SURS and SUAA?  What's the Difference?

SURS (State Universities Retirement System) administers benefits for the “public employee retirement system that provides retirement, survivor, disability, and death benefits for employees of Illinois state universities, community colleges, and certain other affiliated organizations and agencies.”

SUAA (State Universities Annuitants Association) advocates for the protection of these benefits.

What does SUAA do?

  • SUAA actively advocates to preserve and protect higher education, the SURS pension system, the healthcare plans, and other benefits provided for community college and university employees and retirees, their spouses and survivors.  SUAA is not a union. 
  •  SUAA is the only advocacy organization that focuses solely on protecting benefits for all SURS members and beneficiaries.  In addition, SUAA works closely with SURS to educate employees about benefit changes resulting from recent legislation.

 How do you become a member of these groups?

  • SURS—As a university or community college employee, you automatically become a member of SURS. The cost is approximately 8% of your gross salary which is deducted from each and every paycheck. 
  • SUAA--You must join SUAA to become a member. SUAA has local chapters on each community college and state university campus in Illinois. SUAA annual dues may be paid by check (payable to SUAA) or credit card at


Why should you join SUAA? 

  • Joining SUAA is a way of taking responsibility for your own future, of doing something now to make sure that your retirement is there when you need it. 
  • Without your support, SUAA cannot protect your interests. The more members SUAA has, the stronger SUAA’s voice in Springfield.

For more information, contact SUAA Executive Director Bryan Soady at 217-523-4040 or email him at [email protected]