Public Record Requests/FOIA
TRS responds to all public record requests in compliance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140. If any requested records will be used for a commercial purpose this must be disclosed when submitting the request.
If you are a TRS member with questions about your benefits, you do not have to submit a FOIA to receive an answer from TRS. Please contact the TRS Office of Member Services rather than submitting a public record request through the TRS Public Records Center. This will ensure that your question is answered as efficiently as possible. The Member Services email address is: firstname.lastname@example.orgThe most efficient way to request public records from the System is through the TRS Public Records Center using the link below. This portal helps TRS efficiently administer and manage the many FOIA requests the System receives each month while providing the public with convenient 24-hour access to both request and receive public records from TRS. The public also will find a “knowledgebase library” with answers to common questions about TRS.
Submit public record requests here:
There is no fee for electronic records. For paper copies, the first 50 pages are provided free of charge; in excess of 50 is $0.15 per page. TRS reserves the right to charge for shipping expenses to send copies. Charges may be reduced or waived for requests in the public interest. For commercial purpose requests, TRS reserves the right to charge for staff time exceeding eight hours spent searching for and retrieving responsive records. If in-person record inspection is desired, please make prior arrangements through the FOIA Officer.
The Public Records Center is the best way to obtain public records about TRS, but it is not a good way to ask questions about TRS. For questions not answered on our website, please contact Dave Urbanek, Director of Communications, rather than submitting a public record request.
Designated Freedom of Information Officer
Senior Legal Counsel & FOIA Officer
Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois
2815 West Washington
PO Box 19253
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9253
Brief Description of TRS
The following information is provided in compliance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140/4.
The Illinois General Assembly created Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois (TRS or the System) in 1939 for the purpose of providing retirement annuities, disability and survivor benefits for educators employed in public schools outside of the city of Chicago. The System’s enabling legislation is in the Illinois Pension Code at 40 ILCS 5/16-101.
TRS members fall into the following categories: active, inactive, annuitant, and beneficiary. Active members are all full-time, part-time, and substitute Illinois public school personnel employed outside the city of Chicago in positions requiring licensure by the Illinois State Board of Education. Persons employed in certain state agencies and statewide or national organizations related to education also are active TRS members. As of June 30, 2016, there were 159,735 active members.
Inactive members are no longer contributing to the System but have service credit that will entitle them to draw a benefit or refund when statutory eligibility requirements are met. As of June 30, 2016, there were 129,470 inactive members.
Annuitants are persons receiving a retirement annuity or disability retirement annuity. Beneficiaries are persons receiving a survivor benefit or reversionary annuity. As of June 30, 2016, there were 117,650 annuitants and beneficiaries.
The total TRS operating budget for fiscal year 2017 is $32,266,773, which represents less than 0.07 percent of the $45.2 billion market value of the total TRS fund on June 30, 2016.
Key Statutory Provisions
The benefits that TRS administers are governmental plans as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 414(d). The System is a 401(a) qualified plan. TRS benefits are governed by Article 16 of the Illinois Pension Code, 40 ILCS 5/16. TRS administrative rules are in Title 80, Subtitle D, Chapter III, Part 1650 of the Illinois Administrative Code. TRS is also subject to other laws, rules, and regulations as an agency of the State of Illinois.
TRS has two office locations. The main offices are at 2815 West Washington, Springfield, Illinois. A regional office is at 4200 Commerce Court, Lisle, Illinois.
As provided in 40 ILCS 5/16-169, the TRS board of trustees employs a chief executive officer responsible for the detailed administration of the System. TRS has approximately 190 full- and part-time staff. Following is a block diagram showing functional subdivisions of TRS administration.
A 13-member board of trustees is responsible for the general administration of the System as authorized by 40 ILCS 5/16-163. Under 40 ILCS 5/16-165, the board is composed of the Illinois State Superintendent of Education, ex officio, who is the board president; six persons appointed by the Illinois governor who are not members of the System and who do not hold elected state office; four active members elected by the active members; and two annuitants elected by the annuitants.
Information Immediately Available
General and detailed information about TRS is available on the TRS website: http://www.trsil.org, such as staff and board directories, membership, funding, administrative structure and budget, financial and actuarial reports, member brochures and publications, employer information, legislative matters, investments, board meeting notices and agendas, recordings and minutes, administrative review decisions and rules, an online pressroom, and information about doing business with TRS.