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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 or by calling (217) 785-7444.

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.