Applying for Your Pension

for Inactive IMRF Members
El solicitar su pensión

Applying for Your Pension

IMRF can "back date" a pension only 12 months. We encourage you to apply for retirement as soon as you reach your earliest retirement age, even if your pension may be reduced. Since you will be receiving monthly pension payments for a longer period of time, you will most likely come out ahead financially even with a reduced pension.  

The fastest way to apply for your pension is online through Member Access

Steps After We Receive Your Retirement Application
1. IMRF processes your application.

Unless we tell you otherwise, you do not need to do anything else at this time.

Note: If you are retiring reciprocally, you must apply for retirement with each of your reciprocal systems at the same time. We cannot approve your IMRF pension until we have confirmation from all of your reciprocal systems that you have filed an application with them.

2. Your pension effective date is determined.

Your pension effective date is the official date that you are considered an IMRF retiree. This date is used when determining other IMRF benefits, such as the 13th payment and surviving spouse eligibility.

Your pension effective date will probably not be the date when you receive your first pension payment.

Your pension effective date will depend on factors such as your age, how long you have been inactive, and whether we are backdating your pension. We will inform you of your pension effective date during your retirement process. 

3. You begin receiving your pension payments.

In most cases, you will get your first pension payment about eight weeks after your pension effective date. (This may take longer if you are retiring reciprocally.) Your initial pension payments may be based upon an estimated amount:

IMRF wants to start your pension payments as soon as possible, so your first few pension payments might be estimated amounts. This estimated amount uses the current wage and service credit information we have at the time of your retirement, and is based upon IMRF’s Standard pension payment option.

If there is any any final wage information we need from your previous IMRF employer(s), or information from a reciprocal system if you are retiring reciprocally, we will continue to adjust this initial amount as needed.

4. IMRF receives any final wage information needed and calculates your final pension amount.

After we have all of your final wage information we need, we calculate your final pension amount.

5. IMRF sends you your retirement Preliminary Benefit Statement - Pension.

After your claim is approved, we will send you your Preliminary Benefit Statement - Pension. Your Preliminary Benefit Statement - Pension will tell you which pension payment options you are eligible for and any refunds at retirement you may be eligible for.
Note: If you are over age 62 when you retire and are not eligible for any refunds at retirement, you will not receive a Preliminary Benefit Statement - Pension.

6. You return your Preliminary Benefit Statement - Pension to IMRF.

You let us know which payment option you want by selecting your choice on your Preliminary Benefit Statement - Pension and returning it to us.

7. IMRF makes any additional adjustments needed to the estimated amount we have been paying you.

Depending upon your final pension amount and which payment option you choose, we may have either overpaid you or underpaid you during the time you received estimated payments. We will make any final adjustments as needed to “true up” the amount you should have received.