Presidents Message

Incorporated in 1976 as a not-for-profit organization, Retired State Employees Association (RSEA) is an independent, all-volunteer association comprised of retired and current Illinois state employees working together for the benefit of state retirees. RSEA is the only association that functions in the interest of retired Illinois state employees, as well as their spouses and survivors!

In 2009, RSEA was successful in the Illinois General Assembly, with the passage of Public Act 095-1043 eliminating the Social Security offset applied to the State Employees Retirement System widow or survivor benefit. In the present, as well as future legislative sessions, RSEA will continue to work with our lobbyist, Cook-Witter, to address other issues that pertain to retired Illinois state employees, spouses and survivors.

Starting in 2013, RSEA was faced with the challenge of how to help its members maintain their current level of pension benefits when the State of Illinois began deducting a portion of the medical insurance costs from the retiree's check. When a group of retirees filed suit to halt this practice, RSEA supported their efforts. After hearing the case, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that withholding the premiums was indeed a diminishment of our pensions and the premiums being held in escrow were returned to the retirees in 2015. Later, when the pension rights of state retirees were being infringed upon, RSEA, in conjunction with other retiree associations, stepped forward and took legal action on behalf of its members. Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled that our position was correct.

RSEA continues to work hard to research proposed changes to the retirement programs for state retirees and to point out to legislators and others the problems and shortcomings of these proposals. We monitor and study the proposals as well as collaborate with other state retiree organizations to protect your interests.

The RSEA needs your assistance! Your membership means increased influence in the legislature. This will permit us to continue to protect and improve your pension and medical benefits.

As a member, you will be advised of our activities through our monthly newsletter, The Reporter.  And, you will be invited to attend our regular meetings held in Springfield and Chicago. In December, the RSEA board members host our annual Christmas luncheon in Springfield.

In 2007, RSEA was excited to introduce the Chicago Metro Chapter under the direction of Sylvia Schluter. RSEA is proud of this chapter as it continues to grow. Their meeting dates and location are posted in The Reporter and on this website.

Your paid membership helps the RSEA Board to help you. If you are not a member, I encourage you to join. If you are a member, you are supporting our efforts to protect your rights and benefits as a state retiree.

Gayle Finigan,
President, RSEA