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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.

Optional Service FAQs

1. I want to purchase my military service time. How much of this time can I purchase and what forms do I need to start the process?

You can buy up to 48 months of active duty time. We must have a legible copy of your DD-214, or the appropriate separation or discharge papers verifying active duty. For more information, refer to pages 10 & 11 of your SERS handbook.

2. What other service credit can I purchase?

You may purchase qualifying periods, short periods, leaves of absence of less than one year that began on or after 1-1-82, emergency and temporary employment, and repayment of a refund(s).

3. What if I retire before I finish buying back service credit?

Optional service credit must be paid in full before retirement. You should contact the Service & Refund Division prior to retirement to have your payment recalculated.

4. I disagree with the amount of service credit listed on my annual Benefit Statement. Can I get a record of my service on a month-by-month basis?

You can request a service credit report by calling the Accounting Division at 217-785-7191. You should receive your service credit breakdown within five to seven working days.

5. I am applying for a loan and my bank wants a current copy of my contributions with SERS. Can I get a letter from SERS showing this amount?

You can order a Statement of Account with SERS by calling the Accounting Division at 217-785-7191. You should receive your Statement of Account within five to seven working days.

6. Can I use my Deferred Compensation money to purchase optional service credit?

Yes, as long as you have enough money in your Deferred Compensation account to cover the full amount owed to SERS.

7. Can I purchase the time I worked under a public reciprocal system?

Contact the respective reciprocal system. You must have at least one full year of service credit to use the Reciprocal Act.

8. Can I purchase the time when I was laid off from state employment?

Under current law, you cannot purchase lay off time.

9. I came into some money. Can I pay off an irrevocable payroll agreement before the end date?

A: You can't pay off a payroll agreement early unless you leave the state payroll.

10. Can I purchase contractual employment?

A: Under current law, you cannot purchase contractual time.

11. If I purchase optional service credit that requires the payment of contributions and interest, what happens if I request a lump sum refund at a later date?

A: Your would receive the employee contributions only.