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My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan Member Handbook for State Employees: Introduction

This handbook explains the options available to you during your career in public service through the Public Employees' Retirement Fund (PERF) and your benefits if and when you retire.

PERF Administration

Founded in 1945, Indiana PERF is one of the largest retirement funds in the U.S. – both public and private. The laws and regulations ruling INPRS are founded in Titles 5-10.2, 5-10.3 and 5-10.5 of the Indiana Code and Title 35 of the Indiana Administrative Code.

The fund works with more than 1,200 employers in Indiana serving approximately 210,000 active and inactive members, 80,000 benefit recipients, and their families. Fund benefits come from the contributions of public employers and members, and returns on the investment portfolio.

PERF is responsible for receiving contributions from employers and members, investing that money in a responsible manner, and paying benefits to qualifying members. Since 1996, state law allows PERF to invest the assets of the Consolidated Defined Benefit Assets (CDBA) in the stock market.


As of July 1, 2010, the Board of Trustees of the Indiana State Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRF) and PERF was required to select and set the salary of 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
  • PERF
  • Prosecuting Attorneys’ Retirement Fund
  • 1977 Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Retirement Fund
  • Legislators’ Retirement System
  • Judges’ Retirement System, and
  • Excise, Gaming and Conservation Officers’ Retirement Fund.

INPRS also oversees three non-retirement benefits including:

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

These benefits are administered under the Special Death Benefit Fund.


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

Board of Trustees

Appointed by the governor, the board is made up of the following:

  1. One trustee with experience in economics, finance or investments,
  2. One trustee with experience in executive management or benefits administration,
  3. The director of the Office of Management and Budget, or a designee,
  4. Two trustees nominated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives as follows:
    i. one trustee must be an active or retired member of the '77 Fund,
    ii. one must be a TRF member with at least 10 years of creditable service,
  5. Two trustees nominated by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate as follows:
    i. one trustee must be a PERF member with at least 10 years of creditable service,
    ii. one must be a TRF member with at least 10 years of creditable service,
  6. The state’s auditor, or a designee,
  7. The state’s treasurer, or a designee.

Important Terms

My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan – The My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan was formerly known as the ASA Only plan. This account is funded by a 3 percent employee fixed mandatory contribution and a variable employer contribution. These contributions are paid by the state of Indiana on your behalf. Interest and earnings may also be added to this account.

Defined Contribution (DC) Account for the PERF Hybrid Plan – Members of the PERF Hybrid plan, have an individual account funded by 3 percent mandatory contributions and any voluntary contributions they elect to make. These contributions are paid 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.

My Choice-covered position – any eligible position that the state of Indiana elects to cover and make contributions to INPRS to fund benefits.

Beneficiary – in general, the person or institution you elect to receive all or part of your benefits upon your death. There are several types of beneficiaries discussed in this handbook.

Contributions – funds paid by employers to fund future benefits. Pre-tax contributions are paid to PERF from a source (such as employer-paid contributions, voluntary contributions and rollovers) prior to the calculation of income taxes. Taxes on pre-tax contributions are delayed until the funds are distributed before retirement or paid as a retirement benefit.

Employer – the state of Indiana or participating quasi-agency which employs members eligible for the My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan.

Fixed and Variable Rate Contributions – contributions to the My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan that must be made as required by state law.

Member – a public employee enrolled in the My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan through the state of Indiana or a quasi-agency.

Public Employee – new hires with the state of Indiana. Employees of private companies do not qualify for membership.

Survivor Beneficiary – the person receiving an elected percentage of your benefits upon your death. Several types of survivor beneficiaries are discussed in this handbook.

Vesting/Vested – the minimum amount of time you have to work (full years of participation) in one or more covered positions to receive a portion of the employer share (variable) contributions and earnings of the My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan.

Voluntary Contributions – contributions made to the My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan. These contributions will allow you to choose to make payroll deductions if your employer participates in the program.

Years of Participation – each full year of employment in a PERF-covered position. Years of participation help to determine your qualification for vesting.

Section One: Membership

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