How to Retire

Gather information and prepare.

Visit the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) website for many helpful resources, such as a retirement preparation checklist (PDF).

Check with Social Security to determine if you'll be impacted by the windfall provision (PDF) when you begin collecting an annuity from SURS.

Learn about applying for Medicare. Central Management Services provides information on Medicare benefits and requirements. Read more in the Retiree Benefits Handbook (PDF).

Choose your retirement date and apply.

To apply for retirement, use the SURS application builder for your plan:

File your application with SURS as far in advance of your retirement date as possible. Be sure to include the State Insurance Participation Election Form with your application.

If you have reciprocal service (TRS, SERS, IMRF, etc.), contact the applicable system for a retirement application.

Resign your position.

Provide notice of your retirement as soon as possible to avoid delays or overpayment. Notice is typically given at least 30 days before the last day of work.

Faculty and SPS employees should give a retirement letter to their department chair or supervisor. The letter should specify the last day of employment and the planned retirement date with SURS.

Civil service employees need to fill out a separation form with Human Resource Services. Appointments to do so are encouraged.

Please note: If your last day of work is on a date other than the last day of the month, contact the insurance office at 815-753-6000 to discuss the impact this may have on your insurance coverage.

Complete a new W4 form (optional).

If you wish to make changes to your tax withholding, complete a new federal and Illinois W-4 forms and submit it to the payroll office eight days before your last day of work. If the change is only for the benefit payout, write "Payout Only" on the top of the form.

Defer sick/vacation payout to 403(b) or 457(b) plan (optional).

If you wish to defer a portion of your sick/vacation payout to your 403(b) plan, submit a Supplemental Retirement Plan Salary Contribution Agreement Form (PDF) to HRS 14 days before your last day of work.

If you wish to defer a portion of your sick/vacation payout to your 457(b) plan, submit a State Employees' Deferred Compensation Plan Enrollment Form (PDF) and a State Employees' Deferred Compensation Plan Beneficiary Election Form (PDF) to HRS in the month before deferral.

Complete the exit checklist.

Before your last day of work, complete the exit checklist (XLS) with your chair, director or supervisor.

Submit your final benefit usage report or time sheet.

Faculty, SPS and exempt civil service employees need to submit their final benefit usage report to the payroll office on or before their last day of work, in order to avoid delays in their final benefit payout.

Salaried nonexempt and hourly civil service employees need to submit their final time sheets to their department office on their last day of work, in order to avoid delays in their final benefit payout.

Please ensure that both you and your supervisor sign the form before it is sent to Human Resource Services.

Please note: If you're a faculty member on a nine-month contract who is paid over nine months (i.e., your pay is not spread over 12 months), contact us at 815-753-6000 to discuss options for receiving your final regular paycheck.

Additional Steps

Contact Us

Human Resource Services
Human Resources/Document Services Building
1515 West Lincoln Highway
P: 815-753-6000
F: 815-753-2335
humanresources@niu.edu

State and Federal Notices

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