State University Retirement System (SURS)

What Is SURS?
The State University Retirement System (SURS) manages the retirement program for the State of Illinois’ colleges and universities. Employees who are eligible for SURS contribute 8% of their pay check to SURS and become eligible for a pension after retirement once they reach 5 years of service.

SURS Eligibility
In general, to be eligible for SURS, an employee must hold a 10% or greater appointment for 4 months or one academic term, whichever is less. Typically, tenured/tenure-track faculty members are SURS eligible. However, a non-resident alien cannot be a member of SURS until they meet the “Substantial Presence” criteria, as determined by the Payroll Office.

Accelerated courses that are taught over a period of time that is shorter than an academic term are treated as having been taught over the full academic term if 1) the course carries the same contact hour or credit hour loads as the full-term unaccelerated version and 2) the full-term unaccelerated version must also be offered at during the same semester. This exception is limited to employment that requires teaching duties at an academic institution

Determining Your SURS Retirement Plan can help you decide which plan best suits your needs.

SURS Website
Employees with a SURS-specific question, such as purchasing prior service time, annuity estimates, or SURS disability, should contact SURS or visit their website for more information.

Effective January 1, 2023 there are changes to SURS eligibility. For more information click here.

To be eligible for SURS participation, individuals must meet the definition of “employee” under Section 15-107 of the Illinois Pension Code (40 ILCS 5/15-107). On or after January 1, 2023, SURS administrative rule, 80 Ill. Admin. Code § 1600-200 - Definition of “Employee” for SURS Participation, also applies.