SURS Logo

STATE UNIVERSITIES RETIREMENT SYSTEM

Executive Director: William E. Mabe

Chairperson:  Lindsay Anderson

Counseling Appointments

Counseling Appointments

  • Check Eligibility

  • Complete & Submit Paperwork (does not apply to SMP)

  • Schedule Appointment

  • Read Important Information

In a counseling appointment, you will receive benefit estimates based on information you provided.  In addition, information will be provided on any eligible purchases, reciprocal service, the retirement application process, death and survivor benefits, insurance benefits and post-retirement employment restrictions.  You will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

Counseling appointments are typically held in the SURS offices in Champaign and Naperville or by phone; however, SURS also periodically visits individual campuses.

If you wish to meet with a SURS retirement counselor, you must be within four years of retirement eligibility; therefore, you must meet at least one of the following minimum requirements (depending on Tier) within four years.

Note:  If you participated in one of the Illinois reciprocal systems and plan to retire under the Reciprocal Act, the reciprocal service may be applied to meet the minimum qualification requirements. 

Click here to view a list of the state reciprocal systems

Tier I
Participant prior to 01/01/11
Tier II
Participant on or after 01/01/11

Traditional, Portable, & SMP

Traditional & Portable

SMP

5 years at age 62

10 years at age 67

5 years at age 62

8 years at age 55
(with age reduction, if applicable)

10 years at age 62
(with age reduction)

8 years at age 55

30 years at any age

 

30 years at any age

               
You are limited to one appointment (counseling session via phone or in-person with a SURS counselor) or a written estimate every 12 months.  While eligible employees are allowed to meet with a counselor every 12 months, it is not necessary to schedule an appointment every 12 months unless the previous estimate information has changed significantly.

If you are in the Traditional or Portable Plans, you must complete the Retirement Estimate Request form.  If you are in the Self-Managed Plan (SMP), you should skip this step and proceed to Step 3. 

To obtain the required SURS paperwork:

  • Online:  The form is available for electronic submission on the SURS Member Website. Go to www.surs.org and click on Member Login.
  • Dial Toll Free:  800-275-7877
  • Dial Direct:  217-378-8800

You must complete the Retirement Estimate Request form and return it to SURS via mail, fax, or electronically.  The form asks you to provide:

  • Anticipated retirement date(s):  You may request up to two different dates that are within the next four years.  SURS cannot project a retirement benefit amount beyond the next four years.
  • Current salary
  • Future expected annual salary increases
  • Sick and vacation accumulations (you must obtain this information from your employer)
  • Other credits such as eligible purchases or reciprocal service

When the completed form is received (via U.S. mail, fax, or Internet), SURS will immediately notify you via U.S. mail or electronic notice on your Member Website home page, instructing you to contact SURS to set up the appointment. You may contact SURS to set up your appointment date and time only after the completed request form is received by SURS. If the form has been faxed to SURS, you may call SURS the next working day to schedule the appointment.

If you are in the Self-Managed Plan, you do not need to submit a completed request form. You should contact SURS toll free at 800-275-7877 or dial direct at 217-378-8800 to schedule your appointment.

A retirement counseling appointment in no way commits you to retire on a specific date – it is merely a projection to help you make a determination for a future retirement date.  An application for retirement must be submitted to SURS to initiate a retirement claim.

The accuracy of retirement annuity estimates depends on the information provided to SURS. The actual retirement annuity may vary from the estimates provided.  Final benefit determination is pursuant to verified data and to the provisions of Chapter 40, Articles 1, 15, and 20 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes.  An estimate request is not an application for retirement.

Self-Managed Plan members will not receive projected benefit amounts but will receive other important information in the appointment including information on payment options and potential health insurance benefits.  Please contact your plan provider(s) for projected benefit amounts.

Click here to view Fidelity contact information
Click here to view TIAA-CREF contact information

Everything discussed in the session is held in the strictest confidence and is not shared with your employer. These appointments are set on a very tight half-hour schedule.  To maintain this schedule, SURS requests you be on time for the 30-minute appointment.  You are welcome to bring a guest, if desired.

If the appointment must be cancelled, please contact SURS toll free at 800-75-7877 or dial direct at 217-378-8800 as soon as possible.