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Warning! Many SERS members have recently received unsolicited, potentially misleading emails from companies not affiliated with SERS offering retirement counseling. These emails may appear to come from SERS or appear to represent SERS, they do not. SERS encourages members to be cautious of email solicitations and skeptical of any attempts by outside firms to request personal or financial information. SERS will NEVER contact you asking for personal information. If you are within a year of retirement and need an appointment, you can request an appointment by emailing SERS@srs.illinois.gov or by calling (217) 785-7444.

Tier 2 Retirement Benefits

Eligibility

You may retire:

  • At age 62 with 8 years of credited service. (reduced ½ of 1% for each month under age 67). If you take a reduced benefit, it remains in effect throughout your retirement.
  • At age 67 with 8 years of credited service.

Tier 2 benefits are based on the final average salary of the 96 highest consecutive months of service out of the last 10 years, using each calendar year’s annual salary maximum (as determined by the Department of Insurance) and your total credited service. This benefit is payable for your lifetime. The maximum retirement benefit is 60% of your final average salary.

You must submit a retirement application and include a copy of your birth certificate in order to receive benefits. If you elect to retire under the Reciprocal Act, it is your responsibility to file an application with each system involved.

Contact JRS approximately 90 days before your retirement date. Your pension becomes effective on the first day following your withdrawal from service, or the date you are first eligible, whichever is later.

Your Retirement Benefit

This table displays the percentage of salary that JRS members with 8 to 20 years of JRS service credit will receive at age 67.

Retirement Benefit Chart

Years of Service Percent of Salary

8

24 %

9

27 %

10

30 %

11

33 %

12

36 %

13

39 %

14

42 %

15

45 %

16

48 %

17

51 %

18

54 %

19

57 %

20+

60 %

Example: A member is age 67, has 20 years of credited service, and an eight year average salary (96 highest consecutive months within the last 120 months, subject to the Tier 2 salary maximum) of $113,550.53.

60% x $113,550.53 = $68,130.32 annually or $5,677.53 per month.

This member’s reduced retirement benefit with 20 years of service at age 62 is $47,691.22 annually or $3,974.27 per month because of the 1/2 of 1% reduction.

Limited Contributions

If you are age 67 and qualify for the maximum retirement annuity, you can elect to limit contributions. You would no longer pay full contributions to JRS. Instead, you would only make contributions based on future salary increases.

Reciprocal service can be used to reach the maximum benefit. However, the member cannot retire from any reciprocal system if their service was used to reach the maximum benefit and limit contributions until the service is no longer needed.

Contact JRS if reciprocal service allows you to reach the maximum benefit and before accepting an independent benefit from a reciprocal system.

Limiting your contributions is irrevocable. Pension benefits are based on the eight highest consecutive years out of the last 10 in which the salary used to calculate benefits cannot exceed the Tier 2 annual salary maximum for that calendar year.

Annual Pension Increases

If you retire at age 67 or older, you will receive a pension increase of 3% or the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index-U, whichever is less on January 1 following your first full year of retirement. These annual increases are compounded on the previous year’s annuity. Pension increases are not limited by the maximum retirement benefit.

Returning to Employment

As a Tier 2 retiree, your JRS benefit will be suspended if you become a full-time participant in JRS or any Reciprocal System.

Your JRS benefit will continue if you:

  • Accept private employment.
  • Work for the state in any temporary position, except judge, for 75 days or less per calendar year.

If you are Recalled

As a Tier 2 retiree, your JRS benefit will be suspended if you become a full-time participant in JRS or any Illinois reciprocal retirement system. JRS will recalculate your benefit based on your additional judicial service. Your pension benefit will be reinstated the day following your removal from the bench.

If you retired with the maximum annuity and are at least 67 years of age, upon returning to retirement, you will be given the 3% increase or the annual unadjusted percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index-U, whichever is less, for any January during your recall service.

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