State Retirement System of Illinois

Bruce Rauner, Governor

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   The History of Field Services   

The History of Field Services

During the mid 70's, the SERS Board of Trustees and administration felt a need to expand services to its membership. National surveys indicated that employees did not understand their benefits and were not adequately prepared financially for retirement. Another disturbing fact was that state employees had no central clearinghouse where they could go to find out about their benefits.

In the late 70's, Benefit Seminars were introduced to help members understand the SERS benefits available to them. These meetings were scheduled on a regional basis and members were invited to attend.

In 1978, "Education for Tomorrow's Choices" (ETC) was created. It was an instant success, but in time there was a realization that the ETC had little meaning or importance to members 45 years and younger or members near retirement.

The topics covered in ETC, with emphasis on long-range planning, did not meet the short-term needs of members who were over the age of 60 or nearing retirement. To address these needs, the "Countdown to Retirement" (CDR) workshop was designed for members within three years of retirement.

In 1985, a pilot program for the "Investing In Your Future" (IYF) workshop was launched, and in 1986 a full schedule began. The IYF workshop is the initial educational program geared toward members under age 45.

In 1989, SERS began developing a program to meet retirees' needs. In 1993 "Myths & Realities of Retirement" (MRR) was piloted and a full schedule was established in 1994.

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