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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. 

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.