All new employees in permanent and continuous positions or a position in which services are expected to be rendered on a continuous basis for at least four (4) months or one (1) academic term, whichever is less, are required to participate in the State Universities Retirement System (SURS). SURS provides disability benefits, retirement annuity benefits, survivors insurance, early retirement benefit and the tax sheltering of an 8% employee contribution. Employees eligible for SURS will not contribute to Social Security but will contribute 1.45% to Medicare.
In case of illness, disability benefits are available to an employee who has been a participant of SURS for at least two (2) years. No minimum participation is required if the disability results from an accident.
The employee contribution to SURS is mandatory. Employee contributions may be withdrawn at the time of death, retirement or resignation. Refund of contributions at the time of resignation may be subject to a penalty.
An employee who has been in layoff status for at least 120 days may request his or her contributions be refunded.
Retirees may have to contribute to the cost of their health, dental and life coverage after retirement. This will depend on legislation.
There are three (3) different SURS options available that employees may choose from for their retirement.
Option 1: The Traditional (defined benefit) plan offers retirement annuity, survivors' benefits, death benefits or refund of employee contributions.
Option 2: The Portable (defined benefit) plan offers retirement annuity and more lucrative refund if eligible. No survivor benefits are available unless purchased by the employee.
Option 3: The Self-Managed (defined contribution) plan allows the employee to invest in several different investment options. A retirement annuity is available. No survivor benefits are available. Refund options include the employee contributions plus investment return.
New employees have 6 months to choose the option in which they will participate. The choice is irrevocable. If the employee does not make a choice within the 6 month period, they will automatically be defaulted into the Traditional Plan.