TRF Member Handbook: About the Teachers' Retirement Fund

  1. History
  2. Mission
  3. Board of Trustees
  4. Important Terms
  5. Membership and Asset Totals
  6. Indiana Code and Indiana Administrative Code

History

The Indiana General Assembly created the Indiana Teachers' Retirement Fund (TRF) in 1921. Since then, they have changed some laws for TRF to respond to the needs of members like you.

As of July 1, 2010, the Board of Trustees of the Indiana State Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRF) and the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF) was required to select and set the salary for a common director for TRF and PERF. An executive director carries out the policies set by the board and manages the fund on a daily basis. See IC 5-10.5 for more information.

Each fund must pay 50 percent of the director’s salary and cooperate in managing and investing the assets of the funds.

As of July 1, 2011, Indiana law established the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS). INPRS administers and manages the following funds:

  • TRF,
  • Public Employees’ Retirement Fund,
  • Prosecuting Attorneys’ Retirement Fund,
  • 1977 Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension and Disability Fund,
  • Legislators’ Retirement System,
  • Judges’ Retirement System, and
  • State Excise Police, Gaming Agent, Gaming Control Officer and Conservation Enforcement Officers’ Retirement Plan.

INPRS also oversees three non-retirement benefits including:

  • Public Safety Officers’ Special Death Benefit
  • State Employees’ Death Benefit, and
  • Pension Relief

These benefits are administered under the Special Death Benefit Fund.

Mission

Efficiently collect necessary contributions, manage assets and pay earned benefits.

Board of Trustees

The Board sets investment policies using the "prudent investor standard.” This means investment decisions are made showing care and thought for the future. A nine-member Board of Trustees governs INPRS, made up of:

  • one trustee experienced in economics, finance, or investments,
  • one trustee experienced in executive management or benefits administration,
  • the Director of the Budget Agency or a designee,
  • two trustees nominated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as follows:
    • one active or retired member of the 1977 Fund,
    • one TRF member with at least 10 years of creditable service,
  • two nominated by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate as follows:
    • one member of PERF with at least 10 years of creditable service,
    • one member of TRF with at least 10 years of creditable service,
  • the Auditor of State or a designee, and
  • the Treasurer of State or a designee.

Important Terms

  • Annuity Savings Account (ASA) – the individual account provided for each member of TRF that is funded by 3 percent mandatory contributions. These contributions are paid either by the member in payroll deductions or by the employer on the member’s behalf. Voluntary contributions, interest and earnings may also be added to this account.
  • Beneficiary – in general, the person or institution designated to receive all or part of your TRF benefits upon your death. There are several types of beneficiaries, which are further discussed throughout this handbook.
  • Contributions – funds paid to TRF by employers and/or employees to fund future benefits.
  • Creditable Service – each period of continuous employment in a TRF-covered position. Creditable service is important in determining your qualification for benefits.
  • Employer – a participating public entity that employs TRF members.
  • Mandatory Contributions – contributions to the ASA that must be made as required by state law.
  • Member – a public employee enrolled in TRF.
  • TRF-Covered Position – any eligible position for which an employer elects to cover and make contributions to TRF to fund pension benefits.
  • Pension Benefit – a lifetime monthly retirement benefit paid by TRF either to an eligible member after retirement from TRF-covered employment or to the member’s eligible survivor. This benefit is funded by TRF employers.
  • Public Employee – an employee of the state of Indiana, public schools, innovation schools and universities, and other state and local political subdivisions. Employees of private companies are not eligible for membership.
  • Survivor Beneficiary – the person receiving a designated percentage of your TRF benefits upon your death. There are several types of survivor beneficiaries, which are further discussed throughout this handbook.
  • Vesting/Vested – the minimum amount of time you must work in one or more covered positions to qualify for a benefit from a retirement fund.
  • Voluntary Contributions – contributions made to the ASA that a member may choose to make through payroll deductions if his or her employer participates in the program.

Membership and Asset Totals

As of June 30, 2016, TRF had more than 147,000 active, inactive and retired members and beneficiaries with approximately $10.4 billion in assets.

Indiana Code and Indiana Administrative Code

The Indiana Code (IC) Sections 5-10.2 and 5-10.4 and 5-10.5, Title 35 of the Indiana Administrative Code (IAC), and Section 401 of the Internal Revenue Code govern TRF, as well as specific resolutions adopted by the Board of Trustees. These codes are available online at the Indiana General Assembly website.