The Harper College Annuitants Association (HCAA), chartered as a Chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA) in 1994, is a growing advocacy organization made up of current employees and retirees of Harper College, their spouses and their survivors who are members of the State University Retirement System (SURS). Chapters operate on or near college and university campuses throughout Illinois. SUAA currently has more than 15,000 members.
What We Value
- Investment in higher education as the State’s most effective engine for long—term economic development in Illinois since it provides for an educated work force and, consequently, a higher standard of living for Illinois citizens.
- The Illinois Constitution’s guarantee that Membership in the State Universities Retirement System constitutes an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.
Where We Stand
- We oppose any legislation that would reduce benefits for system members or eliminate their defined benefit option. The average SURS pension is less than $35,000 per year (SURS website). SURS members do not receive Social Security credit while employed by a state university or community college. Social Security benefits earned through other employment are greatly reduced or eliminated for the retiree and/or dependents.
- We support legislation to fully fund Illinois public employee pension systems and are active in discussions relating to pension “reforms.” Employees have paid 100% of their pension obligation; the State has failed to pay its obligations on numerous occasions.
- We oppose SB 1673 because it forces members to make an irrevocable choice of a reduced Automatic Annual Increase (often referred to as a COLA) or continuation of a 3% Automatic Annual Increase of 3% but no access to the state health insurance program. Many of our members have no access to Medicare now or in the future.
- We oppose Constitutional Amendment 49.
- We support legislation to ensure that all Illinois community college employees and retirees will be included in and treated fairly under the College Insurance Program (CIP) for which they have and continue to contribute.
- We support legislation to revise the most onerous aspects of recent pension changes for new hires including raising the maximum annuity, basing pensions on the highest four year average salary, restoring the Automatic Annual Increase to 3% compounded, and reducing the retirement age.
- We support constructive initiatives to address the State’s continuing fiscal crisis.
Read and/or print the HCAA Constitution and Bylaws to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the organization functions.
- President: Bonnie Henry
- President Elect: Michael Nejman
- Past President: Pat Wenthold
- Secretary: Frances Brantley
- Treasurer: Julie Hennig
Board Members at Large:
- Bruce Bohrer
- Steve Catlin
- Linda Kolbusz-Kosan
- Judy Longmore
- Sharon Martin
Board Members Emeritus:
- Sharon Alter
- George Evans
- Betty Hull
Standing Committee Chairs:
- Legislative: Michael Nejman
- Membership: Hazel Rilki
- Social: Jeanne Pankanin and Diane Kinn
- Website: Sarah Stark