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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.

Refunds FAQs

1. How long does it take to receive a refund from SERS?

Refunds are generally paid within 60-90 days from date of application. SERS must first confirm and certify with the employing agency that payrolls have cleared and employment has terminated.

2. I am leaving state service and want to take a refund. When can I apply, and what forms do I need?

The law governing SERS requires that you be off the payroll for 14 days before you are eligible and can apply for a refund. Federal law mandates that we advise you of the amount in your SERS account and the tax consequences for receiving a refund.

3. Can I get a refund for the state-paid portion of my contributions?

When you terminate state employment, you are eligible for the employee contributions paid by you or "picked-up" by the State of Illinois.

4. Can I take a partial refund and leave the rest of the money in my SERS account?

If you take a refund, you can only receive the full amount.

5. Is there a hardship provision for withdrawing money from my SERS account?

You may not withdraw money from your SERS account for a hardship provision.

6. Can I borrow money from my SERS account?

You may not borrow money from your SERS account for any reason or condition.

7. Is interest paid as part of a refund?

No. By law, you are entitled to receive the employee contributions only.

8. Can my refund of contributions be divided because of a divorce?

Yes, if a Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order has been issued by an Illinois Court. A QILDRO does not establish a new benefit, nor does it create a new member or beneficiary. Generally, the QILDRO orders the payment of a benefit to the spouse as the alternate payee. It may also be payable to a child or other dependent as the alternate payee. The QILDRO does not apply to lump sum death benefits, survivor annuities, or disability benefits. (QILDRO information and forms.)