A Reduced Benefit Still Protects You

for Tier 1 Regular Plan Members

Members are often frustrated when their monthly IMRF disability benefit is reduced to $10.00. Your benefit could be reduced because you are entitled to Social Security disability, Social Security full retirement , or workers’ compensation benefits. However, that $10.00 represents a much greater value.

Your IMRF disability benefits are valuable because:

A reduced benefit still protects you

If you receive Social Security disability and/or workers' compensation benefits, by law IMRF disability benefits must be reduced by the amount you receive from these benefits. Even if the amount you receive from Social Security disability and/or workers' compensation exceeds 50% of your income, IMRF will always pay you a minimum monthly benefit of $10.00 to make sure your other IMRF benefits are protected.

Why is $10.00 a month so important?

Even though it may not seem like a lot of money, this $10.00 benefit is worth much more than you might realize. Every month you receive a disability benefit from IMRF:

The true value of a $10.00 monthly benefit

To understand the true value of a $10.00 monthly benefit, consider the following example:

Mary Member is a Tier 1 member who has a salary of $45,000 a year and 15 years of service credit when she becomes disabled at age 55. Mary is disabled for two full years before she becomes well enough to return to her IMRF position.

Because Mary was eligible for other disability compensation, her monthly IMRF disability benefit was reduced to $10.00. However, had Mary not been receiving that $10 monthly benefit, she would have lost two entire years of service credit. When Mary retires at age 60, this is the difference those two years of service credit would make in Mary’s pension payment:

With $10.00 payment—
Mary’s 24 months of service credit
are protected
Without $10.00 payment—
Mary’s 24 months of service credit
are not protected
Monthly pension amount: $1,312.00
Monthly pension amount: $1,162.00

Although Mary only received a total of $240.00 in disability payments for the two years she was disabled, that $240.00 represents an additional $1,800 per year in retirement. Her pension amount will increase every year, and she will receive her pension for as long as she lives.

This has a positive impact on Mary’s pension amount, because part of what determines the amount of your IMRF pension is how much service credit you have. Each $10 payment is equal to $3,750 reported wages in monthly service credit toward Mary’s pension. (Click here to learn more about how your IMRF pension is calculated.)

This same $10.00 monthly payment: