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Fraudulent Emails
SERS members have recently been targeted by fraudulent emails that claim to be from SERS. These emails appear to be legitimate correspondence from SERS, but they are not. Our emails are always sent from an email address. The fraudulent emails provide several links, including one to DocuSign, and allege to provide the member with the option to sign up to receive their monthly SERS benefit payments four days early by providing personal financial information, including bank account information. SERS does not offer this early payment option or request personal or banking information by email. Please contact us at 217-785-7444 if you have received or responded to a fraudulent email. 

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 us to 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?

Yes. 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?

No, 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.)