IMRF offers eligible retirees a lifelong pension with annual increases and an annual supplemental benefit payment each July, according to the IMRF website. Employees must have eight years of service credit to receive a pension, and the amount of the pension increases with longer periods of service. The full amount of the pension varies according to the employee's earnings over his years of service. Employees may retire at age 55 but do not receive a full pension until age 60.
Spouses of retirees continue to receive pension payments from IMRF even after the death of the retired spouse, states the IMRF website. Retirees may also designate a beneficiary to receive a $3,000 death benefit, which is separate from the spousal benefits. Due to an arrangement with the Social Security Administration, IMRF pension payments do not prevent retirees from receiving Social Security payments.
IMRF pension payments are not taxable by the state but are subject to federal income taxes, explains the IMRF website. IMRF's retirement benefits do not include health insurance coverage. The employee may continue receiving health insurance coverage through his employer's benefit plan under COBRA for 18 months after retiring, as long as he does not qualify for Medicare. Under Illinois law, the coverage has no time limit and must continue even if the retiree receives Medicare. However, the employer may reduce the benefits of retirees who receive Medicare.