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New Employee - Important Information to Know about Retirement

As a new employee, it is common to have questions about the retirement plans for which you may be eligible. The following information highlights important topics that may be of interest to new employees, including a checklist to make sure you meet important deadlines. You may also wish to consult with a tax advisor or financial planner at this time for assistance deciding which plans are right for you.

Retirement Orientation
You are encouraged to attend a Retirement Orientation session before enrolling in the retirement plans. These sessions explain the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) options and provide an overview of the optional 403(b) and 457(b) tax-deferred plans. Register to attend Retirement Orientation.

Participation in the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) is mandatory for all eligible University employees. The employee contribution to the system is 8% of the gross salary. University employees do not contribute to Social Security. SURS contributions are deducted from your pay on a pre-tax basis, and income taxes will be due when you make withdrawals at retirement. Eligible employees must select one of the three SURS plan options (Traditional, Portable, or Self-Managed) within 6 months of your date of hire. This is a lifetime, irrevocable decision.

Please note:
  • Employer contributions on the Self-Managed Plan choice do not start until a plan selection is made. If you are interested in the SURS Self-Managed Plan, it is in your best interest to make your selection as soon as possible.
  • An employee who first becomes a SURS member (or other eligible Illinois reciprocal system) on or after 1/1/2011 is considered a Tier 2 member under the retirement plan. It is important for you to review and understand the plan options available to you as a Tier 2 member. Please view the SURS summary chart for an overview of Tier 2 benefits.

For assistance in selecting the SURS plan option that is right for you, view the SURS Plan Choice Video and review the SURS Choosing Your Retirement Plan on the SURS website.

More information about SURS and the three SURS plan choices

SURS and Social Security
Federal Social Security does not cover University of Illinois employees eligible for SURS because the University does not contribute to the Social Security System. No Social Security taxes are withheld from your earnings. The only way to receive Social Security retirement benefits is if you have worked for other employers who have contributed to the Social Security System. However, under the Social Security law, there are two ways your SURS pension may affect or reduce any Social Security benefit. Please carefully read the Statement Concerning Your Employment in a Job Not Covered by Social Security.

Supplemental Retirement Plans
In addition to the required SURS retirement plan participation, University employees have the option to participate in the University of Illinois Supplemental 403(b) Retirement Plan and the State of Illinois 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. You can enroll in one or both of these retirement plans at any time.

More Information
Retirement Checklist for New Employees - covers time-sensitive retirement plan decisions and actions to take to enroll in retirement plans.
Rollover or Consolidation of Prior Employer Retirement Plan
Reciprocal Retirement Systems - for employees who have worked for other Illinois public employers, information on retirement reciprocity.

This information is provided with the understanding that it is a source of information and does not constitute legal, tax, or other professional advice. If legal advice or other professional assistance is required, the services of a professional advisor should be sought.

Maintained by University Human Resources | Contact Information | Last Update: 08-January-2018 | ID: 3114