Retirement Benefits

for Original ECO Plan Members

Earning an IMRF Pension

Your IMRF pension gives you life-long income protection. You earn service credit toward an Original ECO plan IMRF pension by:

You will continue to earn service credit if you are on IMRF Disability or on an IMRF Benefit Protection Leave.

You must have at least eight years of service credit to receive a future IMRF pension.

Receiving an IMRF Pension

Participating in ECO does not change IMRF retirement age or service credit requirements. To begin receiving a pension, you:

If you have a combination of service credit types, the ECO formula will be applied to all of your ECO service and the Regular or SLEP formula will be applied to any non-ECO service. You may convert non-ECO service to ECO, call IMRF to talk about this option.

How Much Will Your Pension Be?

The amount of your pension is based on your earnings and your service credit. To calculate the amount of your pension, IMRF uses a formula that includes:

The formula to calculate an Original ECO pension is:

Your total pension at retirement cannot exceed 80% of your final rate of earnings.

Final Rate of Earnings (FRE)

Under the Original ECO plan, your FRE is your annualized salary payable on the last day of participation in the ECO plan divided by 12.

The ECO monthly FRE:

If you retire with both ECO and Regular or SLEP service credit:

Service Credit

Service credit is your total time under IMRF, stated in years and months. 

Annual Pension Increases

Under Tier 1, your pension is increased by 3% of the original amount on January 1 every year after you retire. 

Your first annual increase is based upon the number of months you are retired in your first year. If your pension effective date is January 1, your first year increase will also be 3%. Otherwise, your first year increase will be less than 3%.

First Year Increase Calculation Example
This example uses a pension of $800.00 per month with an effective date of July 1, 2014
The full 3% annual increase on 12 months of pension payments is $24.00 $800.00 x 3% = $24
However, the pension was in effect for only 6 months in the first year of retirement (July through December), so the first annual increase is applied to only 6 months of pension payments:
6 months = 1/2 of 12 months Full increase of $24.00 x 1/2 = $12.00
The annual increase for January 1, 2015: $12.00
The annual increase for January 1, 2016, and every year after: $24.00
Annual increases are always based on the original pension amount and are not compounded

Supplemental Benefit Payment ("13th Payment")

After you have retired and have received pension payments for at least 12 months in a row, you will be eligible for a supplemental benefit payment every July. When you first retire, you must have retired on or before June 30 to receive a 13th Payment the next year. For example:

If you retire… You will receive your first 13th Payment in…
On or before June 30, 2017 July of 2018
After June 30, 2017 July of 2019

You will receive this supplemental payment with your usual July pension payment. The amount varies every year, but it will always be less than your monthly pension amount.