Administrative Services

Voluntary Retirement Program

As announced on October 26, 2018, Western Illinois University is implementing a voluntary program for qualified faculty and staff who are retirement-eligible according to the State Universities Retirement System (SURS). Eligible employees who voluntarily elect to retire effective January 1, 2019 (last day of employment is December 31, 2018) will receive a one-time lump sum payment equal to 25 percent of the employee's annual base salary as of December 1, 2018.

Applications for the program will be accepted through December 20, 2018. This is a limited time program based on the availability of funds. Applications will be considered in the order that they are received.

I am interested in learning more about my retirement eligibility. Where should I start?

Please contact the Benefits Office at 309-298-1971 ext. 3.

Will this lump sum payment be counted by SURS toward my highest annual earnings?

No.

How many applications will you be accepting?

Applications will be accepted during the consideration period ending December 20, 2018. Applications will be considered for approval in the order in which they are received.

Am I eligible to apply if I have already committed to retirement?

Yes; however, you will need to complete the application form and waiver and release form.

If I’m not selected, how will I be notified?

You will be notified in writing.

Will I be able to rescind my retirement?

After the employee signs and submits this Agreement, the employee has 7 calendar days in which Employee can change his/her mind and revoke this Agreement.

How will I know if my application has been approved?

You will be notified in writing.

When will I get my final earnings payment, benefit payout, and lump sum payment?

You will receive your payments within 65 days of the effective date of your separation (December 31, 2018).

How will my 25% lump sum payment be calculated?

This will be based on the following criteria of your regular contract as of December 1, 2018, excluding payments for assignments and income outside of your regular appointment.

  • % of appointment
  • Full-time equivalent (FTE) monthly salary
  • Length of appointment

Below are examples:

  1. You are an employee that was promoted on November 1, 2018. Your previous monthly FTE was $2500 and your new monthly FTE is $3500. Your new position is a 75%, 12-month position (even though there are only 8 months remaining this fiscal year). Your incentive would be calculated as follows:
    $3500 * .75 * 12 * .25 = $7,875

  2. You are a faculty member with a regular 9-month, 100% appointment and a monthly FTE of $6875. You also receive supplemental payments each summer for duties that fall outside of your regular faculty appointment, such as for serving as a director of a center. Your incentive would be calculated as follows:
    $6875* 1.0 * 9 * .25 = $15,468.75

I am a 9-month faculty member, but I always teach courses in the summer. Will the summer contracts be considered within the 25% lump sum calculation?

No - any assignment that falls outside of your regular appointment will not considered.

Is it possible to tax-shelter my lump sum payment in a 403(b) or 457 plan?

Please consult with a financial professional, tax attorney/professional for more information.

Can I delay receipt of the voluntary separation/retirement lump sum payment until the next tax year?

Funds will be attributed to the tax year in which they are received.

Will my benefits continue (health care, dental, etc.)?

Please contact the Benefits Office to discuss your particular situation.

Does this application serve as a notification to SURS of my retirement as well?

The Voluntary Retirement Program is unrelated to SURS; therefore, you will need to follow the same procedures required of any individual seeking to retire. This application for the retirement incentive is in addition to any paperwork and notice that must be completed for retirement based on your classification.

What if I submit my application for retirement and the application for the Voluntary Retirement Program, then decide to revoke my retirement?

You may revoke your membership in the program within 7 days of signing the application and waiver. If you decide to revoke this Agreement after signing and returning it, you must give Benefits a written statement of revocation or send it to Benefits by fax, electronic mail, or registered mail. If you do not revoke during the seven-day revocation period, this Agreement will take effect on the eighth (8th) day after the date you the sign the Agreement.

I do not turn 55 years of age until next year. May I still participate in the program?

You must be retirement eligible according to standards set by SURS. If you are not yet 55 years of age, you must have at least 30 years of service to be considered retirement eligible. Please contact the Benefits Office to receive guidance if you have additional questions.