The following booklet was created to help educate our legislators and their staff about SURS and our funding needs. You can review it to learn more about the System, our investment and funding history, and our retirement benefits.
Learn more about the history of the State Universities Retirement System Members Advisory Committee.
In 1941, a four-year study concluded with the formation of the University Retirement System. The act provided "for the creation, maintenance, and administration of a Retirement System for the benefit of the staff members and employees of the University of Illinois and certain other state educational and scientific agencies." Ruth Ellen Kunkel was the System's first employee and administrator.
In 1942, the System had 3,760 participants and added two additional staff members. In the following years, the University Retirement System grew to include other universities, colleges, and affiliated agencies throughout the state of Illinois.
In 1963, the System adopted its current name, State Universities Retirement System (SURS).
Today SURS serves 65 employers* in Illinois including state universities, community colleges, and state agencies. It employs more than 120 people in offices in Champaign and Naperville and provides benefit services to over 200,000 members throughout the world.
*Number denotes combining of several campuses.
SURS was created by the Governor of Illinois and the General Assembly in 1941. Consistent with that, changes to the existing benefit program must be enacted through legislation. An example of legislative action can be found in the passage of the funding bill. Law changes will continually impact the number of agencies we serve, the benefits we provide, how benefits are provided, and how we are funded.
To secure and deliver the retirement benefits promised to our members.