Newsletters available The January 2018 Solon newsletter is available to view online. You can expect yours in the mail soon.
2018 Federal Income Tax Withholding Tables Available Revised federal income tax withholding tables have been released and will go into effect on your February 2018 benefit payment. Access the federal withholding calculator to estimate your tax withholding based on the 2018 tables.
Contact a qualified tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040 to ensure your current filing status will be adequate for the 2018 tax year. If you would like to change your withholding election, you must complete a new W4-P. A new W4-P replaces any former withholding form on file with GARS. You can mail or fax your completed form to GARS at (217) 524-9039. We do not recommend you email any document that contains your Social Security number since email is not considered a secure transmission.
Important Retiree Tax RemindersIf you received a GARS benefit in 2017, the Office of the Comptroller will mail an IRS Form 1099-R to you by January 31, 2018. If you do not receive your 1099-R form by February 15, 2018, or need a duplicate, contact GARS.
New Logo for GARS As part of our efforts to modernize operations, we are introducing a new brand for GARS. Our new logo will appear on our letterhead and printed materials. Throughout 2018, we will be rebranding our materials to give a consistent look and feel.
Our new Logo
New Division Manager for GARS Angela Ackerson joined GARS on January 2nd and replaces Jayne Waldeck who retired after 40 years of state service. Angela has nearly 17 years of experience in various roles at Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois, with 10 years in member services as a Senior Benefits Counselor. Prior to joining GARS, she was a Business Analyst at Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc. in the LRS Retirement Solutions Division, and provided software support to public pension clients. She recently completed her MBA from Benedictine University and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in IT Project Management from the University of Illinois-Springfield.
Jayne Waldeck Retires Jayne Waldeck retired on December 1st after more than 40 years of service with the State Retirement Systems. Jayne served in various positions, including SERS Manager of Pensions, JRS/GARS Assistant Manager in October 2000, and JRS/GARS Manager in June 2006. Jayne will continue to work intermittently to train Angie.Congratulations to Jayne on her recent retirement and her new granddaughter, Stella Jayne, and to Angie on her position with JRS/GARS! Jayne will be missed but be assured that Angie and the JRS/GARS staff will continue to provide the highest level of service to JRS/GARS members.
GARS Member Services Website Offers Income Verification Letters If you receive pension or survivor annuity payments from GARS, you can now view and print your own income verification letters from the secure Member Services website. The letters can be found in the Member Services section of your online account. Members often use these letters for loan applications, cell phone discounts, and other financial needs. If you are not yet registered for online access, you can sign up for an Illinois Public Account by clicking on the Retiree/Survivors link at the top of the page. Register by completing the ‘Create a New Account’ form. You will receive a confirmation email to complete registration. Once you confirm the email, you are ready to sign in. The Accessing the Member Services Website brochure contains additional instructions.
Note: If you receive an excess benefit, you will need to contact GARS directly (217-782-8500) to request an income verification letter. Our IT staff is currently working on improving this functionality for members who receive multiple benefits.