Illinois Teaching Salaries and Benefits

illinois

Illinois contains one of the largest teacher employee benefit programs in the country, providing the nearly 130,000 teachers in the state with not only a state pension retirement system, but extensive health insurance benefits as well.

As an Illinois teacher, your employee benefits will better prepare for your future retirement and current health needs. As living expenses and health care costs continue to rise, these benefits will help protect you from being sidelined by financial difficulties.

Learn more about becoming a teacher. Contact schools offering teacher education/certification programs in Illinois.

Retiring in Illinois

The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System helps teachers manage their lives as future retirees. In 2011, the system distributed over $4 billion in pension benefits to over 100,000 retirees.

This retirement system is funded by a combination of state and employee contributions that keep the system strong. As an Illinois teacher, you contribute 9.4% of your monthly salary to a defined benefit plan that provides lifetime retirement benefits for you and your fellow teachers.

Upon reaching normal retirement age and terminating your employment, you’re eligible to receive monthly pension benefits. In Illinois, you may receive full benefits if you’re 67 years old with 10 years of service credit, or reduced benefits at 62 years old with 10 years of service credit.

Your retirement benefits are calculated with a formula designated by the Illinois state legislature. The exact percentages in the formula are subject to change, but current teachers factor their retirement benefits using the following:

Years of Service (percentage)
multiplied by
Average Yearly Salary

The legislature awards 2.2 percentage points for each year of service, up to a maximum of 75%. You receive this figure in monthly benefit payments each year.

So, for example, if you worked for 30 years, this would figure into 66% of your average yearly salary. If you terminated employment with an average salary of $55,000, you would earn a monthly retirement benefit of $3,025.

In addition to monthly pension benefits, retirees have access to health and life insurance programs provided by the state. This ensures their continued health well into older age. If you’re interested in learning more about retirement benefits offered to Illinois teachers, explore the TRS.

Access to Affordable Health Insurance

If you’ve seen how health care costs are rising in this country, it’s normal to feel a sense of worry when you consider how the cost could affect you and your family. Thankfully, Illinois offers its teachers access to affordable health insurance, assuaging the fears and worries of its public employees.

The Illinois Department of Central Management Services administers all employee benefits to public school teachers, including health insurance. As a teacher, you can choose from the following plans to insure you and your loved ones:

Quality Care Health Plan
The QCHP offers the most comprehensive range of health benefits to teachers of any insurance plan. Through the QCHP, you can choose between any physician or hospital for medical services. However, you receive enhanced benefits and lower costs by obtaining care from in-network providers.

Health Maintenance Organization Plan
In the HMO plan, you must select a primary care physician from a network of providers to act as your health guide. Your primary care physician will direct all of your healthcare needs, from advice on hospital services to specialist referrals.

Open Access Plan
The Open Access Plan offers similar cost benefits of an HMO, with the coverage benefits of a traditional health insurance plan. In the Open Access Plan, you’ll have access to several tiers of coverage, allowing you to pick from in-network and out-of-network providers with differing costs.

The major differences between each plan are the costs and levels of coverage offered for medical services. While levels of coverage differ, under each plan, there are several general services covered, including:

  • Physician Visits
  • Outpatient Surgery
  • Inpatient Services
  • Mental Health Care
  • Emergency Care
  • Hospice Care

Additionally, dental and vision coverage are offered to plan members at no additional cost.

If you’re interested in learning more about health insurance coverage and other benefits you’ll receive as a teacher in Illinois, contact the Department of Central Management Services.

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