Eligibility

When hired, you become a member of SERS and mandatory contributions are automatically credited to your account.

How Credited Service is Computed

  
  
  
  
15 calendar days or more10 work days or more75 hours or more1
8 thru 14 calendar days5 thru 9 work days38 - 74 hours1/2
less than 8 calendar daysless than 5 work daysless than 38 hours1/4

Contributions

Contributions are based on a percentage of total compensation, including overtime pay. With certain exceptions, all members who join SERS must contribute to Social Security.

Regular Retirement Formula

Members with Social Security 3.5% (pension) + .5% (survivors') = 4.0% Total

Members without Social Security 7.0% (pension) + 1.0% (survivors') = 8.0% Total

* If you have no eligible survivors when you retire, you will receive a refund of the survivors' portion of your contributions.

Alternative Retirement Formula

Members with Social Security 8.0% (pension) + .5% (survivors') = 8.5% Total

Members without Social Security 11.5% (pension) + 1.0% (survivors') = 12.5% Total

* If you do not qualify for the alternative formula when you retire, you will receive a refund of the alternative formula contributions in excess of the regular formula contributions.

Employer Pick-Up

From January 1, 1992 through June 30, 2003, most state employees had all, or a portion, of their contributions "picked-up" or paid for, by the State of Illinois. Effective July 1, 2003, some members continued to have their employer pick-up retirement contributions paid by the State of Illinois. Employees not under a collective bargaining agreement typically pay the entire employee contribution. In some cases, employees have a portion of their contributions picked-up, and contribute a lesser amount through payroll deductions.

Regular formula employees contributing at either 4% or 8% of their gross salaries will typically have 4% picked-up if the employee is under a collective bargaining agreement. For alternative formula employees contributing at either 8.5% or 12.5% of their gross salaries, the pick-up rate is 5.5% if the employee is under a collective bargaining agreement.

All contributions are credited to the individual member's account, regardless of the source. When a member receives a lump sum refund, the employer pick-up contributions are included. The employer pick-up is also included in the calculation of any death benefit involving member contributions.