Administrative Services

Voluntary Retirement Program

As announced on June 8, 2020, 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 by August 1, 2020 (last day of employment no later than July 31, 2020) will receive a one-time lump sum payment equal to 25 percent of the employee's annual base salary as of June 1, 2020.

Applications for the program will be accepted through July 30, 2020. 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 and obtaining an incentive application. Where should I start?

Please contact the Office of Human Resources at (309) 298-1971 or via email at HR-Benefits@wiu.edu. All inquiries related to this incentive will be conducted electronically.


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 July 30, 2020. Applications will be considered for approval in the order in which they are received.


As a current employee, am I eligible to apply if I have already committed to retirement prior to July 31, 2020?

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


How will I know if my application has been approved?

You will be notified in writing.


Will I be able to rescind my retirement?

After Employee signs and submits this Agreement, Employee has 7 calendar days in which Employee can change their mind and revoke this Agreement.


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.


How will my 25% lump sum payment be calculated?

This will be based on the following criteria of your regular contract as of June 1, 2020, 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 May 1, 2020. 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?

No. Paid vacation and sick leave, if applicable, can be tax-sheltered but not the lump sum incentive payment.


Can I delay receipt of the voluntary 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 Office of Human Resources 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 a written statement of revocation or send it to Benefits by fax, electronic mail, or registered mail (309-298-2300, HR-Benefits@wiu.edu, or Human Resources, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455). 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 HR-Benefits@wiu.edu to receive guidance if you have additional questions.


As a SURS annuitant who returned to work for the University, am I eligible for this program?

No.


What if I submit my application for retirement and the application for the Voluntary Retirement Program, then am notified the funds have run out. Will I be forced to retire without the incentive?

If you are notified your incentive application will not be accepted as the funds for the program are no longer available, the intention to retire at WIU is canceled, unless you choose to continue with the separation. If you have submitted a retirement application with SURS, you will need to contact SURS immediately to discuss the process for canceling that application at 1.800.275.7877. If you have a previously existing Irrevocable Election to Retire (IER) in place, your separation will revert to those IER terms.