About SURS

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Main Office

1901 Fox Drive
Champaign, Illinois 61820


Satellite Office

NIU Naperville Outreach Center
1120 E. Diehl Road
Naperville, Illinois 60563
(By appointment only - no mail delivery)


For contact information go to

SURS - Living Our Mission

How We Succeed This Year and Beyond

SURS Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS or the System, a component unit of the State of Illinois).

All About SURS

This booklet is a brief, yet comprehensive look at the System, our investment and funding history, membership, benefit distribution and relevant legislation. Information is updated on a regular basis.

SURS In Brief

This fact sheet succinctly outlines membership, investment and benefit figures, and provides a retirement-plan comparison chart.

SURS Financial Highlights and Funding

View financial highlights, a dashboard of monthly state payments and information on how SURS is funded.
SURS Funding Fact Sheet.

SURS History and Membership

In 1941, a four-year study concluded with the formation of the University Retirement System. The act provided "for the creation, maintenance, and administration of a Retirement System for the benefit of the staff members and employees of the University of Illinois and certain other state educational and scientific agencies." Ruth Ellen Kunkel was the System's first employee and administrator.

In 1942, the System had 3,760 participants and added two additional staff members. In the following years, the University Retirement System grew to include other universities, colleges, and affiliated agencies throughout the state.

In 1963, the System adopted its current name, State Universities Retirement System (SURS).

Today SURS serves 61 employers* in Illinois including state universities, community colleges, and state agencies. It employs approximately 137 full-time employees in offices in Champaign and Naperville and provides benefit services to over 236,000 members throughout the world. SURS has a total operating budget of $27,164,812 for FY 2020.

*Number denotes combining of several campuses.

SURS Governance

SURS is governed by an 11-member board of trustees. Four trustees are elected by active SURS members, two trustees are elected by retired SURS members, and five trustees are appointed by the governor of Illinois (one of whom is the chairperson of the Illinois Board of Higher Education). The governor designates the board chairperson from among the eleven trustees.  All appointed trustees must be approved by the Illinois Senate. Trustees serve six-year terms. 

The board meets at minimum seven times per year – Schedule. Agendas are posted 48 hours prior to each meeting. 

The SURS Board of Trustees has a fiduciary duty to administer the System in compliance with the requirements of Articles 1 and 15 of the  Illinois Pension Code.

Members of the public who would like to make public comments during any SURS Board of Trustees or Committee meetings that are open to the public must comply with the requirements found in Title 80, Subtitle D, Chapter II, Section 1600.120 (i)(1) and (2) of the Illinois Register. Click here for details.

Senior Administrative Staff

Name Title Email
Suzanne Mayer Interim Executive Director
Douglas Wesley Chief Investment Officer
Bianca T. Green General Counsel and Freedom of Information Officer
Tara Myers Chief Financial Officer
Jefferey Saiger Chief Technology Officer
Suzanne Mayer Chief Benefits Officer
Brenda Dunn Chief Human Resources Officer
Jackie Hohn Chief Internal Auditor

SURS Organizational Chart

Click here to open.

Legislation Affecting SURS

SURS was created by the governor and General Assembly in 1941. Consistent with that, changes to the existing benefit program must be enacted through legislation. Examples of SURS-related legislative action can be found in the passage of yearly appropriation bills and the pension reform acts of 2010 and 2013. Changes in state law will continue to affect the agencies we serve, the benefits we provide and how we are funded.

For more information on legislation affecting SURS, go to

SURS is an IRS Qualified Plan

View SURS 401(a) Defined Benefit Favorable Determination Letter from the IRS.
View SURS 401(a) Defined Contribution Favorable Determination Letter from the IRS.