Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois August 2012
Service Credit 7
Optional Service Credit 9
Payment Options 12
Retirement Benefits 13
Reciprocal Service 17
Applying for and Receiving Retirement Benefits 18
Post-retirement Matters 19
Medicare and Social Security 22
Disability Benefits 24
Death Benefits 29
Refund of Retirement Contributions 32
Our Web Site: http://trs.illinois.gov 34
Forms Order Line 36
Important Reminders 38
How to Reach Us 39
Springfield Office Map 40
Lisle Office Map 42
ity for Ill
eme t Se
Statement of Purpose:
Retirement Security for Illinois Educators
The Member Guide provides an overview of your TRS We make every effort to provide you with the most
benefits. You are a member of Tier I in the Teachers’ current information, including rule changes enacted
Retirement System of the State of Illinois (TRS) because by our Board of Trustees and benefit changes resulting
you first contributed to TRS before Jan. 1, 2011 or you from legislation. This guide includes legislative changes
have pre-existing creditable service with a reciprocal signed into law as of August 2, 2012.
pension system prior to Effective June 1, 2011,
Jan. 1, 2011. Illinois law entitles a party
A member first contributes to a civil union to the same
to TRS on his or her first legal obligations, respon-
day of paid service. sibilities, protections, and
Public Act 96-0889, which benefits as are afforded
was signed into law in or recognized by the law
spring 2010, added a new of Illinois to spouses. For
section to the Pension information about changes
Code that applied different that have occurred since
benefits to anyone who the publication of this
first contributed to TRS guide, see our Topics &
on or after Jan. 1, 2011 and Report newsletter or visit
does not have any previous the TRS Web site.
service credit with a pension system that has recipro- It is our policy to comply with all applicable federal and
cal rights with TRS. These members are referred to as state laws, rules, and regulations. If there is a conflict
“Tier II” members. between information contained in this guide and the
This guide has been prepared to answer general ques- applicable law, rule or regulation, the law, rule or regu-
tions that you have about us, the services we offer, lation takes precedence.
and your responsibilities as a member or an annuitant.
Created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1939, TRS Qualified pension plan status
has grown to be one of the largest teachers’ retirement
TRS operates a qualified pension plan under provisions
systems in the United States with more than 370,000 active
members, annuitants, and benefit recipients. of the Internal Revenue Code, Section 401(a). The
advantages of being a qualified plan include:
We provide retirement benefits for teachers who are
employed by all Illinois public common and charter • tax-sheltering of mandatory retirement contribu-
school districts located outside the city of Chicago. The tions in the year that they are made to TRS;
Illinois Pension Code contains the laws relating to our t
• deferral of income taxes on con ributions until your
creation, benefits, and administration. retirement, at which time your effective tax rate
may be lower; and
Administration • tax-free accumulation of interest credited to you
TRS is governed by a 13-member Board of Trustees. by TRS.
Trustees include the state superintendent of education, To maintain our qualified pension status, we must
six trustees appointed by the governor, four trustees meet certain Internal Revenue Service require-
elected by contributing TRS members, and two trust- ments, including:
ees elected by TRS annuitants. The Board of Trustees
• annual benefit, salary, and contribution limitations,
appoints the executive director, who is responsible for
the detailed administration of TRS. • compensation that may be reported for benefit
Funding • benefit eligibility provisions,
We have several sources of funding: • benefit distribution limitations, and
• member contributions, • rollover restrictions.
• investment income, We are dedicated to complying with all requirements
• employer contributions, and for qualified plans.
• appropriations from Illinois state government.
As an active member, you contribute 9.4 percent of All information contained in a member’s record is con-
your salary toward retirement each year. We invest fidential. We provide such information to the member,
these assets to create diversified investment income. to others at the member’s written request, to other
Our investment portfolio, which is managed by exter- retirement systems subject to the Illinois Retirement
nal investment management firms and monitored by Systems Reciprocal Act, to the state of Illinois for
our investment staff and consultant, includes stocks, annuitant health insurance purposes, and to the Social
bonds, real estate, cash and equivalents, and private Security Administration for government pension off-
markets. Employer contributions and appropriations set determination and windfall elimination purposes.
from Illinois state government make up the remaining Member information also may be given pursuant to a
funding sources. subpoena issued during court proceedings.
As a remittance agent for the Department of Central
Management Services, we collect additional contri- Administrative review
butions from active members and employers to help Any member, annuitant, beneficiary, or employer may
fund the Teachers’ Health Insurance Security (THIS) appeal a staff determination or interpretation of the
Fund. Revenues from the THIS Fund are used to finance Illinois Pension Code or the TRS rules which specifically
the Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP). affects them to the Board of Trustees Claims Hearing
Federal law prohibits TRS monies from being placed in Committee. A written request for an administrative
the THIS Fund. review must be filed with the executive director no
later than six months after a TRS staff disposition or
interpretation is given. The TRS Board does not provide
TRS is the retirement system for educators in positions • a graduate general administrator intern,
requiring certification under the Illinois School Code and • a home educator/parent educator,
employed in public schools outside the city of Chicago.
• an individual aide
Covered positions • a mobility instructor,
You qualify for TRS membership if you are employed as: • a non-certificated school administrator,
• an assistant regional superintendent of education, • an occupational therapist,
• a chief school business official requiring certification, • a paraprofessional/teacher’s aide,
• a classroom teacher, • a physical therapist,
• a driver education teacher, • a physical therapist assistant,
• an employee of a regional superintendent in an • a psychologist intern,
educational program that serves two or more dis- • a retired teacher who complies with post-retire-
tricts and in a position that requires certification, ment employment limitations,
• a regional superintendent of education, • a secretary,
• a retired teacher if post-retirement employment • a security guard,
limitations are exceeded, • a social worker intern,
• a school administrator requiring certification, • a speech and language pathologist assistant,
• a school librarian, • a student teacher or worker,
• a school nurse, • an ROTC instructor,
• a school psychologist, • a tutor,
• a school social worker, • a technology director not requiring certification,* or
• a substitute or part-time teacher, or • a transportation director.
• a teacher of homebound students. Positions that do not qualify for TRS membership
You also may be a member of TRS if you are employed may be covered by the Illinois Municipal Retirement
in a position requiring teacher certification in certain Fund (IMRF).
state government agencies or in certain positions with The preceding lists are not all-inclusive. Contact ISBE
the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) or TRS. with any questions regarding certification requirements.
Noncovered positions Effective date of membership
You do not qualify for TRS membership if you are The effective date of your TRS membership is the day
employed as: you begin employment in a TRS-covered position. If
• an adult education teacher, your employer has not recorded your date of employ-
• an assistant athletic director or athletic director not ment, your membership date is the first payroll day for
requiring certification,* which contributions from your salary are required.
• an athletic official with IHSA or similar contract,
• a behavior analyst,
If you are convicted of a work-related felony while you
• a buildings and grounds manager, are a member of TRS, you become ineligible for TRS
• a bus driver, membership and benefits. However, you may take
• a cafeteria worker, a refund of your TRS retirement contributions. (See
• a clerical worker, “Refund of Retirement Contributions,” page 32.)
• a construction manager, If you are convicted while an annuitant, you are entitled
• a contract speech pathologist under section to a refund of your retirement contributions that have
5/14-6.04 of the School Code, not been paid as an annuity benefit.
• a custodian,
* Depending on the job duties, these positions may or may not require certification.
Your earnings help to determine the amount of your • payments made by your employer for the purchase
future pension benefit and are the basis upon which TRS of optional service credit. To be reportable as cred-
retirement contributions are determined. itable earnings, the payments must be paid or due
Creditable earnings and payable along with or prior to your final pay-
check for regular earnings.
We recognize the following forms of compensation as
creditable earnings: • payments made by your employer for your 2.2
upgrade. To be reportable as creditable earnings,
• salary you earn for: the payments must be paid or due and payable
• regular contractual teaching duties; along with or prior to your final paycheck for
• extra-duty earnings: regular earnings.
º contractual teachers: extra duties related • salary or backwage payments resulting
to teaching or the academic program, or from contract buyouts, labor litigation, and
involving supervision of students; settlement agreements.
º noncontractual teachers: only extra duties • retirement incentives and severance payments,
requiring teacher certification; including payments for accumulated vacation
• substitute teaching; and sick leave, that are paid or due and payable
• teaching that is completed after school hours, along with or prior to your final paycheck for
such as night school or driver education; and regular earnings.
• homebound teaching. • regional superintendent stipends paid from
• stipends paid to administrators for serving as a county funds.
school board officer or clerk. • stipend paid for becoming National Board Certified.
• longevity stipends. • honorariums paid to union officers.
• bonuses. Summer earnings
• wages while using vacation, sick Summer earnings are reportable to
leave, and personal leave. TRS on the same basis as employ-
• employer-paid TRS contributions ment during the regular school term.
for members. Summer-school teaching and sum-
• contributions to tax-sheltered mer extra duties that require
annuities under the Internal teacher certification are report-
Revenue Code, Section 403(b) able as creditable earnings. For
or to a qualified tax-deferred full-time and part-time contractual
compensation plan under teachers, summer extra duties
the Internal Revenue Code, involving supervising students and
Sections 457(b) or 401(a). summer duties related to the aca-
• contributions to a flexible ben- demic program are also reportable
efit plan. A “flexible benefit as creditable earnings.
plan” is an option offered by an Active military duty
employer to employees who are Since the 2000-2001 school year,
covered under TRS to receive members called to active military
cash or contributions to a 403(b) duty receive full earnings and TRS
tax-sheltered annuity or 457(b) deferred compen- service credit while on active duty without paying
sation plan in lieu of employer-provided insurance. any contributions.
Limitations Fringe benefits
Individuals who become TRS members on or after Employer-paid fringe benefits are not creditable earn-
July 1, 1996, receive credit for earnings up to the annual ings unless they are included in a reportable flexible
amount allowed by federal law. benefit plan. A “flexible benefit plan” is an option
offered by an employer to employees who are covered
Noncreditable earnings under TRS to receive cash or contributions to a 403(b)
Noncreditable earnings include compensation earned tax-sheltered annuity or 457(b) deferred compensation
for duties that are unrelated to the academic program. plan in lieu of employer-provided insurance. Examples
The following compensation items do not qualify as of noncreditable, employer-paid fringe benefits include:
creditable earnings and cannot be reported to TRS: • dental insurance,
• severance payments that are due and payable and • disability insurance,
paid after your final paycheck for regular earnings • health insurance, and
or last day of work, • life insurance (including insurance in excess of
• payment at termination for services that you will $50,000 and split-dollar life insurance).
perform while you are retired,
• payments your employer makes for either the and allowances
member or the employer Early Retirement Expense reimbursements or allowances are not cred-
Option contribution, itable earnings, whether they are paid to you or to
• lump-sum payments made after your death, the provider of the service or product. Examples
• previously nonreportable or nonreported earnings of noncreditable expense reimbursements and
or benefits that are converted to reportable earn- allowances include:
ings in the last years of service for the purpose of • cellular phone reimbursements,
increasing final average salary. TRS presumes any
• contributions to medical savings accounts,
decrease in noncreditable compensation in the last
• dependent care reimbursements,
seven creditable school years is to increase final
average salary, • employer-provided automobiles,
• workers’ compensation payments, • legal fee reimbursements,
• jury duty payments, • living or mortgage allowances,
• options to take salary in lieu of employment-related • medical care reimbursements,
expense allowances or reimbursements, • membership dues,
• payments to substitute and part-time noncontrac- • moving expenses,
tual (hourly) teachers for extra duties that do not • publication subscriptions,
require certification, • travel reimbursements and allowances, and
• member THIS Fund contributions paid as a benefit, • tuition reimbursements.
• employer TRS and THIS Fund contributions,
• employer payment of Medicare tax, and
• contributions to or distributions from nonqualified
deferred compensation plans.
You, your employer, and the state of Illinois make End-of-career salary increases exceeding
contributions to TRS to provide for your retirement, 6 percent
disability, and death benefits. Your employer will be required to pay TRS for the
actuarial value of any salary increase over 6 percent
Member contributions that is used in the final average salary calculation and
As an active TRS member, you are required to con-
increases your pension benefit. The amount will be
tribute 9.4 percent of your gross creditable earnings
determined when you retire and your employer will be
(defined under “Earnings”) toward retirement each
required to pay a lump sum to TRS.
year. Your contribution consists of:
Contracts and collective bargaining agreements
• 7.5 percent for retirement annuities,
in effect prior to June 1, 2005 that provide for pay
• 0.5 percent for automatic increases over 6 percent at retire-
annual increases in annuities, ment are exempt from the provisions
• 1 percent for death benefits, and contained in the act.
• 0.4 percent to fund the Early Sick leave granted near the
Retirement Option. end of a career
You must also contribute a per- Employers will be responsible for the
centage of your gross creditable cost of sick leave granted days that
earnings to help fund the Teachers’ increase service credit in excess of
Health Insurance Security (THIS) the teacher’s normal allotment in
Fund, which finances the Teachers’ the last four school years prior to his/
Retirement Insurance Program. her retirement. The law exempts col-
Contributions are withheld from lective bargaining agreements and
your creditable earnings by pay- contracts as discussed in the para-
roll deduction or are paid by your graph above.
employer and are credited to your
TRS account. Your contributions
State of Illinois
accrue interest at the rate of 6 per- contributions
cent per year and are sheltered from The state of Illinois provides a large
federal income taxes. Annually, you source of contributions annually to
will receive a TRS Benefits Report that provides infor- TRS. The state also makes contributions for the 2.2
mation about your contributions. (See “TRS Benefits benefit formula.
Report” under “Important Reminders,” page 38.)
Assignment of contributions
Employer contributions and loans
Employers contribute a percentage of creditable earn- By law, you are protected from creditors placing a lien
ings (defined under “Earnings”). In addition, if any on, garnishing, or confiscating contributions you have
portion of a member’s creditable earnings is paid from made to TRS. This provision does not extend to federal
a special trust or federal fund, the employer pays TRS tax levies. You may not assign your TRS contributions
an additional contribution on creditable earnings paid to a creditor or borrow against your account funds.
from that special trust or federal fund.
Employers also make contributions to the THIS Fund.
Service credit determines your eligibility for a Sabbatical leave
You earn regular service credit for a sabbatical leave if
“Days paid” include any weekday (Monday through your employer granted the leave in accordance with
Friday) for which payment is made to you for: the School Code [105 ILCS 5/24-6.1]. Your employer
• administrative absence defined as an absence from must remit the full retirement contribution for you dur-
duty administratively authorized for investigative ing your sabbatical leave. The contribution is based on
purposes without the loss of pay or benefits and the last reported salary rate prior to your leave.
without charge to leave;
• attendance during the work week at teachers’ insti-
When you retire, you may receive a maximum of two
tutes, workshops, and parent/teacher conferences
years (340 days) of service credit for unused, uncom-
scheduled in the school calendar;
pensated sick leave that is certified by a TRS employer.
• legal school holidays;
If you receive payment for unused sick leave days
• sabbatical leaves in accordance with the and the payment is reportable as creditable earnings,
School Code; you will not receive service credit for those days. If
• Saturday, if it qualifies as a day of service and the payment for sick leave days is not reportable to
the service is required due to a lawful day TRS as creditable earnings, the sick leave days must
of attendance; be reported.
• service requiring certification under the b
Your last employer certifies the num er of unused,
School Code; uncompensated sick leave days you have accrued on
• vacation, sick, or personal leave days used prior to the Supplementary Report for Retirement Annuity
termination; or Benefits form that is filed with us when you retire. If
• suspension. you have sick leave from employers prior to the 1987-88
You may also purchase optional service, which is dis- school year for which you want service credit, you
cussed under “Optional Service Credit” on page 9. must have each former employer complete a Former
Annually you will receive a TRS Benefits Report that Employee Sick Leave Certification form and return it to
provides information about your service credit. (See us. Beginning with the 1987-88 school year, employers
“TRS Benefits Report” under “Important Reminders,” annually certify the number of unused, uncompen-
page 38.) This information is also available on our sated sick leave days for members who terminated
Web site, http://trs.illinois.gov, under “Member employment during the past school year. Please check
Account Access.” your TRS Benefits Report to determine if any previous
employers reported unused sick leave for you.
Regular service To be creditable for retirement purposes, sick leave
You earn one year of service credit for any school must be available for your use if you become ill. Service
year in which you are employed and receive salary for credit is not available for sick leave days that are added
170 days. to your record at or near the time you terminate ser-
Prior to Jan. 14, 1991, if you earned salary for fewer vice for the purpose of increasing your retirement
than 170 days, you were granted a fraction of a year service credit.
of service based on the length of the school term or In certain instances, your employer may agree to add
employment contract, whichever was longer. sick days to your record to restore days lost due to an
Effective Jan. 14, 1991, if you earn salary for fewer earlier, lower cap or because of a negotiated increase
than 170 days between July 1 and June 30, you will be in sick days.
granted service credit at the ratio of actual number of In all cases, any additional days awarded must actually
days paid to 170 days. be available for use in the event of illness, accident, or
For example, if you teach three days per week for a disability. The following box shows the calculation to
total of 108 days, your service credit would be 0.635 of determine whether additional days granted are avail-
a year. (108 ÷ 170 = 0.635) able for use and retirement credit.
TRS will not grant service credit for any days you with-
Number of paid days remaining drew from a sick leave bank in excess of the days you
until termination: ____________ deposited into the bank and did not use.
• Include subsequent years
The following situations are regarded as granting sick
Subtract sick days already
leave in excess of the normal annual allotment. The
recorded on your record ____________
three-step formula must be applied to the extra days as
Additional sick days, if any, of the date they are added to your record to determine
that may be granted and available if they are available for use.
for retirement credit ____________
• granted from a sick leave bank to preserve your
personal sick leave balance in the final year(s)
Example of service;
With 180 days (one school year) remaining until you
• bonus days awarded for good attendance or for
retire, you have 210 available sick leave days. Your
not using sick or personal leave;
employer grants you an additional 130 days in an
• sick leave days awarded in lieu of payment for
attempt to give you two full years of service credit
at retirement. These added days cannot be reported
to TRS because they were not available for your use; • unused bereavement leave days converted to
at the time they were granted, you had sufficient sick sick leave;
leave available to cover the remainder of your employ- • unused vacation days converted to sick leave;
ment (180 days until retirement less 210 days already • unused personal leave days that accumulate two-
on record). You use five days during the school year. for-one as sick leave or personal leave;
At termination, the district reports 205 (210-5) days • personal leave days that are not available for use as
of unused, uncompensated sick leave to TRS. You will sick leave but accumulate as sick leave if unused;
receive credit for 1.206 of a year (205 ÷ 170 = 1.206). • sick leave days borrowed from a future school
TRS will not grant service credit for days: year; or
• lost as a result of a district imposed sick leave cap; • unused, non-designated or no-reason days con-
• not reinstated or granted sufficiently far in advance verted to sick leave.
of retirement to be available for use; Personal leave days
• granted contingent upon a future event such If unused and unpaid personal leave could be used in
as retirement or not retiring under the Early the event of illness, they may also be reported for sick
Retirement Option; leave service credit.
• only available for catastrophic or extended illnesses;
• accumulated in excess of a per illness limitation;
You will not receive service credit for unused
• reportable to another retirement system; vacation days.
• earned in years for which you took a refund that
has not been repaid;
• available for use in a non-TRS-covered position;
• or recorded in other states, even if you purchased
Optional Service Credit
You can obtain additional credit towards your retirement Health Insurance Security Fund (THIS Fund) when mak-
through purchases of optional service or repayment of refunds. ing an optional service credit purchase to help finance
There are several types of optional service. Most have the Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program. Active
a direct relationship to certified teaching in the pub- military service purchases are an exception to this
lic schools, but there are certain exceptions such as contribution rule.
military service. The THIS Fund amount will vary according to the pur-
To begin the process of purchasing optional service chase year; it is calculated by using the same rate that
credit, call TRS at (800) 877-7896 and request the was required that year. For example, the 1995 THIS con-
optional service type’s form. In all cases, you must tribution rate would apply for a 1995 maternity leave
submit the appropriate documentation to TRS to pur- optional service credit purchase. The payment must be
chase the credit. We urge you made to the THIS Fund
to do so at the earliest possible with a separate check.
opportunity to avoid disap-
pointment. With the passage
of time, records may become service
lost, destroyed, or much Illinois law does not per-
more difficult to obtain. Once mit credit for teaching
reported to TRS and verified, service that is also used
the qualifying event is a perma- in any other statutory,
nent part of your record at TRS public employee retire-
and can be used in calculating ment system except
your benefit estimates. Social Security or a mili-
tary allotment. You may
You are under no obligation to
not receive retirement
purchase optional service that
benefits from two public
you have reported to TRS.
pension systems for the same years of service.
When to purchase The following types of full-time, part-time or
Purchases of most service credit must be completed substitute public school teaching qualify as “out-of-
before you retire. The only exception is credit for preg- system” service:
nancies and adoptions. • other states, territories, or dependencies of the
In addition, federal tax laws do not permit your sur- United States,
vivors to initiate or complete an optional service • Chicago public schools, and
purchase or refund repayment after your death. • public common schools operated by the
Cost United States.
Your cost for out-of-system service, part-time teaching, In addition, employment by a public agency in profes-
unreported substitute teaching, homebound teach- sional speech correction or special education in Illinois,
ing, leave of absence, involuntary layoff, pregnancy another state, territory, dependency of the United
leave, or adoption leave credit is equal to the amount States qualifies.
that would have been required had the service been The following types of service do not qualify because
earned under TRS, plus interest, usually at the rate they were not performed in a public common school:
of 6 percent, from the date the contributions would
• colleges or universities, and
have been due to the date payment is made. The
cost for military service is specified within its section. • military instructional centers.
THIS Fund Contribution Your out-of-system service must be followed by at least
For service performed on or after July 1, 1995, all active five years of creditable service earned with TRS, the
TRS members, except employees of state agencies, Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund
are required to make contributions to the Teachers’
of Chicago (CTRF), or the State Universities Retirement leave does not include a dismissal for cause or other
System (SURS). The out-of-system service cannot performance-related reasons.
exceed two-fifths of your total creditable service with To qualify, you must return to service under TRS or the
TRS at retirement. The overall maximum is 10 years. State Universities Retirement System (SURS) after the
You may establish and pay for out-of-system service at leave or layoff for one year or the period of the leave/
any time. However, you must meet the service require- layoff, whichever is less.
ments at retirement for the out-of-system service to
be creditable. Reporting
The member and the school district must complete the
Reporting Leave of Absence Certification form using actual school
The member, school district, and retirement system records. For an involuntary layoff, a letter from the
must complete the Out-of-System Service Certification employer indicating the RIF must be received.
form using actual school records.
Since July 2001, TRS has requested school districts to
Part-time teaching annually report any approved leave of absences.
You may be eligible to purchase credit for part-time teach- Pregnancy or adoption credit
ing if you worked part-time between July 1, 1969 and
You may purchase credit for periods of absence from
June 30, 1990. If you worked in a permanent and contin-
a TRS-covered position due to pregnancy or adoption
uous position during the entire school term, you have
prior to July 1983.
already received credit. If your service was not per-
manent and continuous, you may purchase the credit. To qualify, you must have returned to covered employ-
ment with either TRS or State Universities Retirement
Reporting System (SURS) for one year or the period you were
The member and the school district must complete away from teaching due to pregnancy, whichever
the Part-time Service Certification form using actual is less.
Although it is advantageous to purchase the credit as
Substitute and homebound soon as possible, there is no deadline. Annuitants or
teaching members may purchase all or a portion of the credit to
Before July 1990, substitute teaching service was not which they are entitled, but annuitants may make only
covered by TRS. You may, however, purchase credit one purchase.
for this service. In addition, you may purchase credit for Credit Maximum
homebound instruction and tutoring service that was You may purchase a maximum of three years for all
paid by a TRS employer. leaves of absence, involuntary layoffs, and absences
Reporting due to pregnancy or adoption.
The member and the school district must complete the Reporting
Substitute or Homebound Service Certification form Send us a completed Pregnancy Service Certification
using actual school records. or Adoption Service Certification form and all required
Leave of absence or involuntary
layoff Military service
You may purchase service credit for approved leaves of You may purchase two types of military service:
absence or involuntary layoffs. • military service that immediately followed Illinois
A leave of absence is “approved” if: public school teaching, and
• you did not resign; • military service that did not immediately follow
• your employer promised renewed employment at Illinois public school teaching.
the end of the leave; and You may purchase up to five years of credit, but only
• your employer, through its board, officially two may be for service that did not immediately follow
approved your leave; or TRS-covered employment.
• your leave qualifies under the federal Family and Military service immediately
Medical Leave Act, as certified by your employer. following teaching
A layoff is involuntary if it is due to a reduction in force If you were drafted or enlisted while teaching, you
(RIF) authorized under the School Code. An involuntary may be able to purchase up to five years of credit. This
credit must be purchased before you retire. To qualify, Service canceled by a refund
your military service must have begun within 12 months When you take a refund of your TRS contributions,
of teaching service under TRS or CTRF, the plan for your TRS membership ends and all creditable service is
Chicago teachers. Credit is granted for actual military canceled. This service cannot be reinstated or used for
service as well as for federally-sponsored teacher train- calculating benefits until you:
ing that followed your discharge from the military.
• repay the entire refund with interest from the date
Reporting the refund was made until the date you repay the
Send us a copy of your U.S. Government Form DD-214 refund; and
or its equivalent. • complete one year of TRS creditable service follow-
Cost ing the refund, or
Your cost is equal to the contributions to TRS that • complete two years of creditable service under a
would have been required had you continued teach- reciprocal retirement system.
ing. Interest is charged, usually at the rate of 6 percent, Remember, Illinois law does not permit credit for
from the date the contributions would have been due teaching service that is also used in any other statu-
to the date payment is made. tory, public employee retirement system except Social
Military service NOT immediately Security or a military allotment.
If you were not teaching in a position covered by TRS
or CTRF at the time you joined the military, you may be
eligible to purchase up to two years of credit for your
military service. This credit must be purchased before
Send us a copy of your U.S. Government Form DD-214
or its equivalent.
The cost is based on the total normal cost in effect on
the date of application. This rate, which is determined
by our actuaries each year, includes both employer
and employee contribution costs. The rate is multi-
plied by the salary for your first year of teaching after
The salary must be for a position that required manda-
tory contributions to TRS. Interest, usually at the rate of
6 percent, is added from the date of first membership
in the system or when the contributions would have
been due, whichever is later, until the balance is paid.
Obtaining a Form DD-214
Written requests for duplicate form DD-214 must be
signed and mailed to:
National Personnel Records Center
(Military Personnel Records)
9700 Page Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Several options are available to pay for optional service, Rollovers
refunds, or 2.2 upgrades. The table below will help you TRS can accept rollover contributions (other than
select an option. after-tax contributions) from:
i 2 S • another qualified Section 401(a) or 401(k) or
v e U g e *
m m Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
• an annuity plan described in Internal Revenue Code
Yes Yes No Yes Yes (IRC), Section 403(a);
• a tax-sheltered annuity contract described in IRC,
Yes Yes Yes Yes No Section 403(b);
* Must be paid with separate check to THIS Fund. • an individual retirement account or annuity (IRA)
under IRC, Section 408(a) or Section 408(b) that is
Lump-sum or installment eligible to be rolled over and would otherwise be
payments included in gross income;
You may make a lump-sum payment directly to TRS • a conduit individual retirement account described
when you pay or prepay Early Retirement Option in IRC, Section 408(d);
(ERO) contributions, purchase optional service credit, • a Simplified Employee Pensions Plan (SEP) under
upgrade your service credit to the 2.2 benefit formula, IRC, Section 408(k);
or repay refunded service. Only purchases of optional • a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees
service credit, ERO prepayments, or repayments of (Simple IRA) under IRC, Section 408(p), if there
refunds may be made in installment payments directly has been participation in the plan for at least two
from you to TRS. Each installment payment must be a years; and
minimum of $50. If your total balance due is less than • an eligible deferred compensation plan under IRC,
$50, your payment must be for the full amount due. You Section 457(b) which is maintained by a state,
may not make after-tax, direct installment payments political subdivision of a state, or any agency or
for the cost to upgrade to the 2.2 benefit formula. instrumentality of a state or political subdivision of
For service performed on or after July 1, 1995, all active a state.
TRS members, except employees of state agencies, Additionally, TRS will also accept spousal rollovers
are required to make contributions to the Teachers’ of distributions from Section 401(a), 401(k), Keogh,
Health Insurance Security (THIS) Fund when making 403(a), 403(b) and 457(b) plans that the member’s
an optional service credit purchase to help finance the deceased spouse participated in or that have been
Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program. The THIS divided by a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
Fund amount will vary according to the purchase year;
Roth IRAs are not eligible for rollover.
it is calculated by using the same rate that was required
that year. For example, the 1995 THIS contribution rate TRS cannot process the payment without a correctly
would apply for a 1995 maternity leave optional service completed Rollover Certification form that provides
credit purchase. written confirmation from the transferring plan that
the amounts deposited are eligible for rollover treat-
The payment must be made to the THIS Fund with a
ment. Rollover eligibility is governed by federal law and
providers’ rules and regulations.
We accept personal checks, money orders, and cashiers’
The rollover amount cannot exceed the amount due
checks. If you prefer not to mail a check, your financial
institution may be able to make an online bill payment
from your account to TRS. Contact your financial insti- For more information about rollovers and to obtain the
tution if you have any questions. A paper check will be form to initiate the rollover, please contact us.
mailed to TRS by the bank or their processing agent.
Cash, credit card, and debit card payments are not
You’ve been preparing children for their futures while we’ve If you fall short of qualifying for a nondiscounted
been building your retirement security. Whether you are annuity, the Early Retirement Option (see page 15) is
retiring soon or years from now, we can help with your available to avoid a discounted annuity.
Under federal law, inactive members are required to
Retirement annuity take a TRS distribution at age 70½.
Your retirement benefit will be provided for your
To determine your annuity, we use either an actuarial
Eligibility annuity calculation or an average salary/service credit
To be eligible for a TRS retirement annuity, the Illinois calculation, whichever results in a higher benefit. The
Pension Code requires you to terminate active ser- actuarial calculation is based on interest and mortality
vice as a teacher. It is not permissible to prearrange rate factors, which are subject to change. The aver-
post-retirement employment. To meet federal guide- age salary/service credit calculation (whose terms
lines, TRS requires a genuine resignation and that the are defined in this section) yields a larger retirement
employment relationship be severed prior to the com- annuity for most members with current or recent ser-
mencement of benefits. vice; the maximum retirement benefit is 75 percent of
To establish termination of service, two conditions the average salary. There is no limit on the actuarial
must be met. First, you must formally resign from your annuity benefit.
teaching position. Second, you must wait 30 calendar The actuarial benefit has been eliminated for teachers
days from the date of resignation before performing who became members on or after July 1, 2005, as a
any post-retirement teaching for the same employer. result of Public Act 94-0004. For most TRS members,
The 30 calendar day wait period does not apply if the the 2.2 formula calculation results in a larger benefit
post-retirement teaching is for another employer. than the actuarial calculation. The actuarial calcula-
Designations such as “temporary,” “interim,” and tion usually benefits members with exceptionally long
“independent contractor” will not suffice to establish careers or long periods of inactive status.
termination of active service if the continued employ- Average salary is the average of the four highest con-
ment is with the same employer. secutive annual salary rates within the last 10 years
An annuitant who has established termination of ser- of creditable service. If you have less than a full year
vice may not return to post-retirement teaching in the during your final year of teaching, we use a special pro-
same school year he or she last contributed to TRS. cedure to calculate average salary.
Once pension eligibility is established, retiring members Each annual salary rate after June 30, 1979, cannot
must comply with post-retirement employment limita- exceed the previous year’s full-time rate by more than
tions. (See “Post-retirement Matters,” page 19.) 20 percent. Any earnings above this limit are excluded.
The 20 percent cap on salary increases applies only
In addition to terminating service, you must meet one
to service you performed for the same employer.
of the following age and service credit requirements:
Consolidation of school districts does not consti-
Years of Service Age tute a new employer; therefore, the 20 percent cap
5 62 still applies.
10 60 Years of creditable service determine the percentage of
20 55 (discounted annuity or ERO) the average salary to which you are entitled. If you do
35 55* not upgrade service to the 2.2 formula, you are entitled
* If you are eligible to receive a retirement annuity of at least to the following formula for service credit earned prior
74.6 percent of the final average salary and will reach age 55 to July 1, 1998:
between July 1 and Dec. 31, we consider you to have attained age • 1.67 percent for each of the first 10 years
55 on the preceding June 1. • 1.9 percent for each of the second 10 years
* If you are a TRS member currently employed by a state of Illinois • 2.1 percent for each of the third 10 years
agency, you may be eligible to retire under the Rule of 85. Please • 2.3 percent for each year over 30 years
contact TRS for eligibility requirements.
For post-June 1998 service, you receive 2.2 percent for largest amount payable throughout your lifetime. A
each year of service. reversionary annuity reduces the retirement annuity
A special provision applies to members who had at amount to provide an additional monthly annuity to
least 24 years of service credit as of July 1, 1998. If you a surviving, designated dependent beneficiary after
do not upgrade to the 2.2 formula and you had at least your death.
24 years of service prior to July 1998, you will receive Electing to receive a reversionary annuity should be a
2.2 percent for each year of service earned after June careful decision because of its costs, possible reduc-
1998 up to 30 years and then 2.3 percent for each year tion in death benefits, and irrevocability. If you elect a
of service over 30 years. reversionary annuity, remaining contributions are not
payable at the time of your death. (See “Refund of
Maximum retirement benefit
Retirement Contributions,” page 32.)
If you are qualified to receive a benefit of at least
74.6 percent of final average salary, we will round this Regardless of the type of annuity you select, your
percentage up to the 75 percent maximum retirement dependent will receive death benefits from TRS after
benefit. If all of your service credit is with TRS, you will your death if you have named him or her to receive
receive the maximum benefit with 34 years of service such benefits on your Member Information and
credit if you are eligible for a non-discounted annuity. Beneficiary Designation (MIBD) form. (See “Death
Benefits,” page 29.)
Discounted retirement annuity
If you retire between the If you elect the reversionary
ages of 55 and 60 with annuity, you must designate
at least 20 but fewer the dependent beneficiary
than 35 years of service, to whom you wish the rever-
your retirement annuity sionary annuity be paid. This
is reduced by 6 percent beneficiary does not have
for each year (half per- to be the same as the death
cent per month) that benefit designee.
you are under age 60. Once you have selected a
You can avoid this reduc- dependent beneficiary to
tion if both you and your receive the reversionary
employer make a one- annuity, the selection cannot
time contribution to TRS. be changed and there is no
(See “Early Retirement continuing requirement that
Option,” page 15.) A discounted annuity is based on a dependent relationship exist between you and the
your average salary, years of service, and age. beneficiary. In other words, whether or not the ben-
eficiary is dependent on you at the time of your death
2.2 upgrades has no bearing on his or her eligibility to receive the
You may upgrade all of your pre-July 1998 service to reversionary annuity.
the 2.2 formula by making an additional contribution. Election of a reversionary annuity is irrevocable.
The contribution is equal to 1 percent multiplied by your However, if your designated beneficiary predeceases
highest salary rate in the four consecutive school years you and you send us a certified copy of the death cer-
immediately prior to, but not including, the school year tificate, we will reinstate your retirement annuity to
in which you apply for the upgrade times the num- the full amount on the first day of the month after we
ber of years of creditable service you earned prior to receive your beneficiary’s death certificate. You will not
July 1, 1998, or up to 20, whichever is less. For informa- receive any retroactive adjustments.
tion about receiving a refund or reduction of your 2.2
upgrade cost, see “Refunds or reduction of the 2.2 Single-sum retirement benefit
upgrade cost” on page 15. If you have fewer than five years of creditable service,
you are eligible to receive a single-sum retirement ben-
Reversionary annuity efit at age 65. The benefit is the actuarial equivalent
When you retire, you will receive a standard of a retirement annuity consisting of 1.67 percent of
annuity from TRS unless you elect to receive a rever- your final average salary for each year of creditable ser-
sionary annuity. The standard annuity provides the vice. To be eligible for this benefit, you must terminate
TRS-covered employment and complete an application Example of ERO Costs
for a single-sum retirement annuity. e 59 58 57 56 55
Once you receive the single-sum benefit, you may teach Cre a le Ser i e 34 33 32 31 30
in a TRS-covered position without restriction and you rE O 11.5 23.0 34.5 46.0 57.5
will not be required to make contributions. s O 23.5 47.0 70.5 94.0 117.5
Early Retirement Option Employer limits on utilization
The Early Retirement Option (ERO) is a helpful way of The law allows your employer to limit the number of
avoiding the substantial discount in your pension ben- employees who may use ERO. The employer must
efits if you retire prior to age 60 with less than 35 years permit at least 10 percent of ERO eligible employees
of creditable service. to exercise the ERO option. In all cases, if a limit is
If you are a TRS member between the ages of 55 and imposed, eligibility will be based on seniority in the ser-
60 and have at least 20 but less than 35 years of service, vice of the employer (not total TRS credit).
you may use the ERO to avoid a discounted annuity. If Member contribution rate
you do not use the ERO and you retire with less than The law requires a 0.4 percent salary contribution
35 years of service, your annuity is reduced 6 percent towards the cost of ERO. All member earnings are sub-
for each year that you are under age 60. ject to the contribution requirement.
ERO eligibility If a member does not receive a retirement annuity cal-
All of the following conditions must be met: culated using ERO, the contributions will be refunded
• You must apply with TRS and retire within six without interest:
months of your last day of contributing service. • within 120 days of when a member’s non-ERO
• If you are under age 55 when you cease teaching, annuity commences;
you may use the Early Retirement Option if you • if the member takes a refund that terminates mem-
turn age 55 and if your retirement begins within six bership in TRS;
months of your last day of service. • if the member dies without having begun to receive
• You and your last employer must each make a one- a retirement annuity; or
time, nonrefundable ERO contribution to TRS. The • if the ERO program is terminated in the future as
contribution is a percentage of the highest salary a result of contribution rate reviews set to begin
rate used to calculate your average salary. in 2012.
• The ERO contribution is in addition to contributions ERO expiration
required to upgrade pre-July 1998 service credit or The current ERO does not have an expiration date.
to pay for any optional service. However, the law requires the TRS actuaries to con-
• Substitute teachers must teach 85 or more days sider the sufficiency of the employer and member
in the last school term with one employer to be contributions for ERO. There is a specific process that
eligible for ERO. The final day of teaching with that will begin in 2012 for these reviews. If the proposed
employer must be within six months of the date of rates are not acceptable to the General Assembly, the
the application for retirement. ERO provision will be terminated on June 30, 2013.
You and your last employer must each make a one-time,
Refunds or reduction of the
nonrefundable ERO contribution to TRS. The contribu- 2.2 upgrade cost
tion is a percentage of the highest salary rate used to You may receive a refund with interest or a reduction
calculate your average salary. Your employer’s percent- of your 2.2 upgrade cost:
age is calculated by multiplying 23.5 percent for each • For every three years you teach and earn regular
year or partial year that your age is less than 60. Your service credit after July 1, 1998, the equivalent of
percentage is calculated by multiplying 11.5 percent one year of your 2.2 upgrade cost will be reduced
times the lesser of: or refunded with interest.
• The number of years or partial years of service
under 35 years; or
• The number of years or partial years your age is
If you retire with more than 34 years of service credit, Effect of receiving a refund
you may receive: When you receive a refund of your survivor benefit
• a 25 percent reduction in upgrade costs for each contributions, you waive all rights to your beneficiaries’
year of creditable service beyond 34 years, up to a receiving survivor benefits. However, your remain-
maximum of 100 percent. Partial years are prorated. ing accumulated retirement contributions, if any, still
or remain payable to your beneficiaries upon your death.
The survivor benefit refund may be repaid with inter-
• refunds of optional service purchases, excluding
est if you return to teaching and earn one year of
refund repayments, that cause total service to
exceed 34 years. The refund is based on the aver-
age cost of the optional service. Application procedure
If you have both options available, we will refund the When you are applying for retirement or at anytime
greater of these mutually exclusive refund options thereafter, you may request a Refund of Survivor
automatically. Changes to a refund option may not be Benefit Contributions Application form from us.
made after an annuity has begun. However, the form will not be sent until the processing
of your retirement is complete. Return your completed
Refund of survivor benefit form to our Springfield office. Within six weeks after
contributions we receive your completed application, we will pro-
Eligibility cess your refund and will forward it to the Office of the
When you apply for a retirement annuity or while you Comptroller for payment.
are receiving a retirement annuity, you may take a Impact on Social Security
refund of your survivor benefit contributions if you If you qualify to receive a single-sum retirement benefit
have creditable service after July 24, 1959, and you do or take a refund from TRS instead of a monthly benefit,
not have a dependent beneficiary. (See “Types of ben- you may wish to ask if your Social Security benefits will
eficiaries” under “Death Benefits,” page 29.) be reduced. For Social Security information, you may
The refundable amount is 1 percent of total gross cred- call (800) 772-1213 or visit www.ssa.gov online.
itable earnings for each year of teaching service after
July 24, 1959.
If you have service in more than one public retirement Reciprocity applies only to retirement and survivor ben-
system in Illinois, you may qualify for enhanced retirement efits. In most cases, it cannot be used for disability and
and survivor benefits by selecting a reciprocal retirement. insurance purposes.
Reciprocity offers the following advantages: Members wishing to select reciprocity must apply
• Service credit in any of the reciprocal systems may to each retirement system. The systems will then
be used to meet service qualification requirements exchange information in order to determine the ben-
for a pension. efits payable. When payments begin, you will receive
• The highest final average salary earned is used separate checks from each system. The use of reciproc-
by each of the reciprocal systems to calculate ity is entirely voluntary.
the retirement ben- If you are within five years of
efit. This practice retirement, you may receive
usually results in a a reciprocal benefit estimate
higher benefit. by contacting your current
• Members may rein- retirement system. That sys-
state refunded tem will gather information
service at a recipro- from the other reciprocal sys-
cal system once they tems and provide you with a
have established consolidated estimate.
two years service In addition to TRS, systems
credit at another under the Illinois Retire-
reciprocal system. ment Systems Reciprocal
You must have at least Act include:
one year of service credit in any system you wish to
• County Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of
use for reciprocity. The one exception to this rule is if
you participated in IMRF as a teacher aide and earned
• Forest Preserve District Employees’ Annuity and
less than 12 months of IMRF service credit, and were
Benefit Fund of Cook County,
next employed in a position covered by TRS. If this
• General Assembly Retirement System,
applies, you may apply your IMRF service toward a
• Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund,
reciprocal pension even though it does not meet the
• Judges’ Retirement System of Illinois,
12-month requirement. You cannot use credit from
• Laborers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago,
another system if you have taken a refund or if the
• Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
credit has already been applied to a pension. If you pre-
viously took a refund from a reciprocal system, contact
• Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund
the system to determine if you may repay the refund
• Park Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund
To retire with reciprocity, your total years of recipro- of Chicago,
cal service must equal the minimum qualifying period • Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement
under each system to be eligible for retirement. Fund of Chicago,
If the service periods overlap, the reciprocal benefits • State Employees’ Retirement System of Illinois, and
will be adjusted proportionately. Members who have • State Universities Retirement System of Illinois.
significant amounts of overlapping service may want
to consider retiring independently under each system
rather than using the reciprocal act.
Applying for and Receiving
This is an exciting time for you. Your teaching career is Annuity payments
almost complete. You have new experiences waiting.
You will receive your first annuity payment approxi-
The retirement process begins with you contacting us mately 60 to 90 days after we receive a signed
about your plan to retire and ends approximately 60 to application form, any remaining payments due from
90 days after your retirement date when you receive you, and the Supplementary Report and Sick Leave
your first annuity payment. Certification forms from your employer.
Personalized retirement The Office of the Comptroller mails payments on the
interview last working day of each month. The payment you
receive on the first day of the month represents the
You may take advantage of our personalized retire-
annuity you earned for the preceding month. Please
ment interview by calling a TRS benefits counselor or
notify us if your payment has not arrived by the 10th
logging on to the “Member Account Access” area of
day of the month.
our Web site. When you plan to retire, you should con-
tact us approximately three to four months before your To protect our annuitants, we have the right to suspend
retirement date. retirement annuities if two payments remain uncashed.
Once we learn the circumstances behind the uncashed
Simply provide your Social Security number, the date
payments, we will mail the suspended payments to
you will retire, and your federal withholding status and
number of exemptions to
start the process. During Direct deposit
your interview, we will dis- Annuitants, beneficiaries,
cuss any optional service and disability recipients
or credit under reciprocal are encouraged to have
systems, upgrading any payments electronically
pre-July 1998 service credit, deposited into a bank or
enrolling in the Teachers’ other financial institution.
Retirement Insurance Direct deposit is a safe and
Program, and signing up for convenient way to ensure
direct deposit. that your payments are
TRS will complete the received automatically
retirement forms with each month.
you over the telephone or To authorize direct deposit
online in about 15 minutes. You should receive your of benefit payments, you and your financial institution
personalized forms within 10 business days. must complete and sign the Depository Agreement for
Effective date of retirement TRS Benefit Payments form. Please return the agree-
ment form no later than the 15th day of the month.
Once you meet the eligibility requirements (see
Your next check will be mailed directly to your home
“Retirement Benefits,” page 13), your retirement annu-
address. In following months, your payment will be
ity will begin on the later of:
directly deposited into your account on the first bank-
• the day following the last day for which you earn ing day of each month. You will not receive a monthly
salary that counts toward retirement, or statement from TRS.
• the day on which you attain the minimum
The Office of the Comptroller will send you an earnings
statement whenever there is a change in the amount of
the direct deposit and at the end of each calendar year.
Annuitants will want to be aware of special issues, such Highlights booklet that is available through our Forms
as health insurance, automatic annuity increases, post- Order Line and our Web site.
retirement employment limitations, and re-entry into
active membership. TRS members with at least five years of service with a
qualified state of Illinois agency may be eligible for ben-
Health insurance efit options under the State of Illinois Group Insurance
In addition to current participants, enrollment in the Plan. At retirement, we will send information to mem-
Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) is bers who qualify for the plan.
Annual increases in annuity
• any member who has eight or more years of
Nearly all annuitants receive a 3 percent annual increase
TRS service credit and is receiving a monthly
in their annuities. You will receive the increase on the
• any beneficiary who is receiving a monthly survivor
benefit from a member who had eight or more • Jan. 1 following your first anniversary in retirement
years of service credit; or or
• any member who is receiving a disability benefit, • Jan. 1 following the date you reach age 61.
regardless of the years of service credit. The increase is effective in January of each year and
TRIP is a comprehensive program of quality healthcare is reflected in the payment you receive in February.
coverage for retired teachers and their eligible depen- This increases your monthly benefit and is not a ret-
dents. TRS’s role is to provide members with basic roactive lump-sum payment. When we calculate the
coverage information, enroll them in the program, and first increase, we include increases for the entire time
collect the appropriate premiums. The State of Illinois you have been in retirement. This first increase is cal-
Department of Central culated by determining the
Management Services number of years that have
(CMS) determines coverage elapsed since you retired or
benefits, establishes premi- reached age 55, whichever
ums, negotiates contracts is later, and the effective
with the insurance carriers, date of your initial increase.
and resolves coverage and This increased benefit con-
claim issues. CMS admin- tinues until the next annual
isters TRIP as set forth in increase of 3 percent is
the State Employees Group applied.
Insurance Act of 1971. Some annuitants may
No TRS monies are used to receive increases in their
fund TRIP. annuities prior to the initial
There are four times when you may enroll in TRIP: due to minimum annuity legislation. If you are affected,
• when you apply for monthly retirement benefits or we will notify you.
• when you turn age 65 or become eligible Employment limitations for
for Medicare, annuitants
• when coverage by a former group plan is involun- While you are receiving a retirement annuity, certain
tarily terminated, or restrictions apply regarding employment you may
• during the annual Benefit Choice Period if you have accept, the types of positions in which you may be
never been enrolled in TRIP. employed, and the number of days and hours you
Enrollment information, including premiums and a
summary of benefits, is provided in our TRIP Program
Employment limitation Extra duties that do not require teacher certification are
You may be employed by any college, university, or pri- not subject to the 100 days/500 hours post-retirement
vate school without limitation. In addition, you may be employment limitation.
employed by a school district in a position not covered A person who received a single-sum retirement benefit
by TRS without limitation. For example, as a retired is not subject to these limits.
teacher you may be employed as a bus driver for any
number of days or hours. You may also be employed
Exceeding the limitations
If you exceed the employment limitations during any
in public school systems outside the state of Illinois
• we must be notified,
Once you are retired, you may not resume employ-
ment in a TRS-covered position, including substitute • your retirement annuity will be suspended,
and summer school teaching, in the same school year • you will re-enter active membership, and
in which you last contributed to TRS. The school year is • your employer must remit TRS contributions on all
July 1 through June 30. Therefore, if you retire during creditable earnings after the employment limita-
the school year, you may teach summer school follow- tions are exceeded.
ing retirement only if your first day of service is after There are two circumstances where you will be required
June 30. to repay all annuity payments in full from the date
In addition, you must wait 30 days from the effective of retirement:
date of your resignation before performing any post- • if you resume teaching in the same school year in
retirement teaching for the same employer. which you retired or
100 days/500 hours limitation • if you exceed the employment limitations in the first
Following the school year in which you last contributed school year following retirement.
to TRS, you may be employed in a TRS-covered position Special consequences apply if you exceed employ-
for up to 100 paid days or 500 paid hours per school ment limitations following retirement under any 5&5
year and still receive a retirement annuity. Early Retirement Incentive (ERI) program. Call Member
If you work only full days (five or more hours per day), Services, (800) 877-7896, for information.
each day is counted toward the 100 days limitation. If Special circumstances
you work all partial days (fewer than five hours) or a If you retire under the Illinois Retirement Systems
combination of full and partial days, the time worked Reciprocal Act, you must adhere to the post-retirement
is counted toward the 500 hours limitation. Each full employment limitations of each retirement system that
day (five or more hours) is counted as five hours, even is, or will be, paying you a retirement benefit. Post-
if you actually worked more than five hours on that retirement employment in one system does not limit
date. For partial days, the actual number of clock hours work in another system. Therefore, you should contact
worked is counted. For example, if you worked on two each applicable reciprocal system regarding employ-
days during a given week, three hours on Tuesday and ment limitations that may apply to you. All systems will
seven hours on Thursday, a total of eight hours (three discontinue benefits if the limits are exceeded.
for Tuesday and five for Thursday) would be counted
Retirement with CTRF
toward the 500 hours limitation. It is your responsibility
If you retired from the Public School Teachers’ Pension
to keep a record of your hours worked to ensure you
and Retirement Fund of Chicago, you are allowed to
do not exceed the limitation.
work in a TRS-covered position for any number of days or
Only work that requires teacher certification (including hours. However, if you exceed the 100 days/500 hours
summer school and substitute teaching) is subject to limitation in a school year, you must begin contributing
the 100 days/500 hours post-retirement employment to TRS upon exceeding the limitation.
limitation. All time that a teacher or administrator is
required to be present for certificated duties is subject Re-entry into active
to the limitation. This includes preparation periods and membership
time before, between, and after classes. For admin- As an annuitant, the only way you can re-enter active
istrators, this includes all time that is required to be membership is:
spent on administrative duties, such as attendance at
• to teach in a TRS-covered position in the same
board meetings and contract negotiations.
school year in which you last contributed to TRS or
• to teach beyond the 100 days/500 hours limitation • if you retired before age 60 and with less than
(see “100 days/500 hours limitation” section). 34 years of service and the eligible employment
If you resume active TRS member status, does not begin within the year following the effec-
• contributions are required on all creditable earn- tive date of the retirement annuity.
ings, and • if you retired at age 60 or above or with 34 or more
• you are required to send us a new age retire- years of service and the eligible employment does
ment annuity application form when you file for not begin within the 90 days following the effective
retirement again. date of the retirement annuity.
If your second retirement date occurs in less than one The employment must be certified as a subject short-
year, your retirement is reinstated. If it follows comple- age area by the regional superintendent. To become
tion of at least one year but less than three years of certified, the school district must advertise the vacancy
creditable service, your annuity will be recomputed in newspapers, placement offices, and through the
using the law in effect on your first retirement date. Illinois Education Job Bank prior to the beginning of the
If at least three years of creditable service have been spring or fall term. If the vacancy is not filled, the school
established after you re-enter active membership, district must submit documentation to the regional
your annuity will be recomputed based on current law, superintendent. The regional superintendent will cer-
including any legislation that changed benefits while tify the district’s compliance with the provisions.
you were in retirement the first time. Once hired, you will be included in a collective bargain-
ing agreement and will comply with the laws governing
Return to work in subject the employment, regulation, certification, treatment,
shortage areas and conduct of teachers. You will participate in the
In 2008, Public Act 95-0910 extended the “Retiree group health benefits offered by the school district
Return to Work” provision. A teacher may work in a without limitations based on pre-existing conditions.
certified subject shortage area after retirement without While teaching in the subject shortage area, you must
impairing his/her retirement status — but only in sub- remain on the employer’s health insurance. It is not
ject areas where the regional superintendent of schools permissible to change to the Teachers’ Retirement
certifies that a personnel shortage exists. As amended, Insurance Program (TRIP) while teaching in the subject
this bill changes the sunset date until June 30, 2013. shortage area. After you cease teaching in the subject
shortage area, the employer should notify TRS that you
Participation and eligibility
have terminated employment and will be returning to
If you are receiving an annuity, you may teach in a
health insurance coverage under TRIP.
subject shortage area without compromising your
retirement status if: Your annuity amount will be unaffected by employ-
ment under this legislation. An annuitant who returns
• your employment does not begin within the school
to work under this program is not required to comply
year service was terminated.
with post-retirement employment limitations. Neither
• if you did not retire under the TRS 5&5 early you nor your employer will be required to contribute
retirement incentive. to TRS and no additional service credit will be earned.
Medicare and Social Security
As an active TRS member, you may be required to contribute Web site, www.ssa.gov. Premium rate information is
toward Medicare coverage. However, you do not contribute also available on the Web site.
to Social Security on your TRS-covered earnings. We will
not reduce your TRS benefit because of any Social Security Social Security
benefit you may receive.
Active TRS members do not contribute to the retire-
Medicare ment and disability program under Social Security on
All public employees hired after March 31, 1986, are their TRS-covered earnings. However, they may accu-
required to make contributions toward Medicare cov- mulate credit under Social Security through other
erage. Persons who change employers after that date employment that is not covered by TRS.
are also subject to the Medicare tax. Currently, these Annuitants who return to teaching do not contribute
individuals and their employers each contribute 1.45 to Social Security.
percent of salary to Medicare. The Social Security Administration
Annuitants who return to teaching provides a statement each year one
after March 31, 1986, also contribute to three months before your birth-
to Medicare, regardless of the num- day, provided you are at least 25
ber of days they teach. Annuitants years old and are not already receiv-
and their employers each pay the ing benefits. The statement provides
1.45 percent Medicare tax. you with an earnings history under
TRS annuitants with 40 credits of Social Security, the number of cred-
coverage under Social Security will its you have earned, and an estimate
receive free Medicare Part A (hospi- of benefits you will receive (provided
tal insurance) coverage at age 65. A you have earned sufficient credits
TRS annuitant may also obtain free of coverage), excluding any offsets
Medicare Part A coverage as the that may be applied.
result of paying the Medicare tax on You may request a statement at any
covered employment. In addition, a time by calling (800) 772-1213 and
TRS annuitant may have Medicare asking for Form SSA-7004, Request
hospital coverage at age 65 if his for Social Security Statement.
or her spouse has worked in Social Complete the form and return it to
Security-covered employment at the address indicated on the form.
least 40 credits and if the spouse is at least age 62. You may also submit your request through the Social
If you are a widow or widower of a Social Security- Security Administration Web site, www.ssa.gov.
covered spouse, you are eligible for Medicare Part
A at age 65. Please contact Social Security to verify
Social Security benefit
your eligibility. reductions
Two provisions may cause a reduction in your Social
If you do not qualify for free Medicare coverage,
Security benefits: the Windfall Elimination Provision
you can purchase Medicare Part A coverage through
and the Government Pension Offset. Only the Social
monthly premium payments. Medicare Part B (medical
Security Administration can provide information on
insurance) is optional and must be purchased sepa-
the actual amount of the reduction. We will not reduce
rately from Social Security through monthly premium
your TRS benefit because of Social Security benefits
payments. Annuitants must have both Medicare Parts
A and B to enroll in the TRIP Medicare Supplement.
For information about Medicare Part D, please contact Windfall Elimination Provision
Social Security. As a TRS member, you do not pay Social Security tax
To obtain additional information, contact your local on your earnings. In 1983, Congress enacted legisla-
Social Security Administration office for Publication tion that would prevent those members who earned
CMS- 10050, Medicare & You or obtain it through their Social Security credits through supplemental income
from receiving a full Social Security benefit. Social The spousal benefit was designed to provide security
Security includes a formula that grants lower-paid to spouses who had little or no Social Security benefits
workers a higher percentage return than their more of their own and were, therefore, financially depen-
highly compensated counterparts. Prior to congres- dent on a spouse’s Social Security coverage. Before
sional enactment of the Windfall Elimination Provision, the offset was enacted, many TRS members quali-
Social Security benefits were computed as if TRS mem- fied for a pension from TRS and from Social Security,
bers were long-term, low-wage earners, resulting in a even though they were not financially dependent on
higher percentage Social Security benefit in addition their spouses.
to their TRS pension. The modified formula eliminates Under the Government Pension Offset, your Social
this “windfall.” Security benefits may not be reduced if you:
Your Social Security benefits may not be reduced • began to receive or were eligible to receive a TRS
due to the Windfall Elimination Provision if, before retirement annuity before December 1982 and
1986, you: • meet all the requirements for Social Security
• reached age 62; spouse’s or surviving spouse’s benefits in effect
• became disabled and remained entitled to a Social in January 1977. At that time, divorced women
Security disability benefit in any of the 12 months must have been married at least 20 years (rather
before reaching age 62, even if you reached age 62 than 10 years as required today) and men must
after 1985; or have received at least one-half support from
• received, or were first eligible to receive, a TRS their spouses.
retirement annuity. If you do not meet these two criteria, you may be
In addition, the effects of the Windfall Elimination exempt from the offset if you received or were eligible
Provision are moderated if you had more than 20 years to receive a TRS retirement annuity before July 1, 1983,
of “substantial” Social Security employment and are and if you were receiving at least one-half support from
eliminated after 30 years of “substantial” employment. your spouse.
To obtain additional information, contact your local If you qualify to receive a single-sum retirement benefit
Social Security Administration office and ask for or take a refund from TRS instead of a monthly benefit,
Publication 05-10045, The Windfall Elimination Provision. you may wish to ask if your Social Security benefits will
Government Pension Offset
This spousal offset also affects the Social Security bene-
fits for those who receive spousal or widow’s benefits.
If you become ill or injured, TRS can help. If you are a part-time or substitute teacher, you are
Nonoccupational and occupational disability benefits eligible for disability benefits if you have three years
are available to you when you are unable to work. of service credit and have worked as a teacher for at
least 340 hours in either the school year in which the
If you are receiving nonoccupational or occupational
disability occurs or the preceding school year. Your dis-
disability benefits, or a disability retirement annuity,
ability must have occurred within 90 days of your last
you may be gainfully employed within certain limits
day of teaching.
that are detailed in this chapter.
Service credit under the State Employees’ Retirement
You do not need to resign to become eligible for nonoc-
System of Il linois (SERS), the State Universities
cupational or occupational disability benefits. Members
Retirement System (SURS), and the Illinois Municipal
also accrue service credit while receiving both types
Retirement Fund (IMRF) count toward your eligibility
for a disability benefit and the total period during which
Any disability benefit or disability retirement annuity the disability benefit is payable unless such service is
payments may be electronically deposited into your concurrent with your TRS service.
bank account through direct deposit. For more infor-
mation, see “Direct Deposit” under “Applying for and Application procedures
Receiving Retirement Benefits” on page 18. Approximately one month before your accumulated
sick leave expires, you must notify us in writing and
Nonoccupational disability request a disability application packet. Your request
benefits should include your name, Social Security number, date,
Eligibility and type of disability. Forms must be completed by
If you are a full-time teacher, you must have three you, your employer, and two state-licensed physicians
years of service credit, have become disabled while (one physician in cases of pregnancy). The physicians’
teaching (or within 90 days of teaching), and use all reports must be based on examinations that occurred
accumulated sick time to qualify for nonoccupational within 90 days of your last day of teaching.
Member files written notice of disability within 90 days from the later of commence-
ment of disability or the date eligibility for salary ceases*.
TRS receives all documentation within six months TRS receives all documentation within six months
from the later of the commencement of disability of written notice of disability.
or eligibility for salary ceases.
Yes No Yes No
Benefits become pay- Benefits become pay- Benefits become pay- Benefits become pay-
able from the later of able on the date TRS able on the date TRS able on the date TRS
the 31st calendar day receives all documen- receives written notice receives all documen-
the member is absent tation required by law. of disability. tation required by law.
from teaching due to
the disability for which
* Eligibility for salary ceases is equal to the later of the date last worked plus 31 days or when sick
benefits are sought
leave days are completely exhausted.
or exhaustion of the
** If sick leave is not paid by the employer, the date sick leave would have been exhausted had the
member’s sick leave**.
member been paid by the employer.
When an individual is employed under an agreement for following a Cesarean delivery. However, if complica-
fewer than 12 full months, neither the 31-day require- tions arise during pregnancy or delivery, the disability
ment nor the sick leave utilization requirement is period may be extended. With the submission of appro-
satisfied during periods not covered by the agreement. priate medical documentation, the member may remain
on disability until she no longer qualifies for benefits.
Your nonoccupational dis- If a disability benefit is dis-
ability benefit is equal to continued because you
40 percent of the greater resume teaching in a non
of the contract rate in TRS-covered position or
effect at the time the ben- are otherwise gainfully
efit becomes payable or employed and you are
the contract rate on the disabled again due to the
date your disability began. same cause within 90 days,
If you are a noncontractual the benefit will resume at
teacher, we use an annu- the previous rate once we
alized salary rate based receive written notification
on your actual earnings to and verification of your
determine your benefit. disability and you are no
longer receiving salary.
On Jan. 1 following the fourth anniversary of the
effective date of your disability benefit, your monthly You may be eligible to transfer from a nonoccupational
benefit will increase 7 percent. Thereafter, your benefit disability benefit to a disability retirement annuity or
increases by 3 percent of the current benefit each Jan. 1. an age retirement annuity. The effective date of the
retirement annuity is the first day of the month after
Employment limitations we receive your disability retirement annuity applica-
As a recipient of a disability benefit, you are prohib- tion form or age retirement annuity application form.
ited from full-time teaching and gainful employment. Please refer to the eligibility requirements on page 27
“Gainful employment” is defined as earning more than and “Retirement Benefits” on page 13.
$10,000 per year or the proportional ratio if less than a
calendar year while in receipt of a disability or occupa- Occupational disability benefits
tional disability benefit. Eligibility
If you exceeded the earnings limitation of $10,000 per No minimum service requirement must be met before
calendar year or the proportional ratio if less than a cal- you are eligible to receive occupational disability ben-
endar year, your disability benefits will be terminated. efits. However, you must be working in a TRS-covered
You will be required to repay TRS any disability benefits position and have been disabled due to a duty-related
you receive after the termination date if your benefit injury or illness as determined by the Illinois Industrial
is terminated. Commission or your employer’s workers’ compensa-
Duration of benefits tion insurance carrier to be eligible for this benefit. If
Nonoccupational benefits cease if you: you are a part-time or substitute teacher, you are also
eligible for occupational disability benefits.
• resume teaching (‘Law allows limited, part-time
teaching;” see page 28); Application procedures
• engage in or are able to engage in gainful To receive a benefit, notify us in writing that you are
employment; seeking an occupational disability benefit and request
a disability application packet. We will require verifica-
• are no longer disabled;
tion that the disability was duty-related from you, your
• have received benefits for a period equal to one-
employer, and two state-licensed physicians. Each phy-
fourth of your service credit;
sician’s report must be based on an examination that
• request termination of the benefit; or occurred within 90 days of your last day of teaching.
• become eligible and apply for a disability or age In addition, we must receive a copy of the adjudication
retirement annuity. by the Illinois Industrial Commission or the award by
Temporary disability benefits due to pregnancy expire the insurance carrier with which your employer has a
six weeks following a normal delivery, or eight weeks workers’ compensation policy with a finding that the
disability was employment-related. 25
Member files written notice of disability within 90 days from the later of commence-
ment of disability or the last day for which salary was paid.
TRS receives all documentation within six months TRS receives all documentation within six months
from the later of the commencement of disability of written notice of disability.
or the last day for which salary is paid.
Yes No Yes No
Benefits become pay- Benefits become pay- Benefits become pay- Benefits become pay-
able on the date after able on the date TRS able on the date TRS able on the date TRS
the last day for which receives all documen- receives written notice receives all documen-
salary is paid. tation required by law. of disability. tation required by law.
Your occupational disability benefit is equal to 60 per- Duration of benefits
cent of the greater of the contract rate in effect at Occupational disability benefits cease when you:
the time the benefit becomes payable or the contract • resume teaching (“Law allows limited, part-time
rate on the date your disability began. This benefit is teaching;” see page 28);
reduced by any amounts you receive under workers’ • engage in or are able to engage in gain-
compensation. Once workers’ compensation benefits ful employment;
expire, we will pay the full 60 percent if you remain
• are no longer disabled;
eligible for the benefit.
• request termination of the benefit; or
On Jan. 1 following the fourth anniversary of the
• become eligible and apply for an age retire-
effective date of your disability benefit, your monthly
benefit will increase by 7 percent. Thereafter, your ben-
If the disability benefit is discontinued because you
efit increases by 3 percent of the current benefit each
resume teaching in a non TRS-covered position or are
otherwise gainfully employed and you are disabled
Employment limitations again due to the same cause within 90 days, the benefit
As a recipient of a disability benefit, you are prohib- will resume at the previous rate once we receive writ-
ited from full-time teaching and gainful employment. ten notification and verification of your disability and
“Gainful employment” is defined as earning more than you are no longer receiving salary.
$10,000 per year or the proportional ratio if less than a You may be eligible to transfer from an occupational dis-
calendar year while in receipt of a disability or occupa- ability benefit to an age retirement annuity if you meet
tional disability benefit. age and service credit requirements. The effective date
If you exceeded the earnings limitation of $10,000 per of the retirement annuity is the first day of the month
calendar year or the proportional ratio if less than a cal- after we receive your age retirement annuity applica-
endar year, your disability benefits will be terminated. tion form. (See “Retirement Benefits,” page 13, for the
You will be required to repay TRS any disability benefits eligibility requirements for an age retirement annuity.)
you receive after the termination date if your benefit You may choose to take a nonoccupational benefit
is terminated. even if you have an employment-related disability. This
election cannot be changed at a later date.
Disability retirement annuity • the amount computed by the retirement formula
with no reduction if you are age 55 or older with at
least 20 years of service credit.
If you remain disabled after the nonoccupational dis-
ability benefit eligibility period has expired, you are Your initial benefit will be increased by the amount of
eligible for either a disability retirement annuity or any annual increases that you have been granted while
an age retirement annuity (if you meet the age and you were receiving a nonoccupational disability benefit.
service credit requirements). Employment limitations
You may switch to either a dis- While you are receiving a disability retire-
ability retirement annuity or an ment annuity, you may not be employed
age retirement annuity (if you by any other public or private school, col-
meet the requirements) at any lege, or university in a teaching position,
time while you are receiving a including subbing and tutoring.
nonoccupational disability ben- However, gainful employment in any
efit. (See “Retirement Benefits,” area other than teaching is permitted
page 13, for information about or in any area of TRS-covered or SURS-
an age retirement annuity.) No covered employment as indicated under
service credit is earned while “Law allows limited, part-time teach-
you are receiving a disability ing.” The combined income from the
retirement annuity. disability retirement annuity and the
Application earnings from the nonteaching occupa-
procedures tion cannot exceed the salary rate upon
When the eligibility period for which the annuity was based. If you have
nonoccupational disability ben- earnings above this limit, your disabil-
efits is due to expire, we will ity retirement annuity may be reduced
notify you. Before the benefit or suspended. If your earnings from a
expires, you may either send us nonteaching occupation exceed the sal-
a letter or call us to request a transfer to a disability ary rate upon which your disability retirement annuity
retirement annuity or an age retirement annuity. benefit was based, your benefit will be terminated
including Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program
The disability retirement annuity is effective:
For those returning to employment in any area other
• the day following the last day for which disability
than teaching, the salary rate for purposes of this cal-
benefits are payable or
culation will increase 15 percent after you have received
• the first of the month after we receive your a disability retirement annuity for 10 years.
completed disability retirement annuity
application form. Duration of benefits
The disability retirement annuity will continue until:
Your disability retirement annuity is the greater of: • your disability ceases or
• 35 percent of the greater of your last annual con- • you resume teaching (“Law allows limited, part-
tract salary or your annual contract rate on the time teaching;” page 28) or
date your disability began (we use an annualized p
• you are eligible and ap ly for an age
salary rate based on actual earnings for noncon- retirement annuity.
tractual teachers); If you resume teaching in a non TRS-covered position
• the amount computed by the retirement formula after receiving a disability retirement annuity and are
reduced by 0.50 percent for each month you are disabled again for the same cause within 90 days, the
under age 60 with less than 20 years of service benefit will be reinstated at the previous rate after we
credit; or receive your completed disability benefit application
• the amount computed by the retirement formula form and required medical documentation. In this case,
reduced by the 0.50 percent for each month you benefits will begin the day following the last day for
are under age 55 with 20 years of service credit; or which you are paid by your employer.
Annual increases You may not teach for any employers not covered
Your disability retirement annuity will increase annually by TRS or SURS. This includes tutoring and substi-
beginning the Jan. 1 following the fourth anniversary of tute work.
the date you were granted a disability benefit. If you plan to return to teaching on a limited basis,
If the first annual increase follows the fourth anniver- you must contact us to request a Limited Return to
sary of the date you were granted a disability benefit, Work Program Certification form. This form must be
the increase will be 7 percent of the current annuity. completed and returned to us prior to your return to
After the initial increase, your annuity will increase by teaching. We will acknowledge receipt of the form and
3 percent of the current benefit each Jan. 1. confirm your eligibility.
This law applies to all members receiving nonoccu-
Law allows limited, part-time pational disability benefits, occupational disability
teaching benefits, and disability retirement annuities.
The law allows individuals who have received TRS
disability benefits for one year or more to return to Medical examinations
teaching if their medical conditions improve, allow- To substantiate your continued eligibility for any type
ing part-time work. On a limited basis, you may tutor, of disability benefits, we may require additional medical
substitute, or part-time teach for a TRS-covered or examinations and request medical and other records.
SURS-covered employer without loss of your disabil- The frequency of re-examination is governed by indi-
ity benefit as long as your combined earnings from vidual circumstances; however, you must have medical
your teaching and your disability benefit do not exceed examinations at least once a year while you are receiv-
100 percent of the salary rate upon which the benefit ing nonoccupational or occupational disability benefits.
was based. If you are receiving a disability retirement annuity, peri-
odic medical examinations may be required. If you do
Part-time is defined as “employed for fewer than four
not submit to medical examinations or provide the
clock hours per day or fewer than five days per week.”
necessary information, your benefits will be suspended.
When returning to teaching with a TRS-covered or
SURS-covered employer, the salary rate for pur-
poses of this calculation will not increase 15 percent
after you have received a disability retirement annu-
ity for 10 years. If you exceed the salary rate upon
which your benefit was based, your benefit will cease
including Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program
You can take comfort in knowing that your benefits will help For an adopted child to be an eligible dependent ben-
take care of your family after your death. eficiary, the adoption proceedings must have been
We provide two types of death benefits: a beneficiary finalized prior to the member’s death and while the
refund, which consists of any remaining accumulated child was a minor. For purposes of determining depen-
contributions, and survivor benefits. dency, “disability” is defined as an inability to engage
in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medi-
Each benefit may be paid to separate beneficiaries or
cally determinable physical or mental impairment that
both benefits may be paid to the same beneficiaries.
can be expected to last for a continuous period of 12
The type of benefit for which beneficiaries are eligible months or more.
is determined by their status at the time of your death.
Children, unless named as a beneficiary on the MIBD
Effective June 1, 2011, Illinois law entitles a party to
form, are only eligible for benefits if they are the chil-
a civil union to the same legal obligations, responsi-
dren of the surviving parent who will receive monthly
bilities, protections, and benefits as are afforded or
benefits. In the case of a divorce, if the member names
recognized by the law of Illinois to spouses. A depen-
the new spouse or civil union partner and had children
dent beneficiary may choose between a lump-sum
with the prior spouse or civil union partner, those chil-
payment or monthly benefits. A nondependent benefi-
dren are not eligible for monthly survivor benefits.
ciary receives a lump-sum payment. If we do not have
a Member Information and Beneficiary Designation A parent may be an eligible dependent beneficiary only
(MIBD) form on file for you, death benefits are distrib- if there is no other dependent beneficiary.
uted as follows: A nondependent ben-
• a beneficiary refund is eficiary is any other
paid to your surviving designated person
spouse or civil union or entity that is not a
partner, or if there dependent beneficiary.
is not one, to your You may designate a pri-
estate and mary beneficiary on the
• survivor benefits are MIBD form to receive
paid to an eligible survivor benefits. If this
dependent beneficiary, individual is a dependent
or if there is not one, to beneficiary, he or she may
your estate. select either monthly ben-
efits or a lump-sum benefit.
Types of Only a lump-sum benefit is
beneficiaries payable if you designate both a dependent and a non-
A dependent beneficiary is dependent primary beneficiary.
• a spouse to whom you have been married for at Alternate beneficiaries named on your MIBD form will
least one year, except where a child is born of receive benefits only if all designated primary benefi-
the marriage in which case the one-year period is ciaries are deceased. If your beneficiary designation
not applicable; includes more than one person, the benefits are divided
• a civil union partner to whom you have been part- equally among the living beneficiaries of that class (pri-
nered for at least one year; mary or alternate).
• an unmarried natural or adopted child un er age 18, The automatic designation option on the MIBD form is
or between ages 18 and 22 if he or she is a full-time an alternative to naming specific individuals. Automatic
student in an accredited educational institution, or designation names all eligible dependents as beneficia-
an unmarried child of any age who is dependent by ries. If no dependent beneficiaries survive, the benefits
reason of a physical or mental disability; or are paid to your estate.
• a dependent parent who received at least half of
his or her sup ort from you for the 12-month period
immediately prior to your death.
Designating a Trust Nondependent beneficiaries are not eligible for
A trust can receive monthly survivor benefits on behalf monthly survivor benefits.
of a minor child or a disabled dependent beneficiary. Dependent beneficiaries are eligible for monthly survi-
A trust cannot receive monthly survivor benefits on vor benefits if:
behalf of an adult dependent who is not disabled.
• you had 1.5 years of TRS service credit; and
To pay a monthly survivor benefit to a trust, the follow- • you had at least 60 days of creditable service during
ing language is required in the trust. the 18 months preceding your death.
“The trust is authorized to receive TRS monthly If you are an annuitant and had at least one year of
survivor benefits on behalf of (insert beneficiary service after July 24, 1959, your beneficiaries are eli-
name). The trustee will use the monthly TRS gible for survivor benefits, provided that you had not
survivor benefit solely for the care and benefit taken a refund of those contributions prior to your
of (beneficiary name) and will not divert (ben- death. If you are an annuitant, did not have service
eficiary name)’s benefits to some other purpose after July 24, 1959, and die after January 1, 1982, your
inconsistent with Article 1 or Article 16 of the surviving dependent beneficiaries are eligible for sur-
Illinois Pension Code.” vivor benefits to a maximum of $200 per month plus a
Beneficiary Refund $1,000 one-time, lump-sum payment.
Accumulated contributions are refunded as a lump- When Survivor Benefits
sum payment. Begin for Dependents
If you are an active or an inactive member, your ben- Member status at time of death
eficiaries will receive a return of all of your retirement Active or
contributions, plus interest, and the portion paid Dependents Inactive Annuitant*
towards the annual increase in annuity. Refer to your Spouse or civil union
First of the
TRS Benefits Report for the contributions and interest partner with minor
that are refundable after your death. children or On the date
If you are an annuitant, your beneficiaries will receive Spouse or civil union of member’s
excess accumulated contributions minus the amount partner age 50 or death
you received as a retirement annuity. Dependent parent
Survivor benefits Spouse or civil union
When spouse or civil union
Two types of survivor benefits exist: lump-sum partner not age 50
partner turns age 50 if mar-
and monthly. at time of member’s
ried at least one year
Nondependent and dependent beneficiaries are eligible Dependent parent
for a lump-sum survivor benefit if your death occurs: not age 55 at time of When parent turns age 55
• while you are an annuitant;
* Your retirement annuity is payable through the month of
• while you are employed as a teacher; your death.
• within the first 12 months following your last day of
earnings as a teacher;
Duration of monthly benefits
Monthly survivor benefits will continue for the life
• while you are on an approved leave of absence;
of your spouse or civil union partner. A minor child
• while you are receiving a nonoccupational or an will receive benefits until he or she reaches age 18 (or
occupational disability benefit; or age 22 if he or she is a full-time student), marries, or
• while you are an inactive member and you have 20 dies, whichever is earlier. An adult child who is depen-
or more years of service. For the purpose of deter- dent by reason of a physical or mental disability may
mining eligibility for a benefit, service credit under receive monthly survivor benefits for his or her life-
the State Employees’ Retirement System of Illinois, time if:
the State Universities Retirement System, and the
• he or she does not marry;
Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement
• he or she is not capable of substantial gainful
Fund of Chicago is considered.
• we periodically receive a physician certification veri- An annuitant’s retirement benefits are payable through
fying his or her continuing disability. the end of the month in which his or her death occurs.
Survivor benefits are payable through the end of the The final payment to a deceased annuitant would be
month in which the beneficiary’s death occurs. No fur- issued the first of the month following the date of
ther benefits are payable. death. Any payments issued to the annuitant beyond
the final payment must be returned to TRS.
Teachers’ Retirement Insurance
Program (TRIP) coverage Determining survivor benefits
Dependent insurance coverage is terminated at mid- TRS disbursements are not subject to Illinois individual
night on the day of the member’s death. Dependents income taxes. However, they are subject to federal
who are eligible for a monthly survivor benefit may taxes (with the exception of occupational disability
re-enroll in TRIP and coverage will be reinstated retro- benefits).
actively to the date of cancellation.
Types of Beneficiaries
Annual increases in benefits Time of Death Dependents Nondependents
Recipients of monthly survivor benefits are eligible for
While employed Lump sum up to last Lump sum up
a 3 percent increase of the current benefit distributed or employed salary or $1,000 and to last salary
as follows: within 12 months a monthly benefit1
• For beneficiaries of annuitants, benefit increases of last day of generally not less
are applied on Jan. 1 after the survivor benefit has credit than $4002 or $600
with minor children3
Annuitant or Lump sum of $3,000 Lump sum of
• For all other beneficiaries, benefit increases are inactive mem- or 1/6 of last salary4 or $3000 or 1/6 of
applied on Jan. 1 following the first anniversary of ber with 20 or $1,000 and a monthly last salary4
receiving the survivor benefit. more years of benefit generally 1/2
service 5 of member’s earned
Death notification benefit at time of
Upon death, a family member should provide the death
deceased member’s name, Social Security number, and 1
Dependent beneficiaries are eligible for monthly survivor
date of death. We will forward a letter and the appro-
benefits if you had 1.5 years of TRS service credit and at
priate forms to the member’s designated beneficiaries
least 60 days of creditable service during the 18 months
for completion. The application requires that benefi-
ciaries provide a certified copy of the member’s death
certificate as well as copies of a marriage or civil union
Certain circumstances might provide a monthly annuity
certificate and a birth certificate for a surviving spouse less than $400 per month for an active member.
or civil union partner. 3
TRS will pay 50 percent of the member’s earned retirement
annuity at death if it is greater than the above amounts.
Dependents may also receive a Survivor Benefits
Election form to select either a monthly benefit or a
Certain lump sums may be greater if the annuitant or inac-
lump-sum payment. This form will be accompanied by tive member has been in retirement or out of service for
information regarding direct deposit of payments, fed- less than five years.
eral income tax withholding, the Teachers’ Retirement 5
Beneficiaries of inactive members with less than 20 years
Insurance Program (TRIP), and the taxability of survivor of service are not eligible for survivor benefits.
benefits. Once we receive the completed application
and all required documents, benefits will be processed
and then issued by the Office of the Comptroller.
Refund of Retirement Contributions
If you cease teaching, you may receive a refund of your retire- and survivor benefits forfeited by accepting the refund.
ment contributions. If you choose not to receive a refund, your contribu-
A refund of contributions should be carefully consid- tions will remain with us and will eventually provide a
ered because it terminates your benefits and will be retirement benefit. If you have fewer than five years
costly to repay if you return to teaching service. of service credit, you may receive a lump-sum retire-
If you terminate teaching with a TRS employer, you ment benefit at age 65 (see “Single-sum Retirement
may apply for a refund of your retirement contribu- Benefit,” page 14). If you have five or more years of
tions. This refund consists of the portions used to pay service, you may receive a retirement annuity. (See
the retirement annuity and the annual increases in “Retirement Benefits,” page 13.)
the annuity. Transfer of credit
If you receive a refund of retirement contributions, you We cannot transfer creditable service directly to a
are not entitled to any other refunds. The contribu- retirement system in another state. However, many
tions for the Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program retirement systems permit the purchase of out-of-sys-
and the 1 percent survivor benefit contribution are tem service. We will provide the other system with
not refundable. verification of Illinois teaching service if you accept
a refund and send us a written request. You may
Refund of retirement then make payment for service directly to the other
contributions system if this is required or request a rollover of refund-
You may request a refund of your TRS contributions. able contributions.
The amount refunded is at the rate of 7 percent of Application procedure
creditable earnings prior to July 1, 1998, and 8 percent To obtain a refund, you must file a Refund Application
of creditable earnings thereafter without interest. with us. The application can be returned any time after
You may also be refunded 0.4 percent of creditable you have formally resigned from your TRS-covered
earnings without interest beginning position. We will process your refund
July 1, 2005 if you do not retire under and forward it to the Office of the
the Early Retirement Option. Comptroller for payment when four
Eligibility months have passed since your final
If you have terminated your teach- day of teaching.
ing duties with a TRS employer,
you may apply for a refund of the
Refunds eligible for
retirement contributions. If you are rollovers
on sick leave, a sabbatical leave, or Payments of refunds for retirement
an unpaid leave of absence, or have or survivor benefit contributions
accepted TRS employment service may be either made directly to you
with a new employer, you are not or directly rolled over to an eligible
considered to have terminated ser- retirement plan that you specify. In
vice and are not eligible for a refund. a direct rollover, the eligible rollover
distribution (the taxable portion)
No hardship loans is paid directly from us to an indi-
The law prohibits borrowing from
vidual retirement account (IRA) or
your retirement contributions. A
another qualified retirement plan
loan from TRS is prohibited even if
that accepts rollovers. By using a
you are in a state of financial distress.
direct rollover, you avoid a 20 percent federal with-
Effect of receiving a refund holding deduction on direct payments. Also, if you
When you accept a refund, you forfeit all rights to TRS choose a direct rollover, the distribution is not taxed
benefits. If you are considering a refund, you may want until it is withdrawn from the IRA or other qualified
to contact us for an estimate of potential retirement retirement plan.
Taxability of refunds Repayment of refunds
Refunds are not subject to the Illinois individual income Refunds of retirement contributions may be repaid
tax. However, any portion of the refund attributable with interest from the date of the refund to the date
to contributions made by either you or your employer of the repayment. However, service credit previously
that were excluded from taxable income in the years forfeited may not be used as a basis for payment of
the contributions were made is subject to federal benefits prior to completion of one year of TRS-covered
income tax. service following the refund.
For tax planning purposes, if your correct and com- If you have resumed service in a reciprocal system,
plete application is received by the close of business the Illinois Retirement Systems Reciprocal Act requires
on Dec. 5, it will be processed in the current tax year. If you to complete two years of creditable service before
your application is received after Dec. 5, it will be pro- service credit can be reinstated through repayment of
cessed in the next tax year. a refund.
We will notify you of the taxable portion of your refund.
Assignment of contributions
We also will report the refund payment to the Internal
Revenue Service on IRS Form 1099-R and will send you
a copy of this form in January in the year after the By law, you are protected from creditors placing a lien
refund is taken. on, garnishing, or confiscating contributions you have
made to TRS. This provision does not extend to federal
Special tax consequences and penalties may apply to
tax levies and state of Illinois involuntary withholding.
refund payments. You should consult a professional
You may not assign your TRS contributions to a creditor
tax consultant for details of the taxability of refunds.
or borrow against your account funds.
Additional information is also contained in Internal
Revenue Service Publication 575, Pension and Annuity
Income. To obtain this publication, call (800) 829-3676
or visit http://www.irs.ustreas.gov.
Our Web Site: http://trs.illinois.gov
We are meeting your needs on the Web 24 hours a day, that is annually mailed to active and inactive members.
seven days a week. New members and retired members (unless they kept
past reports) will have to call TRS for their member IDs.
Your information source
Publications, videos, and more are at your fingertips. Personalized benefit estimate
The calculator will take information from your TRS
Read or print out bro-
record and use it to help
chures, newsletters, and
you estimate your retire-
booklets for your refer-
ment income. You will
ence under the publications
need to gather information
section of the Member
before you can complete
Services area. We have
the estimate online. Please
videos on retirement, dis-
have your retirement date,
ability, and death and
current salary, projected
survivor benefits so you
salary, and eligible sick
can view the information
leave days ready.
you need at your conve-
nience. You’ll also find Web estimates are in
driving directions, contact exactly the same format
information, answers to as estimates received from
frequently asked questions, TRS Counseling Services. If
some forms, and a glossary of commonly used TRS you have questions about your Web estimate, we can
terms in the Member Services area. A search engine in view your estimate to help you.
the top right corner of every page will quickly help you Address and phone updates
find what you need. The contact information we have on file for you will
TRS also has areas with current information about leg- be shown on the first screen when you log on and
islative action, investments, the TRS Board of Trustees, are accepted into Member Account Access. You may
an online press room, doing business with TRS, general update your address and phone numbers with us
information, and employer services. online. You no longer need to pick up the phone or
have to fill out a form to let us know if your contact
Secure Member Account Access information changes.
In the secure area of Member Account Access, you may:
• receive a personalized benefit estimate,
TRS is “Going Green.” Provide us with your email
• update your address and telephone information, address to electronically receive the Topics & Report
• help us “Go Green” by providing your email address, newsletter (a printed copy is not mailed). Emails are
• view your TRS Benefits Report information online, also sent to keep you informed of the progress of a
• and complete your Personal Retirement retirement benefit claim or for the purchase of optional
Interview (PRI). service. We also occasionally send email notifications to
Additional personalized sign-in screens are a security members for new Web features, legislative changes, or
feature to make it difficult for anyone other than mem- TRS press releases.
bers to log on to the Member Account Access area. To help us go green, we need your email address
Immediate access to your user ID and password is avail- and some personal details to match your email
able with the proper information. For your protection, address to your TRS record. Send an email to
an email is automatically sent to you if any changes are email@example.com with “Going Green” in the
made to your online account. subject line. Next, type your full name, zip code, the
If you forget your user ID or password, you will need to last four digits of your Social Security number, and your
know your member ID to gain access to your account. email address. We will match your email address to
This number can be located on the TRS Benefits Report your record upon receipt. You may also submit your
email address in the secure Member Account Access Personalized Retirement Interview
area or by calling us. Your online Personalized Retirement Interview (PRI)
Your email address will always remain confidential. will help you make choices while providing us with the
Additionally, we will never send confidential informa- information we need to personalize your retirement
tion online. You can discontinue receiving the emails application forms and ready them for your signature.
at any time. Please use this online service only when you are within
six months of retirement and know when your last day
Benefits Report of work will be or your last paid day. Plan on the pro-
The TRS Benefits Report you receive every December
cess taking 30 minutes.
has the same information available online and is regu-
larly updated to show recent payments and outstanding
balances. (For more information, see page 38.)
Forms Order Line
The toll free Forms Order Line is available 24 hours a day, also be asked to give the three-digit number of the
every day of the week. form or publication you are requesting. The following
Dial (800) 877-7896, press “2” page allows you to quickly select the order numbers of
when prompted. the documents you need. If you don’t know the order
The Forms Order Line listing on the following page is number, it’s not a problem. The attendant will direct
updated annually every January. An updated Forms you to the document you want.
Order Line listing is enclosed with your December TRS
Benefits Report mailing every year.
Can I order multiple documents
during one call?
What is the TRS Forms Order Yes. You may order as many documents as you need dur-
Line (FOL)? ing your call, but not multiples of the same document.
The TRS Forms Order Line allows you to use your tele-
phone to request copies of forms or publications.
When can I expect to receive
the requested documents?
What can I expect when I call Please allow 10 business days to receive your docu-
the FOL? ments. The documents will be mailed to the address
When you call the Forms Order Line, you will be greeted we have on file for you. If we do not have your current
by an automated attendant who will guide you through address, please call us at (800) 877-7896.
the call. The attendant will prompt you to press the
numbers that denote your selection.
Are the forms and publications
contained on the FOL also
At any time during the call, you may press “zero” to go
back to the main menu. If you experience problems, you
available on your Web site?
will be instructed to call our Member Services Division Most of the documents* contained on the FOL can be
during normal business hours. When your requests are downloaded from our Web site, http://trs.illinois.gov.
complete, the attendant will inform you that your order Some are in HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
is being processed and will thank you for calling. while others are in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document
What information do I need before * Please call Member Services to start an application
I call the FOL? for a refund or rollover or to obtain forms for optional
After you are greeted by the attendant, you will be service credit.
asked for your Social Security number (SSN). You will
Order No. Form or Publication
100 24-Hour Forms Order Line brochure
General Benefit 200 Benefits at a Glance brochure
201 Member Guide
202 Member Information and Beneficiary Designation (MIBD) form
203 Death Benefits Available from TRS brochure
204 Occupational and Nonoccupational Disability Benefits
Available from TRS brochure
205 Disability Retirement Annuity Benefits Available from
206 Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order (QILDRO) booklet
207 Sick Leave Credit from Former Employers brochure
208 Accessing your TRS Account Online
Optional Service 300 Service Credit for Pregnancy or Adoption Leaves bulletin
301 Receiving Credit for Optional Service brochure
302 Optional Contribution Payments brochure
Retirement 400 How to Calculate Your Retirement Annuity brochure
401 Social Security and Medicare Information for TRS Members
402 Early Retirement Option brochure
403 Retirement Systems Reciprocal Act brochure
404 Post-Retirement Employment Limitations bulletin
405 What is a Reversionary Annuity? brochure
406 Protecting Your Benefits brochure
Health Insurance 500 TRIP Highlights booklet
Annuity Payroll 600 W-4P Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity
601 State Income Tax Withholding Request form
602 Direct deposit form and brochure
603 Change of Address form
Information 300 Service Credit for Pregnancy or Adoption Leaves bulletin
Bulletins 700 Substitute and Part-Time Teaching Issues
701 Expanded Tax-Free Rollovers to TRS
702 Tax Treatment of Interest Payments to TRS
703 Eligibility for a Retirement Annuity and Post-retirement
704 Refund Information for Members with More than 34 Years of
Upgraded 2.2 Service Credit
705 Returning to Teaching following a Temporary Disability
706 Disability Retirement Annuity Earnings Limitations
It is important that you contact us when your mailing TRS Benefits Report
address changes and that you periodically review your
beneficiary designation. We annually prepare a TRS Benefits Report for each
active member. The statement covers the previous
Mailing address fiscal year, July 1 through June 30, and is mailed to the
You should keep a current home address on file with member in December. The Member Account Access
us so that we can mail correspondence and other section on our Web site will also allow you to view your
information to the correct location. If your address TRS Benefits Report. If applicable, previous reports
changes, please call us at (800) 877-7896 or change it since 2004 may also be accessed. The statement pro-
online in the secure Member Account Access area of vides information about service credit, contributions,
our Web site. and beneficiaries. It also lists your earnings history
and outlines pending and most types of terminated
Member Information and service credit.
Beneficiary Designation When you receive your statement, review it carefully
The Member Information and Beneficiary Designation and contact us immediately if you suspect that any
(MIBD) form allows you to designate beneficiaries to information has been omitted or incorrectly stated.
whom death benefits will be distributed. You initially Additionally, you may want to update your beneficiary
completed this form when you became a TRS member. designation by filing a new Member Information and
For information about the types of beneficiaries you Beneficiary Designation form.
may designate and the benefits they may receive, see
“Death Benefits” on page 29. Correcting errors
If you have a change to your name, address, birth date,
Periodically review your beneficiary designation or beneficiaries, please call us at (800) 877-7896.
and be sure to change it whenever necessary. Some
events that may require a beneficiary update include: Your employer provides TRS with the service credit and
marriage, divorce, births, deaths, or dependents earnings information that appears on your statement.
reaching adulthood. Please discuss any errors with your employer before
To update your beneficiary
designation, you must com- Employers must send us
plete a new MIBD form. corrections for report-
These forms are available ing errors that occurred
from your employer, through in the last four years. If
our Forms Order Line, and on additional contributions
our Web site. are due, your employer
must pay the amount
You can verify your benefi- due; however, your
ciary designation by calling employer may require
us at (800) 877-7896. If you reimbursement from
are an active member, your you. Similarly, if contribu-
TRS Benefits Report contains tions have been overpaid, we will issue a refund to your
your designated beneficiaries. Due to confidentiality employer who is responsible for providing refunded
rules, we can provide this information only to members. amounts to you.
Taxability of TRS Benefits
TRS disbursements are not subject to Illinois individual
income taxes. However, they are subject to federal
taxes (with the exception of occupational disabil-
How to Reach Us
Have a question? We have answers.
Member Services EEO/ADA Issues
Phone number (217) 753-0319
For Springfield and Lisle: (800) 877-7896 For the hearing impaired: (866) 326-0087
Phone hours firstname.lastname@example.org
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday;
7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday Administration
(central standard time) (217) 753-0311
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf email@example.com
(TDD for the hearing impaired):
Springfield: (217) 787-2269 (217) 753-0370
Lisle: (630) 505-9607 firstname.lastname@example.org
Forms Order Line Press Contact
(800) 877-7896, press “2” when prompted (217) 753-0968
Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program email@example.com
Illinois Department of Central Management Services
(CMS): (217) 782-2548 or (800) 442-1300
TRS: (800) 877-7896
Springfield Office Map
TRS Street Address:
2815 West Washington
For driving with a GPS
From the North - (Mason City): From the West -
Take Route 29 south past the airport to Route 4 (Quincy/Jacksonville)
(Veterans Parkway). Turn right on Veterans Parkway to Take I-72 east to Route 4 (Springfield/Chatham exit).
Washington Street. Turn right on Washington Street. Turn left. Continue north on Veterans Parkway past
The TRS building is on the right. White Oaks Mall to Washington Street. Turn left on
Washington Street. The TRS building is on the right.
From the South - (Alton/
Belleville): From the North West -
Take I-55 north to Interstate 72 west. Take I-72 to Exit (Galesburg)
93 (Route 4 Springfield/Chatham). Turn right off of Take I-74 east toward Peoria. Take exit 101 to merge
the ramp. Continue north on Veterans Parkway past onto I-155 south toward Lincoln. Merge onto I-55 south.
White Oaks Mall to Washington Street. Turn left on Take the Sherman exit (105) to business 55 south.
Washington Street. The TRS building is on the right. Business 55 becomes IL-4 south (Veterans Parkway).
Continue south to Washington Street. Turn right on
From the North/North East - Washington Street. The TRS building is on the right.
Take I-55 south to Business 55 (Sherman exit). Take
Business 55 to Veterans Parkway. Continue southwest
on Veterans Parkway to Washington Street. Turn right
on Washington Street. The TRS building is on the right.
From the East -
Take I-72 west to I-55 south. Take I-55 to I-72 west. Take
I-72 to Exit 93 ( Route 4 Springfield/Chatham). Turn right
off of the ramp. Continue north on Veterans Parkway
past White Oaks Mall to Washington Street. Turn left
on Washington Street. The TRS building is on the right.
J. David Jones Pkwy.
To Mason City
Teachers' Retirement System To Chicago
2815 West Washington
29 ans Pkwy
Abraham Taintor To Clinton
Lincoln 4 i
Capital Airport 54
To Petersburg Browning
H North Grand To Decatur
Jefferson Clearlake Ave. 97 36 i
Old Jacksonville Rd. roe South Grand
on To Taylorville
M 6th St.
Koke Mill Rd.
Iles Ave. i
i Adlai Stevenson
Wabash Ave. Wabash Ave.
W. Lake Shore
To Jacksonville i
Orchard Rd. Rd LLCC
Woodside Rd. To
Old Toronto Rd.
To Chatham To St. Louis
Lisle Office Map
TRS Street Address:
4200 Commerce Court
Lisle, Illinois 60532-3611
For driving with a GPS
From Chicago: From Aurora:
Take the Eisenhower Expressway west to the East- Take the East-West Tollway (I-88) east to the Naperville
West Tollway (I-88). Go approximately 10 miles to the Road exit. This exit brings you to Freedom Drive.
Route 53 exit. Go left (south) on Route 53 about ¼ mile Turn left and continue approximately 200 yards to
to Warrenville Road. Turn right and go approximately Warrenville Road and turn right. Go east about 3/4 mile
1 1/2 miles to the stop light at the entrance to the Hilton to the light at the entrance to the Hilton Hotel (Navistar
Hotel (Navistar Drive). Turn left and at the first street, Drive) and turn right. At the first street, turn left.
turn left again. The first building east of the Hilton is the The TRS building is just east of the Hilton Hotel. The
TRS building. The TRS logo is on the top of the building. TRS logo is on the top of the building. Turn right into
Turn right into the parking lot. Suite 100 is located on the parking lot. Suite 100 is located on the first floor,
the first floor, northeast corner. northeast corner.
From the Southern Suburbs: From the Northwest:
Take the Tri-State (I-294) North to the East-West Tollway Take the Northwest Tollway East to I-290. Go south and
(I-88). Go approximately 10 miles to the Route 53 exit. exit at I-355. Continue south to the East-West Tollway
Go left (south) on Route 53 about ¼ mile to Warrenville (I-88) exit to Aurora. Take the Route 53 exit. Go left
Road. Turn right and go approximately 1 1/2 miles to the (south) on Route 53 about ¼ mile to Warrenville Road.
stop light at the entrance to the Hilton Hotel (Navistar Turn right and go approximately 1 1/2 miles to the stop
Drive). Turn left and at the first street, turn left again. light at the entrance to the Hilton Hotel (Navistar
The first building east of the Hilton is the TRS building. Drive). Turn left and at the first street, turn left again.
The TRS logo is on the top of the building. Turn right The first building east of the Hilton is the TRS building.
into the parking lot. Suite 100 is located on the first The TRS logo is on the top of the building. Turn right
floor, northeast corner. into the parking lot. Suite 100 is located on the first
floor, northeast corner.
From the Northern Suburbs:
Take the Tri-State (I-294) South to the East-West Tollway From the Southwest:
(I-88). Go approximately 10 miles to the Route 53 exit. Take I-55 north towards Chicago. Exit at I-355 North. Take
Go left (south) on Route 53 about ¼ mile to Warrenville the East-West Tollway (I-88) exit to Aurora. Take the
Road. Turn right and go approximately 1 1/2 miles to the Route 53 exit. Go left (south) on Route 53 about ¼ mile
stop light at the entrance to the Hilton Hotel (Navistar to Warrenville Road. Turn right and go approximately
Drive). Turn left and at the first street, turn left again. 1 1/2 miles to the stop light at the entrance to the Hilton
The first building east of the Hilton is the TRS building. Hotel (Navistar Drive). Turn left and at the first street,
The TRS logo is on the top of the building. Turn right turn left again. The first building east of the Hilton is the
into the parking lot. Suite 100 is located on the first TRS building. The TRS logo is on the top of the building.
floor, northeast corner. Turn right into the parking lot. Suite 100 is located on
the first floor, northeast corner.
Teachers' Retirement System
4200 Commerce Ct.
To Glen Ellyn To Lombard
To North Butterfield R I-355
istar East-West Tollway
Commerce Corporate West Dr. 355
Ct. To I-294
To Downers Grove
Map Hobson Rd.
To I-34 75th St. To Rte. 83
To I-55 To I-55
100 days/500 hours limitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Government Pension Offset Provision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2 .2 upgrades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
A Hardship loans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Account Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Health insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 31
Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Homebound teaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Administrative review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Annuitants, employment limitations for . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 I
Annuitants, exceeding employment limitations . . . . . . .20 Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Annuity, annual increases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Installment payments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Annuity calculation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 L
Annuity payments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Layoff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Average salary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Leave of absence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
B Lump-sum payments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Beneficiary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 M
Benefits Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35, 38 Medicare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Borrowing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Member Account Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
C Member Information and Beneficiary Designation
Civil union partner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 (MIBD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Confidentiality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Military service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Contributions, refund of accumulated N
(beneficiary refund) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Noncovered positions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Covered positions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Noncreditable earnings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Creditable earnings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Nondependent beneficiary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
D Nonoccupational disability benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Days paid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 O
Death benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Occupational disability benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Dependent beneficiary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Online remittance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Direct deposit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Optional service credit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Disability benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Out-of-system service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Disability retirement annuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Discounted retirement annuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 P
Part-time teaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 27
E Payment Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Email notification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Personalized Retirement Interview (PRI) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Early retirement option . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Positions, covered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Earnings, creditable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Positions, noncovered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Earnings, noncreditable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Post-retirement matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Employment, exceeding limitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Pregnancy, absence due to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Employment limitations for annuitants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Expense reimbursements and allowances . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Q
Qualified pension plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Felony conviction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Flexible benefit plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Forms Order Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Fringe benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Re-entry into active membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) . . . 19, 31
Reciprocal service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Tier I members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Refund of accumulated contributions Tier II members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
(beneficiary refund) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Trust, designation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Refund of retirement contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Refunds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 V
Refunds, repayment of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Vacation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Refunds, taxability of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 W
Refunds eligible for rollovers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Web site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Refunds or reduction of the 2 .2 upgrade cost . . . . . . . . . 15 Windfall Elimination Provision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Refund of survivor benefit contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Retirement, effective date of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Y
Retirement annuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Years of creditable service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Retirement benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Retirement benefits, applying for and receiving . . . . . . 18
Reversionary annuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Rollovers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Sabbatical leave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Service canceled by a refund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Service credit, optional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Service credit, regular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Sick leave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Single-sum retirement benefit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Social Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Spousal offset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Substitute teaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Summer earnings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Survivor benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
rity for Ill
Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois
2815 W. Washington | P.O. Box 19253 | Springfield, IL 62794-9253
firstname.lastname@example.org | http://trs.illinois.gov
(800) 877-7896 | for the hearing impaired: (866) 326-0087
Printed by the authority of the State of Illinois.
14M - pub2 - 8/11