- When am I vested with TRF?
Once you have accumulated 10 years of Indiana teaching service, PERF service, and/or approved leave of absence service, you are considered vested with TRF.
- What is the TRF Interactive Web site?
This is an online tool offering members and employers convenient 24-hour account access. Active members may view and change addresses, investment allocations, and beneficiary names. Members with Annuity Savings Accounts (ASA) may also view their quarterly statements through this system. Investment allocation changes may be made as often as daily. Retired members are able to view and modify address information, tax withholding information, and direct deposit information.
- How do I get started using the TRF Interactive Web site?
For your first login, you will need your Social Security number and passcode (which was mailed to you). After your initial login, you will be prompted to change your login information. If you do not have the login information necessary, you may call our office at (888) 286-3544.
- How much does service credit cost?
Submit State Form 52006 – Request to Add Service Credit to have TRF estimate the cost of purchasing credit. This form is available here.
- My years of service are incorrect on my quarterly statement. How do I correct this?
Contact the TRF office to request a service analysis of your account. If there is a discrepancy with the years, your school corporation must complete a Verification of Prior Indiana State Teaching Service (State Form 41625).
- Are my years of service between TRF and PERF combined at retirement?
Yes. As of July 1, 2008, you have the choice of which fund you prefer to retire from - TRF or PERF. Your years of service will be automatically combined at retirement.
- Is service credit granted for sick leave?
Service credit may be added for unpaid sick leave.
- Do I earn service credit if I take leave covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
Generally, FMLA service is not creditable toward retirement; however, in some cases it may be used to count toward vesting.
- I was in the military. Am I able to add this service to my account?
Yes, but only if your teaching service or four-year college training was interrupted by military service. In order to evaluate this, TRF requires a copy of your DD214 and college transcripts from before and after your military service.
- I taught many years ago. How do I find out if I have money in a retirement account?
Contact the TRF office at (888) 286-3544 to verify if you have an account balance.
- I haven’t taught in several years. How do I withdraw the money from my Annuity Savings Account (ASA)?
If you are not vested, which means you have less than 10 years of service, and do not plan to return to teaching in Indiana, you may withdraw the balance of your ASA. To receive a distribution, you can log in to your TRF Interactive account to initiate your request for a distribution. You can also call (888) 286-3544 to initiate a distribution request via phone with a customer service representative. We are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. If you are vested, which means you have at least 10 years of service, have terminated from employment after June 30, 2009, and have been inactive for at least 30 days, you may withdraw your ASA balance without forfeiting your monthly pension benefit.
- What does my retirement account consist of?
Your retirement account has at least two parts: a monthly pension benefit and an Annuity Savings Account (ASA). The pension benefit is paid as a lifetime monthly benefit and is funded by the State and your employer. To become eligible, members must be vested with 10 years of Indiana service in a covered position.
Annuity Savings Accounts are made up of contributions from members and/or employers and the earnings, gains, and losses on your investments. Members are immediately vested in their ASAs and receive a detailed statement each quarter with account activity and balance information. Members may add a third part to their retirement accounts by creating a Rollover Savings Account (RSA).
- When am I eligible to receive an unreduced pension benefit?
Once you are:
- Age 65+ with 10 years of creditable service; or
- Age 60+ with 15 years of creditable service; or
- Age 55+ if age and creditable service total at least 85 (Rule of 85).
- If my last day of work is June 1, what is my retirement date?
Your retirement date is July 1. Your retirement date is the first day of the month following your last day of work.
- If my birth date is August 1 and I am not eligible for retirement until my birth date, what is my retirement date?
August 1. Because the date of birth falls on the first of the month, it is used as the retirement date. However, if your birth date is August 2, your retirement date would be September 1.
- I am unable to reconcile the retroactive amount in my new retirement letter to my retirement date. How did TRF reach this figure?
If a member goes directly from teaching into retirement without any delay due to age or late submission of application, the member receives retroactive pay back to the last day of work. The retroactive pay received is the difference between the final monthly benefit amount and the estimated checks already received, as well as the full amount for the number of days in the month after their last day of work (TRF always uses 30-day months). In addition, remember that TRF benefits are paid one month in arrears.
- Am I able to borrow from my Annuity Savings Account without collecting my pension?
No, you may not borrow from your ASA; however, if you quit teaching and have been inactive for at least 30 days, you may withdraw the balance of your ASA. If you are vested, ineligible for a normal retirement, and terminated employment after June 30, 2009, you may withdraw the balance of your ASA without forfeiting your monthly pension benefit.
- If I roll over my ASA, does that affect my monthly retirement benefit?
Yes. TRF recommends doing a benefit calculation to see the different payment options with and without the ASA paid as a monthly benefit. You may calculate an estimate on the TRF Interactive Web site or by contacting the TRF office.
- If I roll over money from an IRA to TRF, does the benefit from the IRA continue for the rest of my life?
If you elect to take your Rollover Savings Account (RSA) monies as a monthly benefit, when you retire you will receive a set amount each month for the rest of your life.
- The benefit calculator does not download my current information; how do I get an estimate with my updated information?
In order to calculate an estimate using your current information, you must select Method 1. This method requires you to log onto your account through the TRF Interactive Web site.
- I would like to calculate an estimate by entering my information manually; which method should I choose?
You should choose Method 2 or 3 to enter your information. When entering a year, use the full digits (Ex: 1958, not 58).
- I am the child and Power of Attorney (POA) of a member who is not deceased; am I able to obtain information on the account?
Yes, provided that POA papers are on file at TRF. If no POA papers are on file, TRF is unable to release any information to the POA.
- My wife and I are both members of TRF. If we each name the other beneficiary, does the surviving spouse receive the beneficiary’s retirement as well as the surviving spouse’s own retirement? Can a spouse receive retirement as the beneficiary if he or she is still working and contributing to TRF?
Yes, upon your death your beneficiary or survivor receives a benefit additional to any retirement benefit the beneficiary or survivor may have earned/is receiving as the beneficiary or survivor’s own pension benefit. The beneficiary or survivor still receives this benefit even if the beneficiary or survivor is currently teaching.
Remember: There is a difference between a beneficiary and a survivor beneficiary. A beneficiary is for the A-1 or A-3 options and is limited to five years certain and life for the pension. A survivor beneficiary is for the B-1, B-2 and B-3 options, and upon the death of the member, pays out for the lifetime of the survivor.
- I am over age 70 and still working; what are my options?
The IRS allows members of pension plans who meet certain minimum age and service requirements to continue working without a separation from employment or earnings limitation. For TRF, the minimum age is 70 and the minimum years of service are 20. If a member elects to begin receiving a benefit under this rule, the member no longer earns service credit when the TRF benefit begins.
- How soon can I return to teaching after I retire?
There is a 30-day required separation period from your benefit accrual date. For a member who delays retirement, the 30-day separation begins on the designated retirement date. If a member returns to teaching prior to the 30-day separation period or had an agreement to return to work, the member must repay the benefits paid to date.
- How does TRF determine my pension benefit?
There are several options to choose from; however, under the A-1 option, the TRF pension formula is your average salary of the five highest years x 1.1% x years of service.
- What is early retirement?
If you are between the ages of 50 and 59, have a minimum of 15 years of service, and do not meet the Rule of 85 (age + years of service = 85), you may take early retirement. You receive a reduced pension benefit based on your age at early retirement:
Table 3 – Early Retirement Age and Reduced Pension Benefit Percentage
The reduced pension amount determined at retirement remains at the same percentage for the lifetime of the member.
- The online benefit estimate calculator shows a monthly total before age 62 and after age 62. Why are these numbers different and which should I use for my retirement planning?
The before and after age 62 are for the Social Security Integration option. This option is available if retiring between the ages of 50 and 62. This option allows the member to receive a higher benefit until age 62 (the earliest age Social Security could begin) and a reduced benefit beginning at age 62. If you are not taking the Social Security Integration option, you should ignore those two columns.
- I have a birth certificate to send with my retirement application. How can I guarantee this document will remain intact?
TRF only needs a legible photocopy of your certified or original birth certificate.
- If I defer distribution of my Annuity Savings Account, can I withdraw the non-taxable balance and defer just the taxable portion?
Yes, you may withdraw all non-taxable contributions made before Dec. 1, 1986.
- If I defer distribution of my Annuity Savings Account and have already received the non-taxable portion of the balance, can I make periodic withdrawals from the taxable annuity?
No. You can choose to annuitize your ASA with your monthly pension or you can take a lump sum distribution of the taxable portion of the balance.
- If I choose to integrate my TRF pension with my estimated Social Security benefit, does it change what I collect from Social Security?
- When I retire can I name anyone as a survivor?
Yes, but the IRS places restrictions on what survivor options you elect if your survivor is a non-spouse.
- Can my survivor name a survivor once my survivor is receiving my benefit?
- How do I report the death of my spouse?
You need to complete a Death Report (State Form 50790). You can find the Death Report on the INPRS Web site. If you do not have internet access, you should contact the TRF office, toll-free, at (888) 286-3544 for a copy of the form. We are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Complete this form and return it to TRF.
- Am I able to request an adjustment of my Anthem insurance deduction through TRF?
No, but you may request adjustments directly through Anthem. Open enrollment elections become effective May 1.
- The 1099-R I received this year does not reflect my total gross distribution for the year. How do I get a corrected version?
While it is possible TRF has made an error and needs to send a corrected 1099-R, there may be a legal reason for the suspected discrepancy. For the year in which a member reaches 59½ years of age, TRF sends two 1099-Rs. The first reflects a distribution code of 2 in box 7. This indicates two things: first, the taxpayer has not reached the age of 59½ and second, the distribution is from a Qualified Retirement Plan after separation from service where the taxpayer has reached age 55. The second 1099-R reflects a distribution code of 7 in box 7. This indicates a normal distribution from a plan when a taxpayer is at least age 59½. The combined amounts from both 1099-Rs agree with the total benefits received for the year.
- Can TRF help me with preparing my taxes?
TRF cannot provide tax advice or consultation, as the regulations regarding the filing of personal state and federal tax are outside of TRF’s scope.
- Why can’t TRF make direct electronic (direct deposit) transfers of rollover payments instead of sending me a paper check which I then have to mail to the rollover company?
TRF’s policy requires that the payment be sent directly to the member, as most companies require paperwork to be completed prior to the transferring of funds.
- I noticed an amount of $35 for dues deducted from my monthly check. What is this?
The only dues TRF is able to withhold are from the Indiana Retired Teachers' Association (IRTA). Membership in IRTA is handled through that organization. The 47th Representative Assembly approved an increase in membership dues as of May 16, 2012. At the member’s request, TRF withholds those dues and in turn submits payment to IRTA. Members on dues deduction will have $35 deducted from their Sept. 2012 pension check. TRF is not associated with IRTA. For more information, visit IRTA’s Web site.
- Why are the insurance premiums still being deducted from my check? I called Anthem on this and told them to cancel the insurance.
TRF cannot stop the deduction until notification is received from Anthem. If it has been awhile since you contacted Anthem, call them again. Anthem’s toll-free number is (866) 649-2041.
- I did not receive my 1099-R. Can you send it again?
You may obtain a copy of your 1099-R through the TRF Interactive Web site or by contacting the TRF office, toll-free, at (888) 286-3544. We are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
- Why did I receive two 1099-Rs and what are Box 5 and Box 2a?
You may have received two 1099-Rs because you turned 59½ last year. The IRS requires these forms to be separated. You may add them together when reporting your taxes. Box 5 is money you made while you were working and on which taxes have already been paid. Box 2a on the 1099-R is the amount you must report as taxable income to the IRS.
TRF Member Handbook: Confidentiality of Fund Records