Fellow CEA Member,

As you probably have heard already, TRS has finished calculating how much we are due back from our ERO contributions (0.4% of our salary for the last 10 years) and posted this information on our TRS Member Sections of their website.  You were sent an email by TRS with information on this - but, the email would have gone to whatever email address you last provided TRS.
If you didn't get the email, your information will still be on your individual "Account Access" TRS account.  If you have never set up an account for yourself through TRS, you can do that now.
The website is:  https://trs.illinois.gov/   Then, go to "Member Account Access" (top left) and follow the appropriate prompts/links.
Once you have an account set up with TRS, if you look under the "My Claims" section (bottom left side of that webpage) you can see the steps you need to take to claim your TRS refund.
There are basically two options - you can take cash now, or you can roll over your refund into a retirement account.  If you take the cash, it is my understanding there will be a 10% penalty for withdrawing retirement funds 'early,' and 20% will be withheld for taxes.
If you roll over your refund into a qualified retirement account (these are listed on the website), there are no penalties or withholdings.  However, you will have to fill out forms directing where TRS should invest your refund.
Obviously, this is an individual choice and you may want to discuss all these options with a financial adviser.  If we receive any further information, we will be sure to share this with you.

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