SURS Facts – Police Service Transfer to State Employees Retirement System
This information applies to the transfer of eligible police service from the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) to the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), under the provisions created by PA 95-0530, which became law effective Aug. 28, 2007.
The portions of this law that govern SURS are contained in 40 ILCS 5/15-134.4(b) and (c).
Who is Eligible to Transfer Service?
To be eligible, a SURS participant must: •Have established police service under SURS prior to their SERS participation
- No longer be employed at a SURS-covered employer
- Actively be employed under the SERS system in one of the following positions:
- State policeman
- Investigator for the Secretary of State
- Conservation police officer
Which SURS service may be transferred?
Up to five years of eligible SURS police service may be transferred.
What if the police service has already been refunded from SURS?
Previously refunded SURS police service may be repaid and reinstated at a reduced interest rate of 6 percent, but only if SURS is notified of the participant’s intent to transfer all or a portion of that service to SERS. (Note that refunded service must be fully repaid to SURS prior to transfer, even if the total service exceeds the five year maximum transfer.)
What is the benefit of transferring SURS police service to SERS?
A SURS participant must have a minimum of 20 years of police service at retirement to qualify for the special police formula. Participants who will not reach that 20-year minimum with SURS may benefit by having up to five additional police service years added to their SERS police service balances to enhance their SERS benefit. Specific information regarding the impact of making a service transfer to SERS may be obtained by contacting SERS.
What is the process for transferring the service?
To initiate the transfer with SURS, eligible participants should contact the SURS office and request the Public Act 95-0530 Election Form. It is important to let SURS know if the intent is to repay a SURS refund as part of a transfer to SERS. SURS will then send a form to the participant for completion along with the cost for repaying the refund (if applicable). A letter will also be sent to SERS with details about the member’s transfer-eligible SURS police service. Full repayment must be received by SURS before the transfer can be made to SERS. SURS will then make the transfer of up to five years directly to SERS and provide SERS with earnings and service details for use in its process.
What happens to the service that is left on file with SURS after the transfer is complete?
The participant may have any remaining balances refunded to them under the normal SURS refund rules, or apply for a retirement benefit when the participant meets the vesting and age requirements.
Is there a deadline for applying for or completing the transfer?
Transfers must be completed before retirement under either system or the member’s death.