Retirement & Survivor Benefits FAQs

  1. What conditions must be met before I may become a member of the 1977 Fund?
    You must be less than 36 years of age and must pass the required statewide baseline physical and local board mental examinations.
  2. What types of benefits are payable to members of the 1977 Fund?
    The 1977 Fund pays retirement, disability, death and survivor benefits to eligible members.
  3. What amounts are contributed to the 1977 Fund by employers in order to fund benefits?
    Employers currently contribute an amount equal to 19.7 percent of each member’s base salary to the 1977 Fund.
  4. What amounts are contributed to the 1977 Fund by members in order to fund benefits?
    Members contribute an amount equal to 6 percent of base salary. This contribution is required only until the member has completed 32 years of covered service. Some or all of this 6 percent contribution may be paid (or “picked up”) by the employer on behalf of the member.
  5. When is a member eligible to receive unreduced retirement benefits?
    A member who is at least age 52, has at least 20 years of covered service, and has separated from employment is eligible for unreduced retirement benefits.
  6. What are the unreduced retirement benefits for an eligible member of the 1977 Fund?
    The member is entitled to a monthly benefit equal to 50 percent of base salary in the year the member retires. If the member has more than 20 years of covered service, the member will receive an additional 1 percent of base salary for each six months of service over 20 years, up to an additional 24 percent.
  7. Can a member take reduced early retirement benefits?
    If a member has at least 20 years of service, the member can elect to receive actuarially reduced benefits at age 50 (86 percent of the age 52 benefit).
  8. Is there a COLA payable to 1977 Fund retirees?
    Beginning July 1 of the year after a member’s or survivor’s benefits start, the benefits are increased by the percentage increase, if any, in the CPI (not to exceed 3 percent).
  9. If a member terminates covered employment, can the member withdraw his or her contributions to the 1977 Fund?
    If a member terminates employment before completing 20 years of service, the member can withdraw the member contributions and accumulated interest. This does not apply to a member of an “old” pension fund who converted to the 1977 Fund benefits structure.
  10. At what age am I eligible for a pension if I earn 20 years of service?
    You may retire at age 52, or at age 50 with reduced benefits (86 percent of the age 52 benefit).
  11. If I remarry, do I need to change my beneficiary?
    No. You do not need to designate a beneficiary if you remarry. Provisions for survivors are set by the Indiana statutes.
  12. Under what circumstances am I allowed to designate a beneficiary for my retirement benefits?
    You may designate one or more beneficiaries to receive contributions if you die before receiving retirement benefits, without a spouse, child or parent entitled to receive survivor benefits.

  13. Am I required to withdraw my contribution account when I leave employment covered by the 1977 Fund?
    No. You are not required to withdraw your contribution account at that time. However, if you are not vested and you do not withdraw your contributions you will only earn interest for up to five years.
  14. If I withdraw my contributions and then later become re-employed as a police officer or firefighter, may I buy back that forfeited service?
    Yes. You may purchase your prior service by paying back the member account balance that was distributed, with interest.
  15. If I terminate employment, can I become re-employed after becoming age 36?
    There are special provisions in the Indiana statutes for individuals who meet the conditions for re-appointment in IC 36-8-4-7. Whether you are re-employed or not is a decision made by the local hiring authority.