Retirement & Investment Plans
Mid-Career Employee - Important Information to Know about Retirement
If you have ten or more years before retirement, you may have questions about staying on track with your retirement planning goals. You may wish to consult with a tax advisor or financial planner at this time for assistance with your planning strategy or reevaluating any financial goals. The following topics may be of interest to mid-career employees:
The SURS Active Member home page (Traditional, Portable, Self-Managed) provides comprehensive information about your SURS benefits including insurance, retirement, and disability. It also provides access to useful forms, member guides, web links, frequently asked questions and videos about SURS topics.
For individuals in the SURS Self-Managed Plan (SMP), representatives from the investment companies, TIAA-CREF and Fidelity, are available on campus regularly to hold free individual counseling sessions with employees. While they cannot provide the advice that your financial advisor can, they will provide information on rebalancing and reallocation options with their company. Schedule a counseling appointment with TIAA-CREF or Fidelity.
Annual Pay Increases
If you receive an annual pay increase, you may want to consider taking that opportunity to enroll in or increase your contribution to a supplemental tax deferred retirement plan (403(b) or 457(b)). Consider enrolling in the University 403(b) Plan using the percentage of pay contribution method. Contributing a percentage of your salary each pay period allows your investment contributions to increase as your salary increases (i.e., 5% of $35,000 is more than 5% of $30,000).
Supplemental Retirement Plan Limits
If you are contributing to one or more of the supplemental retirement plans, such as the University 403(b) or State 457(b) plan, you should be aware of the annual IRS limits on how much you are allowed to contribute to these plans. See Contributions to the 403(b) Plan and State of Illinois 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan for an explanation of plan limits.
When will I be eligible to retire with SURS service (including any reciprocal service)?
If participation with SURS first began prior to January 1, 2011:
- Age 55 with 8 or more years of service, with applicable age reduction.
- Age 62 with 5 or more years of service.
- Any age with 30 or more years of service.*
*Not applicable if employment was terminated prior to August 2, 2002
If participation with SURS first began on or after January 1, 2011:
See the SURS Retirement FAQs
for information regarding when you can retire, what you need to do, and how long it will take.
- At age 62 with 10 or more years of service, with applicable age reduction.
- At age 67 with 10 or more years of service.
How much money will I need when I retire?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, an easy rule of thumb is that you'll need to replace 70 to 90 percent of your pre-retirement income. If you're making $50,000 a year (before taxes), you might need $35,000 to $45,000 a year in retirement income to enjoy the same standard of living you had before retirement. Think of this as your annual "cost" of retirement. The lower your income, generally the higher the portion of it you will need to replace. For more information, see the U.S. Department of Labor publication, A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future or contact a financial planner.
Is it time to Re-evaluate, Rebalance, or Reallocate?
Is your investment strategy still working for you? Will your current accounts continue to help you achieve your future goals? If you're not sure, then it could be time for a retirement check-up -- time to re-evaluate, rebalance and/or reallocate. Life changes such as changing jobs, marriage, divorce, having children, or just aging can create a need for retirement re-evaluation. For example, as you age you may need to move from an asset-generating approach to an asset-protecting approach. Many professionals recommend rebalancing and reallocating your retirement portfolio on an annual basis.
Representatives from the 403(b) Plan investment companies, TIAA-CREF and Fidelity, are available on campus each month to hold free individual counseling sessions with employees. While they cannot provide the advice that your financial advisor can, they will provide information on rebalancing and reallocation options with their company. Schedule a counseling appointment with TIAA-CREF or Fidelity.
Additionally, there are several calculators and tools available online to assist you:
SURS Benefits Estimator - Use the estimator to get a "ballpark figure" of your retirement benefit under differing scenarios. You will need your SURS Member ID to use this tool.
Fidelity - Select "Tools and Calculators". Some require a Fidelity customer login.
TIAA-CREF - A number of tools and calculators are available. Some require a TIAA-CREF customer login.
T. Rowe Price - Select "Investment Guidance and Tools", and then click "Retirement Planning".
Retirement Checklist for Mid-Career Employees - Covers retirement education resources and topics to consider to stay on track with your retirement saving strategy.
Withdrawing Funds Early or Taking a Loan from a Supplemental Retirement Account
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.