Illinois Retirement U

When pension systems are significantly underfunded, like in Illinois, public workers' retirement benefits suffer. This free course was designed by public retirement experts and public workers to help you understand how your Illinois retirement benefits work and how you may be affected by the challenges facing the pension system.

This course will take between 3-5 hours to complete. Enroll now so you can track your progress and come back as your time allows.

What You'll Learn

  • How your Illinois retirement benefits work and what you can expect in retirement

  • How Illinois' pension funding challenges impact your retirement benefits

  • How pension policy changes can impact the value of your retirement benefits and quality of life in retirement

Course Curriculum

    1. Welcome to Illinois Retirement U!

    2. Key Terms from Illinois Retirement U

    3. What Is Retirement Security?

    4. What Is an Adequacy Threshold?

    5. How Social Security Fits Into Retirement

    6. Not All Public Employees in Illinois Will Collect Social Security

    7. The Road to Retirement Security

    8. Most Public Employees Have a Pension, but Some Do Not

    9. Is a Pension My Only Option?

    10. What Retirement Plan Do I Have?

    11. Chapter 1 Recap

    12. Chapter 1 Key Terms

    1. Does My Plan Set Me Up for a Secure Retirement?

    2. Pension Positives

    3. Most Benefits Accrue Near the End of a Career, Not Evenly Over Time

    4. Most Public Employees in Illinois Will Not Earn a Full Pension

    5. Public Employees Must Meet the Vesting Period

    6. What Is the Vesting Period For My Plan?

    7. Most Public Employees Won’t Earn As Large of a Pension As They Might Think

    8. Pensions Don’t Transfer Across State Lines

    9. Chapter 2 Recap

    10. Chapter 2 Key Terms

    1. Guaranteed Income Plans

    2. How Is My Pension Benefit Calculated?

    3. What Is the Benefit Formula for Your Plan?

    4. Who Contributes to My Pension?

    5. How Illinois Funds Pension Plans

    6. More About Normal Cost

    7. Assumed Rate of Return

    8. What Is the Assumed Rate of Return for Your Pension Plan?

    9. Myth: The Assumed Rate of Return Determines the Value

    10. Who Is In Charge of Pension Funds?

    11. Chapter 3 Recap

    12. Quiz Yourself (Optional)

    13. Extend Your Knowledge (Optional)

    14. Chapter 3 Key Terms

    1. Funded Status

    2. Unfunded Liabilities

    3. What Is the Unfunded Liability for Your Pension Plan

    4. Funded Ratio

    5. What Is the Funded Ratio of Your Pension Plan?

    6. Myth: It Is Okay for a Pension Plan To Target 80% Funding

    7. Why Targeting Less Than 100% Funding Is Not Good Enough

    8. Amortization Payments

    9. Actuarially Determined Contribution

    10. Illinois Pension Funding Statutes

    11. Are Public Employees Paying for Unfunded Liabilities?

    12. What Is the Actuarially Determined Contribution for Your Plan?

    13. Chapter 4 Recap

    14. Quiz Yourself (Optional)

    15. Chapter 4 Key Terms

    1. Will the Government Pay the Bill?

    2. Myth: Pension Funds Don't Need to Contribute the Full ADC

    3. What Percentage of the Pension Bill Is Illinois Paying?

    4. Employer Contributions Are Growing

    5. Myth: Governments “Raid” Pensions, Taking Money Out of Funds To Pay for Other Priorities

    6. If a Pension Plan Is Closed to New Members Will It Run Out of Money?

    7. Chapter 5 Recap

    8. Chapter 5 Key Terms

    1. The Cost of Fully Funding Benefits Is Growing

    2. Why States Don’t Always Pay Their Bills

    3. Many Pension Funds Have More Retirees Than Active Members

    4. Myth: Pension Funds Can Use Historic Investment Performances To Predict the Future

    5. Investment Strategies and Risk

    6. Underperforming Investments

    7. Investment Losses

    8. Recent Investment Return Trends

    9. Myth: Pension Funds Can Use Historic Investment Performances To Predict the Future

    10. What Can We Expect of Future Returns?

    11. Chapter 6 Recap

    12. Chapter 6 Key Terms

Illinois Retirement U

  • Free

Start Learning to Secure YOUR Illinois Retirement

Enroll in Illinois Retirement U to understand how your pension works and how challenges facing the state may impact your benefits.