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Retirement After January 1, 2011

Retirement benefits are available to eligible employees as provided by the State Universities Retirement System (SURS).  Human Resource Services provides this information as a resource for employees.  While every effort to assure the accuracy and completeness of this information is made, employees are urged to directly access the information provided by the SURS who establish and maintain the official policies and procedures.  Where possible, HRS has provided links to relevant websites for your convenience in accessing additional information and clarification.

NIU is responsible for confirming an employee's eligibility to participate in the SURS. All aspects of SURS eligibility and participation are in accordance with the policies and regulations of the SURS. Specific inquiries concerning eligibility and plan participation should be directed to the SURS. Generally, employees are required to participate in the SURS if their position requires them to work continuously for at least one academic term or four months, whichever is less, and their employment is not intermittent or irregular.


Pursuant to Public Act 96-0889, amendments to the SURS Defined Benefit Plan become effective for new personnel employed on or after January 1, 2011.  There is no change in pension benefits for current employees.  The following table summarizes major provisions of the Public Act:

Public Act 96-0889

Employee Contribution 8% for Defined Benefit
Retirement Age Age 67 with at least 10 years of service
Reduced Formula Early Retirement Reduced formula for retirement before age 67 for employees who are at least age 62 with 10 or more years of service.
Benefits reduced by 1/2% for each month the employee is under age 67. 
Defined Benefit Formula Final Rate of Earnings for General Formula benefits based on the highest average monthly salary during 8 consecutive years of service (within the last 10 years of employment).
Limit on Pension Amount Includible compensation and any annual eligible earnings will be limited to $106,800 (adjusted by the Consumer Price Index formula below). 
Annuity Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) A retired employee, who has attained age 67, will have their originally granted annuity increased by the lesser of 3% or one-half of the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index during the preceding calendar year as determined by the Public Pension Division of the Department of Insurance. 
Survivor Annuity An eligible survivor will receive 66 2/3% of the employee’s earned retirement annuity. 

Need more information?

Call the HRS Service Center at 815-753-6000 and ask to be connected to one of our HR associates.

Central Management Services http://www.cms.illinois.gov