Writing Assignment

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Writing Sample Assignment for Human Resource


  1. Background Information


In July 2006, the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) began billing employers, such as the University of Illinois, the present value of pension increases which would result from a faculty or staff member receiving an earnings increase in excess of 6% over the previous academic year's earnings when paid during the final rate of earnings period. This is known as "the 6% Rule".


Since 2006, SURS has recognized several exemptions to this rule. However, certain exemptions expired on July 1, 2011. These changes have financial implications. HR Offices, Budget Offices, HR Service Centers and the University’s employing departments need to understand those financial implications.


***EARNINGS NO LONGER EXEMPTED AS OF July 1, 2011***


Earnings paid after 7/1/11 not covered by a contract or collective bargaining agreement executed prior to 7/1/11:

1. Earnings increases paid 10 or more years from date of retirement annuity eligibility.

2. Overloads for academic instruction. (Includes faculty summer contracts)

3. Overtime necessary for educational mission.

4. Promotion to an existing position and filled for no less than one academic year that is:

 a. To a higher civil service classification

 b. To a tenure or tenure-track faculty position

 c. To a position recommended by the Illinois Community College Board


***EARNINGS EXEMPTED AS OF July 1, 2011***


General Exemptions:

1. All earnings increases for Money Purchase retirements.

2. Payments upon termination of employment for up to 56 days of unused vacation.

3. Unused sick leave payments paid under a collective bargaining agreement.


Temporary Exemptions available until 7/1/14 on earnings paid after 7/1/11 per a contract or collective bargaining agreement executed on or after 6/1/05 and prior to 7/1/11:

1. Earnings increases paid 10 or more years from date of retirement annuity eligibility.

2. Overloads for academic instruction. (Includes faculty summer contracts)

3. Overtime necessary for educational mission.

4. Promotion to an existing position and filled for no less than one academic year that is:

 a. To a higher civil service classification

 b. To a tenure or tenure-track faculty position

 c. To a position recommended by the Illinois Community College Board

More information about the “6% Rule” can be found at

http://www.hr.uillinois.edu/cms/One.aspx?portalId=964839&pageId=1025643


  1. Scenario

Because the SURS 6% billing rules are complex and are not part of a department’s daily operations, there is confusion about exempted earnings.  University Human Resources would like to reduce this confusion


  1. WritingAssignment

Please compose an email describing both available and discontinued exemptions. The audience who will receive the email is University of Illinois Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Departmental Business Managers. This is a very busy group of individuals who may have heard of the 6% rule already, but who may not immediately recall it unless their department has had to pay a bill as a result of the 6% rule in the past. In the email text, cover what you’ve determined to be key information points that this audience will need to know.  Also include any policy or compliance considerations you’ve identified. 

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(Top Tutor) Daniel C.
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