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SERS members have recently been targeted by a variety of phishing scams, including emails, phone calls, and text messages that attempt to impersonate or imply affiliation with SERS.

The fraudulent emails may provide links, including DocuSign, and allege to provide the member with the option to sign up and receive their monthly SERS benefit payments four days early by providing personal financial information, including bank account information.  SERS does not offer an early benefit payment option or request personal or banking information by email or use of DocuSign.  Please note that our emails are always sent from an email address.

Phone calls and Text messages
Several members have recently reported receiving unsolicited phone calls and text messages from individuals claiming to be associated with SERS.  These individuals initially contact the member by phone call or text message and attempt to set up counseling appointments with the member, generally through a follow-up email and/or text message.  These phone calls have been received on State landlines and State issued cell phones.  SERS does not contract with anyone outside of the agency to contact members about retirement counseling appointments or other financial services. SERS does not cold call members for retirement consultations, and only schedules retirement counseling appointments at the request of the member.

If you receive a suspicious email, call, or text message that purports to be SERS that you suspect is a scam, please report this activity to the SERS call center at 217-785-7444. Information that you provide can help SERS prevent and detect schemes that impact our members. 

Death Benefits FAQs

1. How can I determine who I have listed as my beneficiaries?

We can't give you this information over the phone because of confidentiality reasons. A verification letter can be sent to your address with a list of your beneficiaries from our database.

2. Can I call our office and request that a portion of my contributions designated to a deceased beneficiary go to the children of the deceased beneficiary?

No. This can only be done by submitting a new beneficiary form to our office.

3. At the time of my death, how long will my eligible survivor receive monthly benefits?

A survivor remains eligible to receive benefits until death. A child remains eligible until age 18 (22 if attending school full-time), or the child marries. Disabled adults may continue to receive benefits as long as their disability continues and they aren't gainfully employed.

4. If my spouse is working at the time of my death and is qualified to receive a survivor benefit, could he/she receive the monthly benefit and continue working regardless of where the employment is?

Yes, your spouse may work and qualify for survivor benefits.

5. At the time of my death, if my spouse qualifies for a survivor's benefit, who should he/she contact to apply?

In the event of your death, your spouse should contact SERS to begin the process of receiving death benefits.

6. If my wife and I both receive a state pension from SERS and one of us dies, will the surviving spouse continue to receive their pension and also be entitled to receive survivor benefits?

If the surviving spouse qualifies for survivor benefits, they would be entitled to receive their pension and survivor benefits.

7. Is there a way for me to eliminate the survivor benefit offset so my spouse can receive my full survivor benefit?

At retirement, you may elect to reduce your retirement benefit by 3.825% to remove the Social Security offset from your spouse's survivor benefit. You may also make an irrevocable election to eliminate your pension reduction if there is a change in your marital status due to death or divorce.