Reporting a Death

When a loved one is lost, it is a very difficult time to have to make decisions, gather documents and complete forms.

The information provided here has been prepared to help when the death of a SURS member occurs. SURS representatives are available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CST) and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CST) to provide assistance by phone or in person at SURS office.

As soon as possible, report the death of the member to SURS. Notification may be made by calling SURS toll free at 800- 275-7877 or direct at 217-378-8800, by sending a letter via U.S. mail, or by fax to 217-378-9800.

Whether you are reporting the death of a member, spouse or survivor, SURS will require the following information at the time the report is made:

A. Date of death

B. Deceased person’s name, address, phone number, birth date and, if possible, member ID number

C. Name, address and telephone number of a contact person

A certified copy of the death certificate should also be sent to SURS as soon as possible. Additional information or documentation may be requested.

Once SURS is notified of the death of the member, a letter will be sent to the person(s) eligible for benefits. This letter explains the benefits that are payable and also includes the forms necessary to apply for benefits. Assistance is available by calling SURS.

For more detailed information on reporting a death, go to our life events pages.

SURS Member Guides also include helpful information concerning Benefits Paid After Your Death.

To access those guides, visit our Retirement Plans page, choose your plan, then click on the link for the guide.

To complete or change your beneficiary form, log in to the secure Member Site. When you have completed the form, print it, sign it and mail it to SURS, 1901 Fox Drive, Champaign, IL 61820-7333.

Other helpful information

  • If the member was actively employed with a SURS-covered employer, the employer should also be notified.
  • If the member has a reciprocal annuity with any of the other state retirement systems, the same information required by SURS must also be provided to the other retirement offices.
  • Any payments issued after a member’s death are due back to SURS and will be deducted from benefits paid to survivor/ beneficiary if not returned.
  • Although the amount of the annuity to the retiree is not affected by the death of a spouse, it is also important to notify SURS as soon as possible of the death of a spouse.