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 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.

NOTE: Beginning on or after January 1, 2011, annual compensation on which contributions are taken cannot exceed $106,800. This amount increases annually by 3% or one-half of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less.

Employer Pick-Up

Some state employees have all or a portion of their contributions “picked-up” or paid, by the State of Illinois. The elected official who oversees your agency, board or commission determines whether your agency participates in the Employer Pick-Up Program and the pick-up percentage.

If you receive a lump sum refund of contributions, the employer pick-up contributions are included, along with any contributions which may have been deducted from your pay. The employer pick-up is also included in the calculation of any death benefit involving member contributions.