Member Service Representative

State Universities Retirement System

State Universities Retirement System

Sales & Business Development
Champaign, IL, USA
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Serve in a Member Service Representative role in one of the following SURS departments: Call Center, Counseling, Death & Disability, Employer Services, Insurance, Pay Benefits, PREP, Retirement, Retirement Savings Plan (see department descriptions below).

SURS is the administrator of a cost-sharing, multiple-employer, public employee retirement system that provides retirement, survivor, disability and death benefits to employees of Illinois state universities, community colleges, and certain other affiliated organizations and agencies. SURS was created in 1941, by an act of the Illinois General Assembly, and is governed by the Illinois Pension Code (40 ILCS 5/15-101 et seq.). SURS provides benefit services to over 250,000 members who work for 61 employers. SURS is responsible for investing assets in a diversified portfolio of U.S. and foreign stocks, bonds, real estate and alternative investments. SURS maintains a defined benefit plan, which on June 30, 2023, had assets valued at approximately $23.2 billion. SURS also administers two defined contribution plans, the Retirement Savings Plan, which on June 30, 2023, had assets of approximately $3.7 billion and the Deferred Compensation Plan, which had assets of approximately $28.5 million. Northern Trust serves as SURS’ master trustee custodian.

SURS’ Member Service roles rely heavily on strong customer service, communications, critical thinking, and mathematical skills. Certain departments are more customer service-focused while others focus more on claims processing and analysis. Openings are available in multiple departments. Must be a current Illinois resident to apply.

Required Qualifications

  1. High school diploma or equivalent.
  2. Any one or combination totaling three (3) years (36 months) from the categories below:
    1. college course work in business administration, communications, public relations, or a closely related field as measured by the following conversion table or its proportional equivalent:
      • 30 semester hours equals one (1) year (12 months)
      • Associate’s Degree (60 semester hours) equals eighteen months (18 months)
      • 90 semester hours equals two (2) years (24 months)
      • Bachelor’s Degree (120 semester hours) equals three (3) years (36 months)
    2. work experience in customer service or office administrative support
  • Applied knowledge of computers.
  • Skill in verbal and written communication.
  • Ability to learn and apply the rules, policies, and practices of the retirement system and other state and federal governmental agencies.
  • Ability to work with a diverse member base.
  • Ability to deal with the members, annuitants, and agencies in a friendly manner to achieve positive customer service.
  • Ability to work well with others during conversations, projects, meetings, or other collaborations.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strong analytical thinking skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Mathematical background
  • Excellent phone etiquette
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Desire to learn, grow and contribute to the team and organization
  • Desire to assist others during important life transitions
  • Ability to appropriately handle confidential or sensitive information
  • Self-motivator
  • Strong organizational skills


Call Center

  • Provide exceptional customer service to SURS members, employers, and outside entities regarding SURS benefits
  • Serve as a process liaison between the Call Center and other departments
  • Bring a desire to continuously learn and assist others


  • Counsel members on all SURS benefits with a focus on retirement
  • Calculate and explain estimated benefits, as well as the costs of service purchases
  • Conduct educational presentations and seminars for large groups of members
  • Bring a desire to regularly interact with and help others

Death, Disability & Disability Retirement

  • Process, calculate and approve the following claim types:
    • Death
    • Survivor
    • Disability
    • Disability Retirement Annuity (DRA)
  • Interact regularly with SURS employer representatives to facilitate efficient processing
  • Bring a keen awareness to the importance of assisting membership during difficult life changes

Employer Services

  • Act as a liaison between SURS staff, members and employers
  • Communicate daily with representatives from SURS’ 61 campuses
  • Assist in receipt and processing of employer transactions
  • Troubleshoot employer processing issues
  • Provide individual and group education to SURS employers on SURS’ benefits and processes


  • Act as a liaison between the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) and SURS members
  • Maintain check-writing files as it relates to insurance premiums
  • Investigate and resolve premium discrepancies

Pay Benefits

  • Process benefit payments including completion of pay benefits records and payment for the following:
    • Separation refunds
    • Finalized retirements and preliminary estimated payments
    • Disability claims
    • Death and Survivor benefits
    • Beneficiary annuities
    • Reversionary annuities
    • Survivor refunds
    • Excess service waivers
    • Disability retirements
  • Update and maintain member demographics and bank files
  • Approve daily ACH transfers and maintain check-writing files

PREP (Purchases, Refunds, Edits, Preliminary Estimated Payments)

  • Calculate and approve refunds, service credit purchases and preliminary estimated payments
  • Prepare cost estimates of service credit purchases
  • Interact regularly with SURS employer representatives to facilitate efficient processing


  • Process, calculate and approve retirement claims
  • Calculate and approve employer bills
  • Interact regularly with SURS employer representatives to facilitate efficient processing

Retirement Savings Plan (RSP)

  • Participate in the daily administration of SURS defined contribution plans
  • Process daily transactional and error reports
  • Process death claims, non-retirement eligible distributions and retirement eligible distributions
  • Serve as a liaison and resource for SURS staff, RSP service providers and SURS employers
  • Conduct customer service-related activities with SURS members


  • Based in Champaign, IL


  • Insurance benefits, including medical, vision and dental
  • Participation in SURS retirement plan
  • Paid vacation, sick leave and 11 paid holidays
  • Paid Parental Leave after six months of employment
  • Casual/business casual attire (dependent on job duties)
  • Flexible work environment

Application Process

To apply for this position, please click the apply button at the top of this job posting. Fill in the online application and attach a copy of your resume and cover letter.