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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.

Tier 1 Occupational Death Benefits

If your death results from a work related cause, your eligible survivors and beneficiaries may qualify for benefits.

In order to receive any occupational death benefit, your survivor must apply for it. All benefit claims should be made to the Claims Division. After your survivor begins receiving benefits (s)he should notify SERS if there is a change of address, change in name, change in bank account that recieves the annuity payments, or a change in any other pertinent information. 

All benefit claims and appeals are reviewed by the SERS Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. If your beneficiary's claim is denied, or they question the payment of any benefit, they may file a written appeal or request a hearing before the Executive Committee.


If you die from a work-related injury or illness, as determined by the Workers Compensation Commission, your survivors are eligible for an occupational death benefit.

If you have no qualified survivors, your nominated beneficiary(ies) will receive your contributions and interest, and one month’s salary for each year of service, up to a maximum of six month's salary.

Annuity payments are paid to qualified survivors. These amounts are reduced by any payments awarded under the Workers’ Compensation Act, or the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act.

Your Spouse

If you are survived by your spouse, (s)he will receive a monthly annuity equal to 50% of your final average compensation. This benefit is payable until death.

Your Spouse and Children

If your spouse has your children under his/her care who are under age 18 (22 if full-time student), or a disabled child over age 18, the total amount of benefits payable can be up to 75% of your final average compensation. This benefit will decrease as your children lose eligibility due to their increase in age and will be payable until your spouse dies.

Your Children

If you are not survived by a spouse, but have children under age 18 (22 if full-time student), or over age 18 and disabled, they can each receive a monthly annuity of 15% of your final average compensation, but the total amount of such annuities may not exceed, 50% of your final average compensation. This benefit is payable until the last child reaches age 18 (22 if full-time student), marries, dies, or is no longer disabled.

Your Dependent Parents

If your spouse or children do not survive you, your dependent parents may be eligible for benefits. In order to qualify, your parents must be able to document that they were at least 50% financially dependent on you at the time of your death.

Annual Increase

The occupational death benefit is increased 3% each January 1, following the first anniversary of the annuity.