The amount of your IMRF pension is partially determined by how much service credit you have. Service credit is your total time under IMRF, stated in years and months. The more service credit you have, the larger the amount of your pension will be. You earn one month of service credit for each month you:
- Work in a qualified position and make a member contribution
- Receive an IMRF disability benefit
- Are on an IMRF Benefit Protection Leave (limited to 12 months)
- Purchase a month of past service credit
You cannot earn more than one month of service credit for any given calendar month.
Service Credit for Seasonal Employees
If your job requires you to work at least six consecutive months during the year, you may receive service credit for the months you don’t work during the year. You must continue to be employed in your qualifying position and your employer must identify you as a seasonal employee when you are enrolled.
IMRF has a standard seasonal pattern for certain types of employers. If your off-season is different than the standard pattern, your employer can designate a different seasonal pattern for you.
|Standard seasonal pattern for...|
|School Districts, Special Education Cooperatives, Educational Districts, and Educational Regions||June, July, August, and September.|
|Park Districts and Forest Preserve Districts||October, November, December, January, February, and March.|
|All other employers with seasonal employees||No standard pattern. IMRF will contact your employer to determine your seasonal pattern.|
Participating in IMRF Through More than One Employer or Plan
If you are working for more than one employer at the same time in an IMRF covered position, or you participate in IMRF through more than one plan at the same time, you earn a type of service credit called “Concurrent Service.” How your concurrent service is treated depends on how you earned it:
|If you work...||Your wages for the month are|
|For more than one employer and are reported under the same IMRF plan for each position.||combined, and, by law, you are credited with one month of service.
If this concurrent service occurs during your "final rate of earnings" (FRE) period, it can increase the amount of your pension.
|In more than one position and are reported under a different IMRF plan for each position.||not combined; however, you still are credited only one month of service credit.
Although you earn only one month of service credit, when your pension is calculated it will apply each plan’s pension formula to each month you have concurrent service, which could increase the amount of your pension.
Service Credit for Irregularly Paid Employees
If you work for your IMRF employer every month but you are not paid every month, you can still receive service credit for the months you don’t have wages reported to IMRF. Your employer must identify you as an irregularly paid employee when you are enrolled.
If you are paid bi-monthly (every other month), quarterly, semi-annually, or annually you will receive service credit for the unpaid months, provided you are paid at least once during the year.
One example of members who receive irregularly paid service credit are elected officials who are in office and work each month during the year, but are not paid each month. These elected officials receive service credit for the months they are not paid. (This assumes the elected office qualifies for IMRF coverage and the necessary enrollment documents have been filed with IMRF.)