TRS ERO Sunset Letter Has Been Sent to Eligible Members
As was highlighted in the Summer Issue of the TRS Topics & Report newsletter, and reported here previously, the Early Retirement Option sunset on July 1, 2016. As a result, the payroll contribution for active members was reduced from 9.4 percent to 9.0 percent. Many TRS members (both active and inactive) are now eligible for a refund of the total contributions they paid between 2005 and 2016 to help fund the program. This refund is now available and TRS has sent out letters informing eligible members of the amount of their contribution refund.
As the newsletter article explains, eligible members have three options available to them:
1. Apply for a cash refund that will be mailed to you by check from the State Comptroller. Be aware, if you choose this option, mandatory federal income taxes will be withheld at a rate of 20 percent!
2. Apply for a withdrawal with the intention of "rolling over" the taxable portion of the refund into a non-TRS retirement plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b), or an IRA.
3. Do nothing and leave the ERO contributions with TRS. Members can apply for a refund at a later date, but no interest will accrue if the ERO contributions are left with TRS.
Log in to your TRS account for how much refund you can expect.
Details Regarding School Administrators Renewal Cycles
For Teacher Evaluator Retraining
The state released the following information regarding the process for teacher evaluator* retraining. Information regarding principal evaluator retraining will be forthcoming.
Evaluators who have taken the initial evaluator training (Growth Through Learning Modules or district-developed) must complete retraining "once within the next renewal cycle"(105 ILCS 5/24A-3). The chart below provides a guide for determining when retraining must be completed. Please note that retraining is connected to the renewal cycle of the license (PEL). Retraining will be offered through the Administrator's Academies. Retraining through the Administrator Academy structure will allow for the inclusion of teachers who have successfully completed initial evaluator training, but do not hold an administrator endorsement on their PEL. Two academies are required to meet the retraining requirement.
One will address teacher practice, and the other will address student growth. The academies neither need to be taken in any particular order, nor do they have to be taken together. Districts are reminded that they have the option of developing their own retraining program, districts choosing to do so they must notify the State Board of Education no later than