Retirement Incentive (ERI) for Tier 1 members
The information on this page applies only to participants
of the IMRF Regular Tier 1 plan, Original ECO, Revised ECO Tier 1, and
SLEP plans. If you
participate in Tier 2, ERI may be available to you, but the age requirements
members may purchase from one month up to five years of additional service
credit. For each period of service established, your age at retirement
will be increased accordingly.
yrs 5 months
yrs 3 months
yrs 7 months
to your actual service
yrs 7 months
yrs 0 months
yrs 10 months
Tier 1 members
age 60 or older may also purchase up to five years of additional service
credit. Although age enhancement is no longer necessary, the additional
service credit will result in a larger pension.
note: Although you can use reciprocal service credit to meet the service
requirement for the IMRF ERI, you will not be eligible to receive a
pension from the reciprocal system unless you meet its age requirement
without the IMRF ERI age/service enhancements.
The maximum Revised ECO Tier 1 pension (80% of final rate of earnings)
is earned after 20 years of ECO service credit.
Age 55 is the minimum age to retire under Revised ECO Tier 1.
An ECO member who retires under ERI with 20 years of ECO Tier 1service
will have his or her age enhanced for benefit calculation purposes,
but the pension amount will not be increased (because it is already
at the maximum amount).
A Revised ECO Tier 1 or Original ECO member at age 50 with 20 years
of ECO service can purchase five years of ECO service allowing
him or her to retire at age 50 (instead of the minimum age of 55).
However, the amount of the pension will not increase.
Notice of Intent to Retire Under Employer's IMRF ERI
If your employer adopts the ERI and you intend to retire under it, you
would notify IMRF of your intention to do by submitting IMRF
can use Acrobat Reader to open IMRF Form
5.21, "Notice of Intent to Retire Under Employer's IMRF Early
Retirement Incentive". You can then print, complete and mail this
form to IMRF. Or you can call an IMRF Service Representative at 1-800-ASK-IMRF
(1-800-275-4673) and have the form mailed to you.
can also FAX the Notice of Intent to IMRF at 630-368-5397.
Notice of Intent (form or phone call) must be received in the IMRF office
before your date of retirement, preferably with your application for
retirement (IMRF Form
5.20). But we recommend you file Form
5.21 as soon as your employer adopts the ERI and the member decides
to retire under it.
of your notice does not guarantee your eligibility for the ERI nor for
an IMRF pension.
a general rule, your Notice of Intent is not a letter of resignation.
Although you may file a Notice, you are not required to apply for an
IMRF pension. However, some employers may treat a Notice of Intent as
a letter of resignation. If you have any questions regarding this, talk
with your employer.
will acknowledge receipt of your intent with a letter and the publication,
"Can I Afford to Retire?" Your employer will receive a courtesy
copy of the acknowledgment letter.
If you receive any lump sum payments for vacation, sick leave and/or
personal leave, your employer must forward the net payment (gross amount
less federal and state taxes, IMRF member contributions, etc.) to IMRF.
The net payment will be applied toward your ERI cost.
the net payment for sick, vacation, and/or personal time is greater
than your ERI cost, your employer would forward to IMRF an amount required
to pay your cost. Your employer would forward to you any remaining balance
of the net payment. If the net payment is less than your ERI cost, you
will be billed separately by IMRF. Please do not send any payment to
IMRF until you receive an invoice from IMRF.
payment must be remitted to IMRF. As long as the payment for vacation,
sick leave and/or personal leave is due to your retirement, it is payable
Refunds from IMRF
If you are entitled to a refund from IMRF for surviving spouse, SLEP,
or voluntary additional contributions, you may request that the refund
be applied toward your ERI cost. If the refund is greater than your
ERI cost, IMRF will refund the balance to you.
from conduit IRA
may roll over funds from a conduit IRA to pay your ERI cost. Funds from
a regular IRA cannot be used to pay for the ERI. A conduit IRA is one
which holds a rollover from a qualified pension plan (like IMRF) and
to which other money has not been added.
contributions for the ERI can be paid in a single sum or deducted from
your pension in 24 equal monthly installments. Interest is not charged
during the 24 months. The 24-month payment period is fixed by law and
cannot be extended.
Additional member payments
deductions for the 24 equal monthly installments begin, you can forward
additional payments or pay off the balance of your ERI cost at any time.
If you retire under the ERI and you return to work for any IMRF employer
in any position, even as an independent contractor,
lose the ERI enhancements and
pay IMRF the difference between the ERI enhanced pension and the
pension you would have received without the ERI-less the amount
you paid for the ERI
you can hold an elected position and continue to receive your
ERI pension if you choose to not participate in IMRF and
your pension is not based on any service earned in that position during
any term of office.
you would not have been entitled to a pension without an ERI, i.e.,
you were less than age 55 at retirement:
would be required to repay IMRF for all pension payments received
less the amount you paid
you again retire, your pension will be recalculated without the
may retire under ERI only once. For example, you retire under ERI and
return to work for an IMRF employer. If that employer adopted ERI, you
would not be eligible to retire under it.
If you participate in more than one plan or in the
you have both regular IMRF and SLEP service credit
type of service credit you can purchase under the ERI will be determined
by your current employer:
your current employer is SLEP and it adopts the ERI, you would purchase
SLEP service credit.
your current employer is regular IMRF, you would purchase regular IMRF
you are participating under two IMRF employers, one SLEP and one regular
type of service credit purchased under the ERI will be determined
by which employer adopts the ERI.
both employers adopt the program and of your 20 years of total service
credit you have:
than 15 years of SLEP service credit.:
would purchase regular service credit
or more years of SLEP service credit:
would purchase the number of years desired; your cost would
be calculated as follows:
7.5% per year purchased x SLEP ERI final rate of earnings
4.5% per year purchased x Regular ERI final rate of earnings
you participate in the Elected County Official plan
a member participating in the Original ECO plan participates under two
employers, the member will purchase ECO service credit, regardless which
employer adopts ERI.
a member participating in the Revised ECO plan participates under two
employers, the type of service credit purchased under ERI will be determined
by which eemployer adopts the ERI.
for under age 60 with less than 35 years of service
IMRF ERI does not alter the existing IMRF benefit formula. Under Tier
1, the current benefit formula calls for a pension reduction if you
retire before age 60. (This reduction does not apply to SLEP pensions.)
This reduction will apply if your ERI enhanced age is less than 60.
If when you retire under Tier 1 ERI:
Your ERI enhanced age is between 55 and 60 and your
ERI enhanced service is less than 30 years, your pension will be reduced
by 1/4% for each month your ERI enhanced age is under age 60.
ERI enhanced age is between 55 and 60 and your ERI enhanced service
is at least 30 but less than 35 years, your pension will be reduced
by the lesser of
for each month your ERI enhanced age is less 60 or
for each month your ERI enhanced service is less than 35 years.
ERI enhanced age is 60 or your ERI enhanced service is 35 years,
the full amount of the pension is paid.
your actual age is 55 or greater, you can avoid the reduction by purchasing
sufficient service to reach an enhanced age of 60 or 35 years of service
your actual age is less than 55, the pension reduction will be calculated
using your enhanced age and service credit.
yrs. 4 months
yrs. 3 months
yrs. 0 months
to actual service
yrs. 0 months
yrs. 4 mo
yrs. 3 mo.
yrs. 4 MO
yrs. 3 mo.
ERI enhanced age less than 60:
would be reduced 1/4% for each month under age 60:
months x .25% = 11
In this example, the
amount of your ERI enhanced pension would be permanently reduced by 11%.
1 Employer passes the resolution adopting the IMRF ERI.
Employer informs its IMRF members of the adoption of the ERI and of
the program's effective date.
Members intending to retire under the ERI notify IMRF of their intent
by completing Form 5.21, "Member's Notice of Intent to Retire Under
the IMRF ERI," or by calling an IMRF Service Representative at
1-800-ASK-IMRF (1-800-275-4673). The Notice of Intent does not guarantee
a member's eligibility for the ERI nor for an IMRF pension.
4 IMRF acknowledges receipt of the member's intent to the
member and the employer.
5 Employer determines retiring members' termination dates.
Employer is to give members 30 days notice of the date. Members may
waive the 30-day notice. However, if a member requests to retire before
July 1st so he or she will be eligible for the 13th payment the following
year, the employer must allow the member to do so.
Member submits IMRF Form 5.20, "Application for Retirement Annuity,"
to IMRF 30 days before termination date.
Employer submits IMRF Form 6.41, "Notice of Termination of IMRF
Participation" for member.
8 IMRF begins paying an estimated ERI enhanced pension. If
member is eligible for a refund of contributions (surviving spouse,
SLEP, voluntary additional), IMRF notifies member of refund. Member
can use refund to pay member ERI costs, if desired.
9 Employer sends in member's final payroll report.
10 After final payroll received, IMRF recalculates member's
pension to determine final pension amount.
11 If a member is eligible for level option pension (actual
age less than 62), IMRF notifies member of the option.
12 IMRF calculates the member's cost for the ERI and sends an invoice to
13 Employer returns invoice with the net payment for the
member's sick, vacation, and/or personal time. If net payment greater
than member's ERI cost, employer forwards balance of net payment to
14 After 30 days, IMRF sends an invoice to the member indicating
ERI service purchased, payments received, and balance remaining. Member
can return invoice with any payments toward his or her cost of the ERI.
15 After 30 days have passed or payment received from the
member, if any balance remains for member's ERI cost, IMRF begins deducting
24 equal installments (without interest) from the member's pension.
IMRF Online provides
a brief summary of IMRF benefits and the adminstration of those benefits.
and employers' rights and obligations are governed by
of the Illinois Pension Code.
Statements in these publications are general,
and the Illinois state law governing IMRF is complex and specific.
conflict arises between information in these publications and the law, all
decisions are based on the law.