Is a Defined Contribution Benefit Plan
The State Employees Retirement System (SERS) of Illinois is funded through a combination of contributions by the state, employers of certain public workers, and employees who have qualified for state-sponsored pensions. These contributions go into a fund which is invested by the SRS Board of Trustees.
When you are hired as a state employee, you need to serve a six-month qualifying period before becoming a member of the retirement system.
Once you become a member, your contributions are made from your pre-tax earnings. The amount you contribute is determined by your occupation and whether or not you also pay into Social Security.
Two Tiers Of SERS Membership
There are two tiers of membership which determine your normal retirement age and the number of years of service credit required to retire.
You fall under Tier 1 if you joined SERS before January 1, 2011, and you can retire with pension benefits once you reach age 60 with at least 8 years of vested service credit. Or, if you have 25 to 30 years of service credit, you have the option of retiring between the ages of 55 and 60. However, the amount of your benefit will be decreased by a predetermined percentage for every month you are under age 60.
You fall under Tier 2 if you joined SERS on or after January 1, 2011, and you will need to work slightly longer, and complete more years of service credit, before you can retire. Tier 2 members can retire at age 62 with at least 10 years of vested service credit. As a Tier 2 member your pension will be decreased by a predetermined percentage for each month you’re under age 67 when you file for retirement. If you wait until age 67 or older to file for retirement, your benefit may increase by as much as 3%.
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
Other Illinois Pension Plans
How long do I need to work before I am vested in SERS?
What is the SERS retirement Age?
It depends on which tier you fall under.
You fall under Tier 1 if you joined SERS before January 1, 2011, and you can retire once you reach age 60 with at least 8 years of vested service credit.
You fall under Tier 2 if you joined SERS on or after January 1, 2011, and you can retire at age 62 with at least 10 years of vested service credit.