As you approach retirement, you may have questions about your IPERS benefits, the retirement process and more. We offer many tools and resources to help you make informed retirement decisions with confidence.
Preparing for Your Retirement
This booklet provides a high-level overview of your retirement options and the retirement process.
As you approach retirement eligibility, the following steps will help you make informed decisions with confidence.
Determine your retirement timeline.
It’s ok if you have a few different retirement dates in mind. We can prepare multiple estimates to help you understand how when you retire might affect your benefit amount.
Attend an IPERS workshop.
IPERS offers many workshops designed to help members plan for retirement and understand IPERS’ benefits. It is beneficial to attend a workshop within five years of retirement. You may attend them as often as you’d like and as space allows.
- Ready, Set, Retire workshop (for state agency employees) – held monthly via livestream.
- Creating a Secure Retirement workshop (for all IPERS members) – held monthly via livestream.
Watch our Understanding Your IPERS Benefits video series:
- An IPERS Overview – This is an overview of IPERS' retirement plan. Learn about the formula used to calculate your benefit, purchasing service at retirement and rules for working after retirement.
- Completing Your Retirement Application - This video walks you through the retirement application step by step so you can learn how to complete your application and send it to IPERS with confidence.
- Benefit Estimate and Payment Options - This in-depth video describes IPERS’ different retirement options and how IPERS calculates your benefit amount.
Schedule a one-on-one appointment with an IPERS retirement counselor.
You can schedule an appointment in My Account or call us at 800-622-3849.
Review your benefit estimate.
You will be mailed a benefit estimate and you can also estimate your benefits in My Account. Contact IPERS if you discover any errors or discrepancies.
Decide if you will purchase service.
During your counseling appointment you can discuss this option.
Choose your benefit payment option.
Review your benefit payment options. Discuss any questions during your appointment with a benefit counselor.
FAQ Accordion Title
Frequently Asked Questions
To avoid an early retirement reduction, Regular members must meet a normal retirement age. IPERS often refers to normal retirement age as “rules.” Normal retirement age is one of the following, whichever comes first:
- When your age plus years worked in IPERS-covered employment equals or exceeds 88 (Rule of 88)
- Age 62 with 20 or more years of IPERS-covered employment (Rule of 62/20)
- Age 65
For more information, visit the Nearing Retirement page.
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.
IPERS members must complete a retirement application to ensure that you meet all retirement eligibility requirements. You should file your completed application at least 60 days before the month you want to begin receiving retirement benefits.
Before choosing a retirement date, contact IPERS and provide:
- Your full name.
- Telephone number.
- Member ID number.
- The birthdate of your beneficiary.
- Possible retirement date(s).
After IPERS receives and approves your application, we will send you a benefit estimate. You cannot receive retirement 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.
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 retirement benefits.
- You have followed the time restrictions for providing services for an IPERS-covered employer.
Visit the Returning to Work page or review the bona fide retirement flyer for additional information.
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.
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.