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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. 

Taxes FAQs

1. How can I change my federal income tax withholding?

Changes in withholding require completion of a new W-4P or you may submit the change in writing. The written request should include your name, last 4 digits of Social Security number, and written signature along with the changes requested. SERS is unable to accept any request to change taxes via a phone call.

2. What types of taxes are deducted from my SERS benefit?

Benefits paid by SERS (with the exception of occupational disability or monthly occupational death benefits) are considered ordinary income and are subject to federal withholding income tax. Benefits paid by SERS are exempt from Illinois tax.

3. Even though I don't pay State of Illinois tax on my benefit, can I have it withheld?

Yes. Upon request, SERS will provide a form for Illinois income tax withholding on which you may elect any dollar amount.

4. I completed a W-4P for withholding, but nothing is being deducted. Why?

Federal withholding tax is deducted according to the tax table provided by the IRS. Allowances are made for your filing status, other income/pensions, dependents, and other adjustments. If, after these entries on your federal withholding form, your taxable gross income is below the minimum required for withholding, nothing is deducted; however if you want taxes withheld, you may designate a percentage or dollar amount withheld monthly.