IMRF and Social Security
If you've been concerned about how your IMRF benefits affect your Social Security benefits, you can rest assured. For the majority of our members, IMRF retirement benefits do not reduce Social Security benefits. By the same token, Social Security benefits do not reduce your IMRF pension.
With the exception of a small number of people, IMRF members participate in Social Security in addition to IMRF. Since you contributed to both plans, you are entitled to full retirement benefits from each. Your IMRF retirement benefits will never be reduced because you receive Social Security.
One example of when social security benefits would be reduced is:
In the case above, Social Security would consider a portion of your IMRF pension to be from a job not covered by Social Security and reduce its benefit. Social Security will not reduce your benefit if you have 30 or more years of substantial earnings under Social Security.
Although you are entitled to both IMRF and Social Security, you may hear differently when speaking with someone from Social Security. When you talk with a Social Security representative, it is important that you know the benefits you are entitled to because there has been considerable confusion about this issue.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you receive the full Social Security benefit you are entitled to. IMRF Field Representatives can help you if your local Social Security office is attempting to reduce your benefits when a reduction should not be made.
If you run into a Social Security representative who tells you your Social Security benefit will be reduced:
Also, you need to follow up after you receive your first Social Security check. At that time, call your local office and ask how the amount was calculated. Make sure it was not reduced. If it was, you will want to have it corrected. It is important to get the name of each Social Security representative you speak with so Social Security personnel can learn about IMRF and correct any errors they may make in advising you and calculating your benefits.
It’s the law
Much of the mix-up stems from the fact that many Illinois public pension plans, such as the Teacher’s Retirement System, do not contribute to Social Security. Therefore, public sector employees who participated in those state pension plans did not contribute to Social Security, and will receive a reduced Social Security benefit. However, this is not the case with IMRF.
If you retired under the Reciprocal Act
IMRF has no impact on your Social Security, if you earned part of your
Pension through a reciprocal system,the pension you receive from that
system may affect your Social Security. You need to check with your reciprocal
system(s) to determine if the benefits you receive from them will affect
your Social Security benefits.
To find out how much your Social Security benefits will be, or to apply for such benefits, you should contact your nearest Social Security office or representative. Locate your local social security office.
You may also apply for Social Security benefits online. Go to the Social Security Administration website to find out how.
If you have questions regarding IMRF, Communicate with Us.
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IMRF Online provides a brief summary of IMRF benefits and the adminstration of those benefits. IMRF members' and employers' rights and obligations are governed by Article 7 of the Illinois Pension Code. Statements in these publications are general, and the Illinois state law governing IMRF is complex and specific. If a conflict arises between information in these publications and the law, all decisions are based on the law.
Copyright © Illinois Municipal Retirement FundPage Last Updated by Jk on 09/14/12