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Frequently Asked Questions about IMRF Member Statements

The information on this page applies to participants of all IMRF plans.

This page features the questions (and answers) that are most often asked about IMRF annual member statements. For a general guide to reading your member statement, see our member statement explanation page.

Table of contents:
Can I view my statement online?

Yes. Annual Member Statements from 1999 onward are available in your Member Access account.

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Does my statement show my employer contributions?

No. The contribution amount on your statement does not include your employer contributions. What you see is the amount of your earnings and your member contributions reported to IMRF for the previous calendar year by your employer(s).

All the money you contribute to IMRF is used only toward your pension. Other benefits, such as disability and death benefits, are paid from your employer's contributions. In fact, the major portion of your pension actually comes from money put aside by your employer.

You cannot borrow from your contributions nor use them as collateral for a loan. Also, they cannot be garnished by any creditor.

If you decide to leave your IMRF position and stop participating in IMRF, only your member contributions can be refunded to you.

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What is the "pension value" shown on my statement?

The “Pension Value” section on the bottom of your statement is designed to help you understand just how valuable your future IMRF pension is to you.

With a defined contribution (DC) plan, like a 401(k), 457, or 403(b), it’s easy to see the amount in your account grow. However, with a defined benefit pension like IMRF, your monthly pension is based upon a formula that includes your service credit, an average of your salary, and your age—not on a lump sum amount in your member account.

It can be difficult to see the total value of your monthly pension when it is compared a to lump sum DC account. The “Pension Value” illustrates how much you would have to save, e.g., in a private savings account or in an employer-sponsored DC plan, to purchase an annuity that would equal your IMRF pension.

This estimated cost takes into consideration not only what it would cost for you to purchase a comparable annuity benefit, but also includes an estimate of the costs of benefits included with your pension: yearly increases, the 13th benefit payment, and a surviving spouse pension. It is not a lump-sum amount.

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How is service credit shown if I work for two different IMRF employers?

If you work for two IMRF employers at the same time, you will be reported by both employers for the same month. However, by law, you are eligible for only one month of service. This is called "concurrent service credit."

On your statement, you receive only one month of service credit when you work for two IMRF employers at the same time. However, the salary you earn from both employers is combined for that month. Therefore, if the concurrent service occurs during your "final rate of earnings" (FRE) period, it can increase the amount of your pension.

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The amount listed for my death benefit seems so large. Is this really my death benefit amount?

The minimum benefit is a refund of your contributions (not your employer's contributions) plus interest.

If you have more than one year of service credit or your death is job related, IMRF will pay one year's salary plus all your member contributions with interest. If you are vested, your spouse may be eligible for a monthly pension and a lump sum death benefit.

If you wish to change your beneficiary, complete and submit a new Form 6.11, "Designation of Beneficiary." The new designation becomes effective when the form is in the IMRF office.

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Why does my statement say I'm not vested, when I am?

The amount of service credit appearing on your member statement refers solely to your IMRF service credit. If all of your service credit is with IMRF, this amount should accurately reflect your IMRF service credit as of December 31 of the previous year. If you became vested after this date, your statement will not reflect your vested status.

If our records indicate that you have service credit with any of the 12 reciprocal retirement systems in Illinois, the name(s) of the system(s) is printed on your statement, and in some cases the esrvice credit you have earned with that system will be printed. (Not all reciprocal systems report the amount of service credit to IMRF.)

Such reciprocal service credit can result in larger retirement benefits. If you have service credit with any of the Illinois reciprocal retirement system(s) and its name is not listed, please contact IMRF.

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IMRF Online provides a brief summary of IMRF benefits and the adminstration of those benefits. IMRF members' and employers' rights and obligations are governed by Article 7 of the Illinois Pension Code. Statements in these publications are general, and the Illinois state law governing IMRF is complex and specific. If a conflict arises between information in these publications and the law, all decisions are based on the law.

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Page Last Updated by JC on 06.19.13