Leadership and Team Awards!

  • Reminder: Academic Vacation Leave Rollover

    Last June, we communicated that all academic employees (faculty, academic professional, and post docs) who are eligible for vacation leave would be allowed to rollover a maximum of 53 (increased from 48) vacation leave days from AY 2019/2020 to be used in AY 2020/2021. Employees who rolled over up to five (5) days of accrued but unused vacation from AY 2019/2020, in addition to the 48 days maximum, must use those extra days by August 15, 2021. The rollover maximum of 48 days will be restored for AY 2021/2022. 

  • Be Alert: IRS warns of impersonation email scam

    The IRS is asking colleges and universities to be aware of an IRS-impersonation scam, which appears to primarily target educational institutions, including students and staff, who have .edu email addresses. We have not yet received any reports of employees receiving these scam emails nor becoming victims. Please be careful and protect your personal information.

  • Health Plan Reminder: Out-of-Network Providers

    You are encouraged to use in-network providers to receive the best value from your health plan. No matter which plan you are enrolled in, receiving health care from an out-of-network provider will significantly increase your out-of-pocket medical costs.

  • Schedule of Approved Holidays for FY22

    The schedule of approved holidays for fiscal year 2022 is below.

  • Gift Days 2021

    We are pleased to announce that additional paid days off will again be provided during the December/January holidays, reflecting just how much we appreciate everything you do – especially in this most stressful and challenging of years.

  • American Rescue Plan Act extends COVID-related leave

    The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was recently signed into law. This Act extends and renews emergency paid sick and family leave provisions, which were originally enacted by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), through September 30, 2021.

  • Are You Retiring or Separating from the University of Illinois System?

    You may be eligible to defer unused vacation and/or compensable sick leave into the University 403(b) or State 457 retirement plans.

  • IRS Offers Tips for Unemployment Fraud

    We alerted you last fall of the widespread identity theft targeting unemployment assistance programs occurring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we want to pass along helpful information from the IRS for employees who experienced identity theft involving unemployment benefits.

  • CMS Webinar Monday 2/22 - Exploring Disparities in Black Heart Health

    A special presentation by CMS and Be Well Illinois is available on Monday, February 22, at 11AM.

  • America Saves Week

    Next week marks America Saves Week, an opportunity to focus on your savings strategy. University of Illinois System approved 403(b) retirement plan investment companies, TIAA and Fidelity Investments, offer tips and resources to help you get into a saving mindset.

  • Phishing Email Alert: SURS Retirement Counseling

    This is a reminder to be cautious of email solicitations requesting personal or financial information.

    SURS has reported that many members have recently received unsolicited and potentially misleading emails offering retirement counseling from companies not affiliated with SURS. While these emails appear to come from SURS, they do not.

  • Know Your Approved Retirement Plan Representatives

    Be wary of callers attempting to discuss financial investments. Only a few representatives from investment companies are approved to discuss retirement planning.

  • Review Your Beneficiaries: State Life Insurance

    Have you designated or reviewed your beneficiaries for your State of Illinois Life Insurance coverage? We recommend that you periodically review your beneficiary designations for your Securian Financial (Minnesota Life) coverage and make a designation if you haven't already!

  • Apply Now for the System Offices Educational Funding Program

    The System Offices Educational Funding Program is now accepting applications! System Office Academic Professional and Civil Service employees who meet the eligibility requirements and are in a degree seeking program may apply. Employees may receive up to $2,500 toward the pursuit of a degree related to their current position. Requests may include multiple years (up to three) for multi-year programs for a total of up to $7,500 per person.

  • Vacation and Sick Leave Changes for Overtime Exempt Civil Service Staff

    We write today to share information related to our vacation and sick leave policies. In 2018, as the University of Illinois System assessed the impact of a change in the State Universities Civil Service System procedures, we identified an opportunity to standardize time reporting, and vacation and sick leave benefits and their usage, for our civil service employees who are exempt from overtime per the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

  • 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Plan - 2021 Universal Availability Notice

    403(b) Supplemental Retirement Plan - 2021 Universal Availability Notice

  • Announcing the 2021 Professional Staff Leadership Academy Cohort

    We are delighted to announce the selected participants for the 2021 Professional Staff Leadership Academy (PSLA), formerly called the Academic Professional Leadership Program (APLP). As a reminder, APLP was redesigned this year to include both academic professional and civil service staff so we changed the name to reflect that.

  • 2021 System Office DELTA Program - Nominations are now being accepted!

    Nominations are now being accepted for the2021 Distinguished Employee Leadership and Team Award (DELTA).

  • IMPORTANT: Flex Spending Clarification on Claims Eligibility Period

    If you enrolled in FSA during the IRS extension from 7/1/2020 – 12/31/2020, your claims are eligible for reimbursement from the date of your FSA enrollment through the end of the plan year.

  • Update on FFCRA COVID-Related Leave Programs

    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law this spring to help protect families and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing access to Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical leave related to caregiving needs as a result of COVID-19.

  • Annual Update to Long Term Disability (LTD) Premiums

    Participants in the University LTD Plan, you may notice a change to your payroll deduction amount. The deduction is calculated annually, and is effective for the period of December 1, 2020 - November 30, 2021.

  • Voluntary Separation and Retirement Programs

    The University of Illinois System must navigate budget challenges resulting from financial impact of the ongoing pandemic. Voluntary programs are available that will provide an incentive opportunity to eligible employees who may wish to retire or resign.

  • Deadline December 31: Submit FSA Claims for FY2020

    Only a few weeks remain to submit your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) claims for the FY2020 plan year! Any remaining claims for services from July 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020, must be submitted by December 31 for reimbursement.

  • Update Your Mailing Address and Consent for Online Tax Forms

    This is a general reminder to all faculty and staff: please review and, if necessary, update your Mailing Address on file with the University of Illinois System for benefits and/or tax purposes.