How much do I contribute to IPERS and is contributing mandatory?
Contributing to IPERS is mandatory for all IPERS members. All members pay a contribution rate that may change each year on July 1. Regular member rates were set by the Legislature through June 30, 2012. After that date, they are set by IPERS following an actuarial valuation but cannot change by more than 1 percentage point up or down each year. Special service members pay at rates determined by IPERS' actuary. Special service members include sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and members in other types of protection occupations.
Can I contribute more than the required amount?
No. You must contribute a predetermined percentage of your wages. The only way to contribute more is to purchase IPERS service. The amount of your monthly pension is based on a formula, not on the amount of your contributions. The formula includes how many years you have worked, an early-retirement reduction if you do not meet normal retirement age, and your highest average salary.
Do I decide how to invest my contributions or worry if stocks go down?
No. IPERS is a defined benefit plan, which means at retirement you will receive a monthly amount guaranteed for life regardless of how the stock market performs. IPERS makes all investment decisions and IPERS, not individual members, bears the investment risk. The IPERS Investment Board and a staff of certified investment professionals oversee all investment activities. Read more about the difference between the IPERS plan and other types of retirement plans.
How long must I contribute?
You must contribute as long as you are working in a job covered by IPERS.
May I apply for a loan or a hardship withdrawal?
No. IPERS does not have provisions for loans or hardship withdrawals of contributions.
Can I use IPERS as collateral for a loan?