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SURS Deferred Compensation 457 Plan

The SURS Deferred Compensation 457 Plan (also known as the SURS DCP) is an investment plan available to all actively contributing SURS members. Automatic enrollment applies, for those first employed on or after July 1, 2023. Participants may choose to invest pre-tax and/or Roth (after-tax) money in this Plan. Income from the SURS Deferred Compensation Plan is not subject to State of Illinois tax when taken as a qualified distribution. Participating in the SURS Deferred Compensation Plan can help supplement retirement planning, and will not reduce any other University benefits.

The SURS Deferred Compensation Plan is administered by SURS, with Voya as recordkeeper.


You are eligible to participate in the SURS DCP if you are an actively contributing SURS member. You do not need to be eligible for State insurance or other benefits to participate.

Automatic Enrollment

Employees that first become a SURS participant (first certified) on or after July 1, 2023 are automatically enrolled in this Plan. The automatic enrollment account settings: 3% deducted before taxes and invested in the SURS Lifetime Income Strategy (LIS). Participants can customize their contribution rate and investment lineup or opt out of the SURS DCP within the 30-day opt out period.

Automatic Escalation

Employees who were automatically enrolled into the Plan and are still contributing at the default rate of 3% pre-tax will see an automatic increase in their deferral amount of 1% each July 1st, up to a maximum deferral of 10%. This annual increase will begin on the July 1st after the employee has been in the plan for at least 180 days. Employees may opt out of automatic escalation at any time by logging into their SURS Member website. See the SURS DCP FAQs for more information.

Employees that were not automatically enrolled may opt in to the automatic escalation feature by logging into their SURS Member website. See the SURS DCP FAQs for more information.

Contributions and Changes

Changes can be made at any time, subject to payroll schedules. Changes made to your deferrals during the month are provided to the university on the first of the following month.  While changes can be made at any time, it can take a payroll cycle or two before the change becomes effective. Plan accordingly when making changes to your SURS DCP contributions.

Contribution Limits

The minimum amount that you may contribute to the Plan is $10 per pay period or 1% of your gross pay per pay period. The maximum amount you may contribute is determined by the IRS:

  • For calendar year 2023, the maximum is $22,500.
  • For calendar year 2024, the maximum is $23,000.

The SURS DCP and the State of Illinois Deferred Compensation 457 Plan are both 457 Plans, so they have a single, combined joint IRS limit. This means that your contributions to either one or both cannot exceed $22,500 in total for calendar year 2023 ($23,000 for calendar year 2024).

There are two catch-up provisions available to maximize contributions to the Plan:

  • The Special 457(b) Catch-Up

You may be able to contribute up to two times the normal limit in the 3 calendar years preceding the year in which you attain Normal Retirement Age (NRA).  The NRA is an age that you pick that can be as early as the age at which you can retire under one of the SURS retirement plans with an unreduced retirement benefit.  If you do not pick an age or if age 65 is earlier than your earliest unreduced retirement age, then your NRA is age 65. If you are interested in the Special 457 (b) Catch-Up, a special form is required and is available on the SURS DCP website. To request an estimate of available catch-up amount, contact SURS Defined Contribution Center at 800-613-9543. 

  • Age 50 Catch-Up

If you are over age 50, you can contribute up to an additional $7,500 in calendar year 2023 and 2024. The Age 50 Catch-Up does not require a form, simply update your deferral amount on the SURS DCP website. 

You may not participate in both Age 50 Catch-Up and the Special 457(b) Catch-Up at the same time.

There is no employer contribution in this Plan.

Plan Summary

For details, see SURS Deferred Compensation Plan (SURS DCP).

Participation in the Plan does not reduce any of your other University benefits based on salary – such as SURS retirement, long-term disability, life insurance, or survivor benefits. Automatic enrollment applies to some employees. All participants can make changes at any time, and you are always fully vested in your contributions.

Plan Fees

In order to cover expenses of the Plan, participants are also assessed an annual fee of $30 per year. Other fees may be applicable.

Deferred Compensation Income in Retirement

Retirement withdrawals from pre-tax contributions and earnings are subject to federal income tax. The State of Illinois does not tax retirement income from the SURS Deferred Compensation Plan if taken in accordance with Plan provisions, at full retirement age, as a legal resident of Illinois.

Retirement withdrawals from Roth (after-tax) contributions and earnings are not subject to federal or state income taxes as long as they are part of a qualified distribution. A qualified distribution is generally one that is made five years after the year of the first Roth contribution and when a participant attains age 59½, dies, or becomes disabled.

Withdrawals taken prior to retirement or not meeting the criteria for a qualified distribution may be subject to additional taxes or penalties. Questions about taxation of retirement income should be discussed with a tax professional.


For questions about deductions and your contributions, contact University Payroll & Benefits.

For questions about Plan rules, catch-up contributions, available funds, enrollment, beneficiaries, contribution changes, your account, account value, and investment changes contact SURS at 800-613-9543 or TDD 800-579-5708.


SURS DCP Brochure
SURS DCP Automatic Enrollment
SURS DCP Informational Webinar
Getting to Know the SURS DCP Video
SURS DCP Investment Options Guide

Information provided on this site is general in nature about matters of interest to University of Illinois System employees. This information is not legal, financial, or tax advice. You should consult with a legal, financial, or tax professional for assistance with your individual circumstances.