IMRF is one of 13 public pension systems covered under the Illinois Retirement Systems Reciprocal Act. This Act allows a member to combine service credit from reciprocal systems at retirement.
Benefits of retiring under the Reciprocal Act
If you have an IMRF employee who has reciprocal service credit, make sure to let him or her know the benefits of retiring under the Reciprocal Act:
- Service credit earned with different Illinois Reciprocal Retirement systems can be combined to receive a larger pension.
- Each system uses the member’s highest earnings when it calculates a pension.
- In most cases, a member will receive a higher combined benefit by retiring under the Reciprocal Act.
- To find out if retiring reciprocally is the better choice, a member should contact the system he or she worked for most recently for a reciprocal estimate.
Make sure to also let your reciprocal employees know:
- Retiring under the reciprocal act is optional.
- A member must have at least one year (12 months) of service credit with each retirement system in order to combine service credit under the Reciprocal Act. (One exception exists for teacher aides who transfer to a position covered by the Teachers’ Retirement System.)
- A member must apply with all reciprocal systems at the same time.
- A member must complete a separate pension application for each system, and make sure to tell each system that he or she is applying for a reciprocal pension.