Nearing Retirement

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Retirement is three to five years away, and you’re ready to prepare for life’s next chapter. Now is the time to take advantage of IPERS’ retirement planning courses and meet with your financial planner to discuss your personal retirement savings. IPERS can’t tell you the best time for your retirement, but we offer several resources to help you make the right decision for your personal situation. 

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Retirement Eligibility
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There are three kinds of “normal retirement age” or “rules”. These are the milestones when you may collect retirement benefits without incurring a reduction for early retirement. However, you are not eligible for retirement until you are at least 55 years of age. 

  • Rule of 88: The member’s age at his/her last birthday and the member’s years of IPERS-covered employment equals 88 or greater.
  • Rule of 62/20: The member is age 62 or older and has at least 20 years of IPERS-covered employment. 
  • The member is age 65.


*Sheriff/Deputy Sheriff members reach normal retirement age at age 50 if they have at least 22 years of service and are retiring from a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff position. The Rule of 88 and Rule of 62/20 do not apply to this membership group.  

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Vested and Nonvested Members
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Only vested members may receive a monthly retirement benefit. At retirement, non-vested members will receive a lump-sum payment of their contributions to IPERS plus interest. To be vested, you must meet one of the following: 

  • Have worked at least four years in IPERS-covered employment before July 1, 2012.
  • Have worked in IPERS-covered employment with wages reported in the year you turned age 55 and before July 1, 2012. 
  • Have worked at least seven years in IPERS-covered employment. 
  • Work in IPERS-covered employment with wages reported in the month you turn age 65.
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Purchase Service
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Service = Time worked in IPERS-covered employment

Purchasing service increases the multiplier used to calculate your retirement benefit amount. Contact IPERS and request a cost estimate anytime during your career to help you plan for a future service purchase. After you submit your retirement application, IPERS will provide an official service purchase cost quote so you can decide whether to purchase service. Make sure to allow several months to complete this process. You may only purchase service at the time of retirement.

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When to Apply for Retirement
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IPERS members must complete an application to ensure that all retirement eligibility requirements are met. We encourage you to file your completed application at least 60 days before the month you want to begin receiving benefits. 

You cannot receive benefits until IPERS has received and approved your application. It is your responsibility to correctly file your application in a timely manner. Incomplete applications will be returned to you and could mean the delay of your benefits.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

No. If you are vested, you may start collecting a retirement benefit at any age if you are receiving Social Security Disability, or as early as age 55 if you are no longer employed with an IPERS-covered employer.


However, if you are younger than age 65 and do not meet the Rule of 88 or the Rule of 62/20, and you are not retiring because of a disability, your monthly benefit will be reduced. Sheriff/Deputy Sheriff group members may qualify to retire before age 55 if certain conditions are met.

Normal Retirement Age is when a member can receive benefits without an early-retirement reduction. 


Regular members can meet the Normal Retirement Age requirement when they: 

  • Are age 55 or older, and the sum of the member’s age at the last birthday and years of service equals or exceeds 88. (Rule of 88) 
  • Are age 62 or older and have at least 20 years of service. (Rule of 62/20)
  • Are age 65 or older.
  • Have a disability and are eligible for Regular disability benefits.


Sheriffs/Deputy Sheriff members can meet the Normal Retirement Age requirement when they:

  • Are currently working as a sheriff or deputy sheriff, age 50 and have at least 22 years of eligible service. Eligible service includes all service as a sheriff, deputy sheriff or protection occupation. 
  • Are age 55 or older.
  • Have a disability and are eligible for either Regular disability or Special Service disability.


Protection Occupation members can meet the Normal Retirement Age requirement when they:

  • Are age 55 or older.
  • Have a disability and are eligible for either Regular disability or Special Service disability.

Service helps determine the amount of your retirement benefits. You earn IPERS service credit each quarter you work in an IPERS-covered job. You can earn up to four quarters of service for each calendar year. In addition, members may purchase service credit at retirement or qualify for free service credit.

No. Contributions are made through payroll deductions when you are employed with an IPERS-covered employer in a covered position. If you are vested, you may be able to purchase service credit in IPERS when you are ready to retire. 

Before choosing a retirement date, contact IPERS and provide:

  • Your full name.
  • Address.
  • Telephone number.
  • Member ID number.
  • Birthdate.
  • The birthdate of your beneficiary.
  • Possible retirement date(s).


An estimate of benefits under the various payment options and an application form will be prepared and sent to you.

No. If you are vested, you may start collecting a retirement benefit as early as age 55 if you are no longer employed with an IPERS-covered employer. However, if you are younger than age 65 and do not meet the Rule of 88 or the Rule of 62/20, and you are not retiring because of a disability, your monthly benefit will be reduced. Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs may qualify to retire before age 55.

The Rule of 88 is when a member is age 55 or older, and the sum of the member’s age at the last birthday and years of service equals or exceeds 88.
The Rule of 62/20 is when a member is age 62 or older and has at least 20 years of service. A member can reach normal retirement age by meeting either of these rules, or by reaching age 65. A member who retires before normal retirement age has an early-retirement reduction applied to his or her benefit.

IPERS members are eligible to retire and receive monthly benefits if they are:

  • A vested member.
  • At least age 55 (age 50 if you are a sheriff or deputy sheriff with 22 years of qualified service).
  • Eligible for a monthly benefit of at least $50. 


In addition, to remain eligible for benefits, you must: 

  • Have a bona fide retirement.
  • Live into the month you receive your first benefit (or your benefit application will be canceled). 

IPERS members who retire and receive benefits before age 70 must have a bona fide retirement before they may return to IPERS-covered employment.


A bona fide retirement means: 

  • You have submitted a retirement application and IPERS has approved it.
  • You have left employment with all IPERS-covered employers, including non-covered positions with covered employers.
  • You are receiving benefits.
  • You have followed the time restrictions for providing services for an IPERS-covered employer. 


Review this document to learn more about bona fide retirement and how it works.

IPERS’ definition of retirement means you have applied for and begun receiving IPERS retirement benefits. You must live into your first month of entitlement to receive benefits, regardless of your age. To qualify for IPERS benefits you must terminate all employment with all covered employers (unless you are age 70 or older) and file a properly completed application for IPERS Retirement Benefits, which IPERS must approve.

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