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3.1.28 Hiring & Employment of SURS Annuitants


The employment of an annuitant of the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) shall be governed by this policy and state law, including but not limited to the Illinois Pension Code (40 ILCS 5/15-139, 139.5).

Earnings Limitations for SURS Annuitants

SURS Traditional and Portable annuitants returning to work at the University must immediately notify the designated Human Resources contact and SURS of their return to work because their earnings are subject to the following limitations:

  • SURS annuitants may not be employed by a SURS Covered Employer until at least 60 days after the beginning of the retirement annuity payment period.
  • If annuity payments begin for an annuitant at age 60 or later, the earnings from a SURS Covered Employer during any academic year after retirement may not exceed their Annual Earnings Limitation as specified on the annuitant's SURS Certification of Retirement Form or equivalent document.
  • If annuity payments begin for an annuitant before age 60, the monthly earnings from a SURS Covered Employer may not exceed the annuitant's Monthly Earnings Limitation as specified on the annuitant's SURS Certification of Retirement Form or equivalent document.

If the salary of the annuitant upon return to work exceeds the limitations outlined above, his or her SURS annuity payments may be reduced or suspended.  There is no limitation on post-retirement earnings if the SURS annuitant returns to work with an employer who is not covered by SURS.  If a SURS annuitant retired under reciprocity from another state retirement plan, he or she should contact SURS and the other retirement system to ascertain the applicable earnings limitation(s).

All University applicants and employees are required to disclose to the designated Human Resources contact, the following information:

  • SURS Annuitant Status, including whether the individual qualifies as an affected annuitant (see definition below);
  • SURS' Certification of Retirement Annuity Form and/or the annuitants Annual Earnings Limitation and Highest Annual Earnings Determination; and
  • Employment dates and salary for each SURS Covered Employers for whom the individual has worked post-retirement.

Any change in the above information or status must be promptly reported to the designated Human Resources contact.

Affected Annuitant

An annuitant becomes an "affected annuitant" if, while receiving a SURS retirement annuity, he or she is employed by a SURS Covered Employer, and he or she receives more than 40% of the SURS annuitant's Highest Annual Earnings prior to retirement.

These requirements apply to all SURS annuitants except when the SURS' annuitant's compensation is paid from federal, corporate, foundation, or trust funds or grants of State funds that identify the principal investigator by name.

When an individual becomes an affected annuitant, the individual's employment status will follow the provisions in his/her employment contract.  Note, if an employee fails to provide information about their affected annuitant status in a timely manner or falsifies information, the employee may become financially responsible for any additional costs.

Fiscal Responsibility

It is Illinois State University's policy to be fiscally responsible in hiring of affected annuitants.  State law establishes a mandatory contribution for employers that employ "affected annuitants" (40 ILCS 5/15-139-5).  In addition to salary and benefits paid to the hired affected annuitant, the increased cost imposed on the University when employing an affected annuitant is equal to:

12 x (Gross monthly retirement annuity payable at time of hire – Employer Reduction calculated by SURS*).

*State law provides that the employer contribution would be reduced by a certain amount if the affected annuitant exceeds the allowable threshold. SURS calculates this deduction based on several actuarial factors impacting individual participants.

Offers to applicants identified as affected annuitants must receive advance written Vice Presidential approval.  Hiring departments are financially responsible for any additional costs imposed on the University as the result of employing an affected annuitant and must coordinate those costs with Human Resources and their respective Vice President.

Employment Limitations

All SURS annuitants are subject to any employment limitations set forth by state or federal law or in University procedure or policy.

Policy Owner: Human Resources

Contact: Human Resources (309-438-8311)

Revised on: 7/2014

2023-01-19T12:34:03.212688-08:00 2023