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New Members
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You're in good company.
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You work for an IPERS-covered employer, which means you’re automatically an IPERS member. Each pay period, IPERS will receive a small portion of your wages. These are pooled with other members’ wages – and contributions from employers – and are invested to pay the benefit you’ll receive upon retirement. The best part: IPERS retirement benefits are guaranteed for life. Upon retirement, you will receive a predictable monthly benefit for the rest of your life. That’s what makes IPERS different from a traditional 401(k) style plans; your benefits will never run out. So, welcome to the club. We’re glad you’re here.

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Welcome Packet
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You should receive a welcome packet in the mail within two months of your first paycheck. Keep your welcome letter because it contains your member ID number and your My Account username. If you didn’t receive a welcome packet or didn’t keep the letter, call IPERS at 800-622-3849 and we will help you access My Account.

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Choose your beneficiary
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As a new member, it's important that you designate a beneficiary. Your beneficiary is the person, people or thing that are eligible to receive any benefits payable upon your death.

It is essential that you select a beneficiary so IPERS can carry out your wishes at your death.

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Member Resources
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IPERS exists exclusively for you, our members. We encourage you to become familiar with the features of the IPERS retirement plan. We provide numerous resources to help you understand the rights and benefits of IPERS membership in a clear, useful manner. 

Member Education

IPERS’ knowledgeable staff is available to help you understand your benefits. We offer many educational opportunities ranging from group workshops to individual counseling sessions. 

Member Publications and Materials

IPERS provides a variety of publications to help you at every stage of your career. Our publications explain important aspects of your IPERS benefits.

Member News and Updates

Periodically, IPERS distributes a Member Update newsletter via email. To stay connected, simply make sure we have your current contact information, including your email address. You can provide or update this information anytime in My Account. 

Social Media

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube for up-to-date news and information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

It's easy to designate or change your beneficiary through My Account (link to My Account login). Designations within My Account are permissible for unmarried members and married members who designate their spouse as the primary beneficiary. If you are married and want to designate someone else or multiple persons as your primary beneficiary, complete and submit the Beneficiary Designation form

Yes. Your beneficiary designations are in effect until you submit the form again, designating a different beneficiary. You can do this any time. (If you are already retired or if you are retired re-employed, please contact IPERS to discuss how and whether you can change your beneficiary.)

Yes. If you name two or more people as either your primary or secondary beneficiaries, each will receive an equal amount. Designating a secondary beneficiary is not required.

It is important to promptly designate a new beneficiary if your beneficiary dies.

You can name any person (or people), charity, church or trust as your primary or secondary beneficiary. You may not designate a commercial entity, such as a funeral home, as your beneficiary.

If you have designated one person as your beneficiary, he or she may be eligible for a lifetime monthly benefit or a lump-sum payment. Visit the Beneficiaries page for additional information. If you’ve named more than one person, or an estate or trust, as your beneficiary, the only payout option is a lump-sum payment. Lump-sum payments may be rolled over to avoid tax penalties. Note: It is important to keep your beneficiary designation current. Check your beneficiary designation in My Account.

If, at your death, you have not designated a beneficiary, your estate may become your beneficiary. Your will does not affect your beneficiary designation. 

If you divorce, legal documents such as an IPERS Qualified Domestic Relations Order may supersede your designation. Please contact IPERS to learn more about QDROs and other legal orders such as tax levies, child support, etc.

Yes. However, IPERS cannot make payments directly to minors. Depending on the amount that is to be paid, IPERS can make payments to an adult custodian or to a court-established conservator or trustee. Or the minor beneficiary can wait until he/she is 18 to receive the money. (The minor’s legal guardian should contact IPERS to ensure that waiting to claim a death benefit will not cause the death benefit to be forfeited.)

No. IPERS does not have provisions for loans or hardship withdrawals of contributions.

No. Iowa law does not permit using IPERS as collateral for a loan.

You must contribute as long as you are working in a job covered by IPERS.
 

Contributing to IPERS is mandatory for all IPERS members. All members pay contributions through payroll deductions. Contribution rates may change each year on July 1. Regular member rates are set by IPERS following an actuarial valuation but cannot change by more than 1 percentage point up or down each year. Contribution rates for Special Service members are determined by IPERS' actuary. 

No. Contributions are set each year as a percentage of your wages. The only way to contribute more is to make an IPERS service purchase at retirement. The amount of your monthly pension is based on a formula, not on the amount of your contributions. The formula includes how many years you have worked in IPERS-covered employment and your highest average salary.

No. The IPERS Investment Board and a staff of certified investment professionals oversee all investment activities. At retirement, you will receive a guaranteed monthly benefit, regardless of how the stock market performs.

Most public employees automatically become members of IPERS when they start work for a public employer. If you are covered by IPERS, your employer will enroll you. Some public employees can choose to join IPERS or another retirement plan. If you have a choice, your employer should give you information about the available alternatives when you start work.

Vested members are old enough or have enough years of service to receive monthly benefits upon retirement. Vesting should not be confused with normal retirement age rules, e.g., Rule of 88 and Rule of 62/20, which determine when an early retirement benefit reduction no longer applies.

IPERS assigns a personalized member ID to each member. You should use this number when communicating with IPERS instead of your Social Security number. If you are a new member, you will receive your member ID number in the mail once your employer reports your wages to IPERS. If you don't know your member ID number, call us at 800-622-3849.

The benefit amount is determined by a formula. The formula includes your average annual salary from the five years when you earned the most and a multiplier based on your years of service. The multiplier for Regular members is 2% a year for the first 30 years of service and 1% a year for the next five years, up to a maximum of 65%. The multiplier for Special Service members is approximately 2.7272% a year for the first 22 years and then 1.5% for years 23 – 30, up to a maximum of 72%. A normal retirement age deduction may apply if you retire early. Review the Member Handbook for more information.

• Visit the resource library section at the bottom of this page for links to helpful publications, webinars and videos.
• Call an IPERS representative or email us with your questions.

If you have designated one person as your beneficiary, he or she may be eligible for a lifetime monthly benefit or a lump-sum payment. Visit the Beneficiaries page for additional information. If you’ve named more than one person, or an estate or trust, as your beneficiary, the only payout option is a lump-sum payment. Lump-sum payments may be rolled over to avoid tax penalties. Note: It is important to keep your beneficiary designation current. Check your beneficiary designation in My Account.

If your new employer provides IPERS benefits, your membership in IPERS continues automatically. If your new employers is not an IPERS-covered employer, you may leave your money at IPERS, roll over your money to another retirement plan or take a refund. If you are a vested member or plan to return to work in a job covered by IPERS, it may be best to leave your money at IPERS. 

If you have not started receiving benefits yet, you can view and print a copy of your benefits statement and see your accumulated contributions and interest in My Account.

It's easy to designate or change your beneficiary through My Account (link to My Account login). Designations within My Account are permissible for unmarried members and married members who designate their spouse as the primary beneficiary. If you are married and want to designate someone else or multiple persons as your primary beneficiary, complete and submit the Beneficiary Designation form

If you are vested, you may retire at any time without an early-retirement reduction if you qualify to retire because of disability. Special Service members may choose between Regular and Special Service disability benefits. More information is available in Understanding Your Disability Benefits. You can also contact IPERS for guidance.

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Member Education

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