TRF Member Handbook: Your TRF Benefits

Regular Retirement

To apply for a regular (unreduced) retirement benefit, you must be:

  • age 65 or older with at least 10 years of service credit,
  • between age 60 and 64 with at least 15 years of service credit, or
  • between age 55 and 59, if age and service credit total at least 85 (“Rule of 85”)

If you meet the age and service requirements for regular retirement, you will have a few payment options (see below). We use a different formula to determine your benefit, based on retirement option.

If you choose the 5-Year Certain & Life retirement option (formerly, the A-1 option), we calculate your annual retirement benefit with the following formula:

Average of Highest 5 Years of Annual Compensation x
Total Years of Service x 1.1% (0.011)

Retirement without Employer Separation

If you are a TRF or PERF member who is:

  1. no longer working in TRF or PERF-covered service with an employer;
  2. actively working with the same employer; and
  3. working in a non-TRF or non-PERF covered position,

You are entitled to retire from TRF or PERF and begin receiving retirement benefits if you are otherwise eligible for retirement and have reached normal retirement age.

For example, Steve is 60 years of age and has 15 years of PERF service as a state of Indiana employee. Steve is elected as a judge eligible for service in the Judges' Retirement System (JRS). Steve terminates his previous state of Indiana PERF-covered employment and immediately begins serving as a judge participating in the JRS. Since Steve is age and service eligible for a PERF benefit, has reached normal retirement age, and has terminated his PERF-covered position, he's eligible to begin receiving PERF retirement benefits even though he didn't separate from state employment.

Early Retirement

If you can retire early, you will receive a reduced amount of your normal annual retirement benefit. You will receive this smaller amount for life.

You must be between age 50 to 59 to retire early with at least 15 years of service credit. See Table 2 (below) to find out how much less money you will receive if you retire early.

Table 2 – Early Retirement Percentage of Normal Annual Retirement Benefit

Age

Percentage of Benefit

59

89%

58

84%

57

79%

56

74%

55

69%

54

64%

53

59%

52

54%

51

49%

50

44%

Age 70 Benefits (Millie Morgan)

If you are 70, you can start receiving your retirement benefit while still working in your TRF-covered position. You must also have at least 20 years of creditable service. Please note that this election cannot be changed. If you choose to start getting your retirement benefit while still working, you will not earn any more service credit toward retirement. You can still put money into your DC but if you choose this option, you cannot withdraw the additional DC contributions made after retirement until you end service.

Disability Benefits

If you become disabled while working in a TRF-covered position, you may qualify for a disability benefit. You must have at least five years of service with TRF.

There are two types of disability benefits for teachers:

Classroom Disability Benefit

If you are no longer able to teach in a classroom, you may qualify for classroom disability. This can be a mental or physical condition. Your condition does not need to be confirmed as a disability by the Social Security Administration.

If you qualify, you receive $125 per month. You also get an extra $5 for each year you worked in a TRF-covered position after five years. You will not earn more service credit while receiving this benefit.

You must be out of the classroom, due to your disability, for six months in a row. During this time you cannot be paid. Being paid means getting a check while working for your employer. It does not include any checks you get more than 30 days after your last day of work. These checks could be for work, sick time, compensatory time, vacation, or time on leave. After that, you can start receiving your classroom disability benefit.

You must apply for classroom disability within one year of being told by a doctor you have a disability. We select a doctor to confirm your disability. Your case will then be reviewed each year until you are 65. Once you are 65, you can apply for a disability or regular retirement.

If you pass away while you are receiving a classroom disability benefit, your beneficiary will receive less money. Before calculating the benefit for your beneficiary, the amount of money paid to you as a classroom disability will be deducted from your DC. This will also happen if you go back to work but pass away before you can retire.

For additional information, refer to the Death of a Member section of this handbook.

Disability Retirement

You may qualify for a disability benefit, but it must be confirmed by the Social Security Administration. You must have at least five years of creditable service in a TRF- and/or PERF-covered position.

To qualify for a disability benefit, your condition must develop while working in a TRF- or PERF-covered position. You also must be receiving:

  • disability insurance payments from your employer, or
  • workers’ compensation.

You must show proof you qualify for a Social Security disability. You can apply for disability retirement while waiting to receive an award letter from the Social Security Administration. Just attach a copy of the application you sent to Social Security.

Note: The Social Security Administration will decide on an “onset date” for your disability. To qualify for a disability retirement benefit, your “onset date” must be during the time you worked in a TRF-covered position, on FMLA leave, were getting disability insurance payments from your employer. You can also qualify if on that date you were off on workers’ compensation.

We will check once a year to confirm your Social Security disability benefits. You can also let us know of changes by calling (844) GO-INPRS.

If you apply for disability benefits, the payment options are mostly the same. We also calculate your disability benefit the same way.

Here is the difference:

  1. you cannot choose the Social Security Integration option,
  2. generally, you will only get service credit for your work up to the “onset date” of your disability,
  3. your monthly benefit will not be reduced for early retirement, and
  4. we will not pay you any less than $180 each month.

You normally cannot change your payment options once you are receiving a disability benefit. It works the same for regular retirement. See the “Payment Options” section for details on when you can make changes.

You could be receiving a disability that will be switched to a regular retirement when your age and service requirements align with the benefits of a regular retirement. When your benefits transfer to a regular retirement, the annual disability confirmation will no longer be required. Your benefit will be recalculated to include this change.

Disability Alternatives

Normally, you can withdraw money from your Defined Contribution (DC) account when you are on disability (35 IAC 1.2-5-4). You do not have to wait for a “disability determination” from the Social Security Administration. You can withdraw your DC while waiting for your letter from Social Security.

To withdraw your DC, you can log on to your member account here. You can also call us at (844) GO-INPRS.


TRF Member Handbook: Receiving Benefits Before Retiring