November 3, 2017

SUAA Rep Addresses APAC, Advocates for Membership

Arlene Norsym, Secretary of SUAA.
ARLENE NORSYM, former Vice President of the University of Illinois Alumni Association and Associate Chancellor for Alumni Relations, and now Secretary of the UIC chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA), spoke at the APAC meeting on May 10 to discuss the work of SUAA and the importance of membership.

THE UIC SUAA chapter consists of approximately 1,600 members. Statewide, SUAA has a membership of more than 15,000, representing more than 200,000 individuals.

NORSYM EXPLAINED that SUAA monitors and advocates for legislation that affects pension, health insurance, and other employee and retirement benefits for State Universities Retirement System (SURS) participants. It also supports legislation that would revise the rules for Tier II employees, those hired after Jan. 1, 2011, to provide a more equitable set of benefits as related to final salary period, retirement income automatic annual increase (AAI), and early retirement reduction.

SHE NOTED that it was SUAA attorneys who won recent legal battles over the State trying to make retirees pay for their health insurance and over pension cuts. Thanks to SUAA, pension “reform” Public Act 98-0599, which would have cost pensioners part of their pensions, was ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court. SUAA won a lawsuit that preserved the 3% compounded AAI for Tier I employees (those hired before Jan. 1, 2011) and retirees.

NORSYM EXPLAINED that it was SUAA that protected the service credit of furloughed University personnel a few years ago, resulting in the University allowing them to contribute to their pension even for days they had been furloughed.

SUAA PREVENTED a bill from becoming law that would have started abolishing tuition waivers for University personnel, also continues to lobby against repeal of the 50% tuition waiver for dependents of current employees at State universities.

NORSYM ALSO noted that SUAA lobbies against attempts to change the “pension clause” in the Illinois Constitution, which says that pension and retirement benefits “shall not be diminished or impaired.”

SUAA ALSO provides legislative updates to members through mini-briefings.

NORSYM ENCOURAGED employees to join SUAA. Annual membership is $44 per year, which can be paid through payroll deduction or in a lump sum.

FOR MORE information on membership or SUAA, email, call (217) 523-4040, or log on to

No comments:

Post a Comment