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PERF Hybrid Plan Member Handbook: 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 pension funds in the U.S. – both public and private. The laws and regulations ruling INPRS are found in Titles 5-10.25-10.3, 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 Enforcement 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:

  1. One trustee experienced in economics, finance or investments,
  2. One trustee experienced 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 must be 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

Defined Contribution (DC) Account – this is your individual account. It is funded by 3 percent mandatory contributions. These contributions are paid either with payroll deductions or by your employer. Voluntary contributions, interest and earnings may also be added to this account.

Beneficiary – the person or institution chosen to receive all or part of your PERF benefits upon your death. Several types of beneficiaries are described in this handbook.

Contributions – funds paid to PERF by employers and/or you to fund future benefits.

Creditable Service – each period of continuous employment in a PERF-covered position. Creditable service is important in deciding your qualification for benefits.

Employer – a participating public organization that employs PERF members.

Mandatory Contributions – contributions to your DC that must be made as required by state law.

Member – a public employee enrolled in PERF.

PERF-Covered Position – any qualified position for which an employer elects to cover and make contributions to PERF to fund retirement benefits.

Retirement Benefit – a lifetime monthly benefit paid by PERF to a qualified member after retirement from PERF-covered employment. It may also be paid to your qualified survivor. This benefit is funded by PERF employers.

Public Employee – an employee of the state of Indiana, public schools, innovation schools and universities, and other state and government groups. Employees of private companies do not qualify for membership.

Rollover Savings Account – consists of a member's funds transferred to PERF from another qualified plan plus any interest or earnings.

Survivor Beneficiary – the person receiving a percentage of your PERF benefits upon your death will receive a lifetime benefit. Several types of survivor beneficiaries are described in this handbook.

Vesting/Vested – the status that determines eligibility for a retirement benefit.

Voluntary Contributions – you may choose to make additional contributions to your DC through payroll deductions if your employer participates in the program.

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