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This page is a resource for 1977 Police Officers' and Firefighters' Pension and Disability Fund (1977 Fund) local pension board secretaries. Indiana's local pension boards are charged with some or all of the following fund-related duties:
The process for determining a 1977 Fund member’s eligibility for disability benefits requires approval from the local review board. The steps that must be taken by the member, the review board and PERF are outlined in the 1977 Fund Disability Benefit Determinations Fact Sheet. Additional information can be found in the following documents:
Q: Can a 1977 Fund member be hired by the employer without medical approval?
A: No, a member must be approved by the PERF medical authority before they can be hired by the employer.
Q: Can a member transfer from being a firefighter to a police officer within the same local unit of government without medical approval?
A: If the member is transferring from a position as a police officer to a position as a firefighter in the 77 Fund -- or vice versa -- within the same local unit, they may do so without additional medical approval by the PERF medical authority. However, the local unit must provide a new membership record for the member's new police or fire position in the same local unit.
Q: What if a member wants to transfer from one 77 Fund local unit of government to another?
A: A member has 30 days from the time they leave employment with the former unit of government to transfer to a new unit, as long as they have NOT taken a distribution. A member transferring from one unit to another must have approval from the PERF medical authority.
Q: What if I am contacted by a member of the old fund plans ('25, '37 or '39) who has questions?
A: PERF does not administer those plans. You or the member will have to contact the local city or town attorneys for directions on how to process old fund member pension plans.
Q: When an employer is completing the quarterly report for the 1977 Fund are the wages and contributions based off of the actual member wages or the certified salary for the city/town?
A: For the 1977 Fund quarterly reports, the wages are based on the certified salary for the city/town and not the members’ actual wages.
Q: Can a member add their PERF service (or other service, e.g. Sheriff’s Fund) to their 1977 Fund service?
A: Not currently; however, after July 1, 2010, a 1977 Fund member may be entitled to purchase prior service in certain public retirement funds at full actuarial cost. In addition, prior PERF service for a member of a unit previously covered by PERF that has become a new unit of the 1977 Fund may be purchased under certain circumstances.
Q: What does a member need to submit to apply for 1977 Fund disability benefits?
A: The member will need to submit the following 90 days before their expected retirement date:
Q: What does a member do if they are released from their doctor to go back to work once they are receiving a 1977 Fund disability benefit?
A: The member will need to submit the following to the 1977 Fund prior to returning to work:
NOTE: A member cannot return to work until the 1977 Fund has received all of the above requested information and the PERF medical authority has approved the member to return to active duty. If the member does NOT follow this process and returns to work while continuing to receive disability benefits, they must repay any 1977 Fund disability benefits they receive during that time period.
Q: If a member is on 1977 Fund disability, are they able to work while still receiving 1977 Fund disability benefits?
A: A member can be employed and draw 1977 Fund disability benefits as long as the employment does not require the same duties they performed while in the 1977 Fund.
Q: What does a member need to submit to apply for 1977 Fund retirement benefits?
A: The member must submit the following 90 days before their expected retirement date:
Q: How much service does a member need to vest in the 1977 Fund and receive a retirement benefit?
A: The member must have a minimum of 20 years of service credit and be age 52 to receive unreduced benefits. They can receive a reduced benefit with 20 yrs of service between age 50 and 51 yrs and 11 months. The reduction is 7 percent for each year before age 52. It would be prorated for each month closer to age 52 the member is when they started receiving the benefit.
Q: Can a member change their DROP retirement date?
A: No, once PERF has received the DROP enrollment form, we cannot accept any changes to the dates. Members retire on a date other than the retirement date shown on the DROP enrollment form, they will have opted out of the DROP program. The DROP application cannot be back-dated and should be signed and postmarked on or prior to the DROP entry date.
Q: If a member has opted out of the DROP can they enter it again?
A: No, a member is only eligible for the DROP once.
Q: What if a member wishes to retire before or after their DROP retirement date?
A: If a member retires before or after their DROP retirement date, we will calculate their benefit as if they had never entered the DROP. We will use all service and the current certified salary to calculate their benefit.
Q: Does a member continue to make contributions to their pension account after entering the DROP program?
A: Yes, members will continue to make mandatory member contributions for 32 years, whether or not they are enrolled in the DROP program.
Q: Can a member enroll in the DROP program even though they have 32 years of service?
A: Yes. The 1977 Fund has no mandatory retirement age, so a member may enter the DROP at any time, provided they have at least 20 years of service and are at least age 52. A member’s DROP retirement date must be 12-36 months after the DROP entry date.
Q: What happens if a member dies while they are in the DROP program?
A: The DROP will not affect the benefits that are payable to a member's survivors. If a member dies while in the DROP, their survivor benefits will be determined under the applicable law of their pension fund as if they had never entered the DROP. Those survivor benefits will be calculated based on salary and service as of the date of death, just as they are under current law. This applies to both deaths in the line of duty and to deaths that are not duty-related.
Q: Who can I contact with questions about the 1977 Fund?
A: You should contact PERF's Call Center by phone, toll-free, at (888) 526-1687 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. PERF's Customer Service Representatives are available M-F from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Member Forms can be found here.