Counseling Appointments

Counseling Appointments

  • Check Eligibility

  • Schedule a Retirement Counseling Appointment

  • Read Important Information

In a counseling appointment, you will receive benefit estimates based on information you provided.  In addition, information will be provided on any eligible purchases, reciprocal service, the retirement application process, death and survivor benefits, insurance benefits and post-retirement employment restrictions.  You will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

Counseling appointments are typically held in the SURS offices in Champaign and Naperville or by phone; however, SURS also periodically visits individual campuses.

If you wish to meet with a SURS retirement counselor, you must be within four years of retirement eligibility; therefore, you must meet at least one of the following minimum requirements (depending on Tier) within four years.

Note:  If you participated in one of the Illinois reciprocal systems and plan to retire under the Reciprocal Act, the reciprocal service may be applied to meet the minimum qualification requirements. 

Click here to view a list of the state reciprocal systems

Tier I
Participant prior to 01/01/11
Tier II
Participant on or after 01/01/11

Traditional, Portable, & SMP

Traditional & Portable

SMP

5 years at age 62

10 years at age 67

5 years at age 62

8 years at age 55
(with age reduction, if applicable)

10 years at age 62
(with age reduction)

8 years at age 55

30 years at any age

 

30 years at any age

               
You are limited to one appointment (counseling session via phone or in-person with a SURS counselor) or a written estimate every 12 months.  While eligible employees are allowed to meet with a counselor every 12 months, it is not necessary to schedule an appointment every 12 months unless the previous estimate information has changed significantly.

Traditional and Portable Plan Members
Traditional and Portable Plan members must complete and submit a Retirement Estimate Request form prior to scheduling an appointment. Follow these steps:

    1. Visit www.surs.org and click on the gold Member Login button on the top right-hand side of the homepage to gain access to your member webpage. The retirement estimate request form is listed in the menu on the left as Retirement Counseling. Once this form is completed and submitted electronically, you will be prompted to follow a link to schedule an appointment at SURS office, a phone appointment or an on-campus appointment (if applicable). Or,
    2. Call SURS at 800-275-7877 to request a form. SURS will send a retirement estimate request form via U.S. Mail to your home address or fax. Once the completed form is returned, SURS will immediately notify you via U.S. Mail or electronic notification on your member webpage that you can contact SURS to schedule an appointment.
    3. IMPORTANT - When completing the retirement estimate request form, you will be asked to provide information that SURS does not have access to. Therefore, please collect the following information prior to logging in to complete the electronic form (or completing the paper version):
      1. Anticipated retirement dates (you can choose two dates, not further than four years out)
      2. If you are academic: length of base contract
      3. Salary: if academic, base salary plus summer or overloads, if applicable
      4. Salary: if staff, salary plus expected overtime
      5. Percentage of anticipated salary increases
      6. Sick leave balances (unused/unpaid sick leave earned prior to 1-1-84 or after 1-1-98)
      7. Vacation balance
      8. Information on other service such as eligible purchases or reciprocal service

      The accuracy of retirement annuity estimates depends on the accuracy of the information you provide to SURS.

    4. Once a counseling appointment has been scheduled, you should receive an email confirmation. If you do not receive an email confirmation that day, please contact SURS to confirm that the appointment was scheduled correctly. The confirmation email includes a link to the scheduling site. If is it necessary to cancel or reschedule, this link can be used up until 48 hours prior to the appointment. If you need to cancel or reschedule within 48 hours prior to the appointment, you will need to contact SURS at 800-275-7877.

Self-Managed Plan Members
Self-Managed Plan members who are within four years of meeting eligibility requirements can schedule an appointment online through the member website at www.surs.org, or by calling 800-275-7877.

Once a counseling appointment has been scheduled, you should receive an email confirmation. If you do not receive an email confirmation that day, please contact SURS to confirm that the appointment was scheduled correctly. The confirmation email includes a link to the scheduling site. If is it necessary to cancel or reschedule, this link can be used up until 48 hours prior to the appointment. If you need to cancel or reschedule within 48 hours prior to the appointment, you will need to contact SURS at 800-275-7877.

A retirement counseling appointment in no way commits you to retire on a specific date – it is merely a projection to help you make a determination for a future retirement date.  An application for retirement must be submitted to SURS to initiate a retirement claim.

The accuracy of retirement annuity estimates depends on the information provided to SURS. The actual retirement annuity may vary from the estimates provided.  Final benefit determination is pursuant to verified data and to the provisions of Chapter 40, Articles 1, 15, and 20 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes.  An estimate request is not an application for retirement.

Click here to view Fidelity contact information
Click here to view TIAA contact information

Everything discussed in the session is held in the strictest confidence and is not shared with your employer. These appointments are set on a very tight half-hour schedule.  To maintain this schedule, SURS requests you be on time for the 30-minute appointment.  You are welcome to bring a guest, if desired.

If the appointment must be cancelled, please contact SURS toll free at 800-275-7877 or dial direct at 217-378-8800 as soon as possible.