When you join SIU Medicine, you'll become part of the State Universities Retirement System (SURS).  Employees pay into the State Universities Retirement System (SURS). SURS provides retirement, disability, death, and survivor benefits to eligible SURS participants and annuitants. Contributions to SURS are mandatory.

State Universities Retirement System (SURS)        

All new employees in permanent and continuous positions, regardless of the percentage of employment, 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. 

In case of illness, disability benefits are available to an employee who has been a participant of SURS for at least 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 Employee contributions may be withdrawn at the time of death, retirement or resignation.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.

You can choose from three different SURS options for your 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 a more lucrative refund if eligible. No survivor benefits are available unless purchased by the employee.
  •  Option 3: The Retirement Savings (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.

You have 6 months to choose the option in which you will participate.  The choice is irrevocable

The 8% employee contribution will begin with the first payroll upon employment. If you choose the Retirement Savings (defined contribution) Plan Option, your 7.60% employee contribution will begin with the first full payroll after the election is submitted to SURS. You are vested in the retirement system after 5 or 10 years of participation in the retirement system, depending on the date you were certified in a state reciprocal system. 

For additional information on the SURS retirement plans, visit


Social Security

Employees eligible for SURS will not contribute to Social Security but will contribute 1.45% to Medicare. Therefore, during employment with SIU School of Medicine, you will not earn any quarters towards Social Security. Also at the time of retirement with the State Universities Retirement System, any benefit that may be payable under Social Security may be offset by the amount of your SURS annuity. 

Learn more about Social Security offsets at Government Pension Offset (PDF) and Windfall Elimination Provision (PDF)


All new employees are required to contribute 1.45% of their gross earnings after optional health and life insurance premiums (life insurance premiums up to $50,000 coverage), dependent and/or medical care assistance to the Medicare portion of Social Security.