Surviving Spouses


Your IMRF Benefits as a Surviving Spouse

We offer our deepest condolences on the loss of your spouse. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

As the surviving spouse of an IMRF member, you will receive your Surviving Spouse pension for the rest of your life, even if you remarry. Learn more about your benefits below.

Topics on this page

(Click the links below to learn more about a topic)

What should I do first after applying for my Surviving Spouse pension?

Register for Member Access

A Member Access account lets you safely and securely complete forms online, change your direct deposit information, and contact IMRF. Click here to create your Member Access account.

Information about your Benefits

Once IMRF confirms you are eligible for a Surviving Spouse pension, you will receive information about your IMRF benefits and additional forms you may need to complete:

Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to fill out the following forms:

Keep your Certificate of Benefits with your important papers

After you apply for your IMRF Surviving Spouse pension, you will also receive your Certificate of Benefits. Keep this document with your important papers. It includes useful information about your survivor benefits, including:

How do I learn more about my benefits?

To learn more about…

…click on the “Retirees” tab on the menu at the top of the page:

Surviving Spouse Menu 

Will I receive Social Security as an IMRF surviving spouse?

Your Surviving Spouse pension should not reduce any Social Security spousal or survivor benefits you receive, or Social Security benefits based on your own past earnings.

If you hear differently from a Social Security representative, click here to learn more.

How can I find health insurance after retirement?

Your Surviving Spouse benefits do not include insurance. For more information about your options, visit:

(Note: IMRF Member Services Representatives cannot answer questions about insurance benefits.)

How is my IMRF Surviving Spouse pension taxed?

Your Surviving Spouse pension is subject to federal income tax.

If you live in Illinois, your pension is not subject to state income tax. Other states vary.

Form W-4P: Withholding Certificate for Pension Payments

The IRS requires you to complete Form W-4P and return it to IMRF. The easiest and fastest way to do this is through your Member Access account. To log in to your Member Access account or to register for an account, click here.

Form 1099-R: Your annual tax statement

You will receive a 1099-R tax statement from IMRF in the mail every January. It contains information you’ll need for filing your federal and state income tax returns. Your 1099-R statement will be available in your Member Access account before it is mailed to you. You can also view 1099-R statements from earlier years in Member Access.

For more information about how your Surviving Spouse pension is taxed and the forms you need, click here.

How do I change my direct deposit account?

The fastest and easiest way to submit changes is through your Member Access account. To learn more, click here.