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To qualify for membership in the 1977 or 1985 Judges' Retirement System (JRS), you must have served or be serving, as a regular judge or magistrate for any of the following courts:
You are a member of the 1977 JRS if you are a judge who joined before Sept. 1, 1985. You were allowed 20 days after your term as judge began to make this election. If you did not elect to join, you are not a member of the 1977 JRS.
If you ended your employment as judge and returned to your position after Aug. 31, 1985, you are still a member of the 1977 JRS.
If you became a judge after Aug. 31, 1985, you are a member of the 1985 JRS.
If you were serving as a full-time magistrate on July 1, 2010, you had until Oct. 1, 2010 to elect the 1985 JRS. All full-time magistrates who began service after July 1, 2010, are members of the 1985 JRS.
As a member of the 1977 or 1985 JRS, you must contribute 6 percent of the state paid portion of your salary. This 6 percent contribution is required for up to 22 years of service.
You must contribute to the plan unless you are:
If you began service before Sept. 1, 1985, you made a one-time binding pay reduction agreement as of Jan. 1, 1989. The reduction in the amount of 6 percent of each pay is credited to the fund by the state auditor.
As of Oct. 1, 1989, in accordance with Section 414(h) of the Internal Revenue Service Code, the state of Indiana began to pay the 6 percent contributions for judges who started service after Aug. 31, 1985. Judges’ salaries were reduced by 6 percent to fund the state contributions which are not taxed until paid as a distribution or monthly benefit.
The interest rate for employees will be set at least annually when crediting interest on employee contribution accounts. If you are an active member, your interest will be credited, at least annually, based on the prior fiscal year end balance.
The amount credited to your account must equal the value of your contributions plus interest valued the day before you apply for a distribution or the date of your death plus contributions received after that date. You must have:
If you have less than 20 years of service and no activity on your account after 10 years, you will not receive interest credit.
You may receive pay from the county and the state paid portion of your pay. You are not required to make contributions on any salary from the county. The county paid portion of your pay is not used in the benefit calculation.
You are entitled to receive a normal retirement with full benefits if you are:
You will qualify for early retirement with reduced benefits if you:
Your benefit begins the day after you end employment as a plan member. Your benefit may not begin more than 30 days before INPRS receives your retirement application. You are entitled to a monthly benefit for life. The amount you receive will be calculated according to Indiana statutes. (See Table A).
If you are currently receiving or are entitled to receive any pay from the state for services performed as a judge or a magistrate under IC 33-23-5 (as defined in IC 33-38-6-7), you do not qualify for a retirement benefit.
If you apply for a retirement benefit and you are age 65 (or age 55 and meet the Rule of 85), you are entitled to a retirement benefit that equals the salary being paid for the office you held at the time you ended service,* multiplied by the percentage shown below:
|Years of Service||Percentage|
|22 or more||60%|
*If you have at least eight years of service plus a partial year of service, an additional percentage is calculated based on the number of months in the partial year. The 1977 and 1985 JRS benefit is based on the current salary in effect at the date of retirement for the position you held prior to separation from service.
Early retirement benefits, ages 62 to 65, are reduced by 0.1 percent for each month that your retirement precedes your 65th birthday. If you qualify for a disability benefit from JRS, this reduction does not apply.
You may continue to receive retirement benefits if you re-employ with the state of Indiana, as long as you are not re-employed as a judge or magistrate.
INPRS is required by federal and state law to correct any errors in benefit calculations. If you receive an overpayment as a result of an error, INPRS is required to recover the overpayment. If you are underpaid, you will receive an additional payment from INPRS.
You are considered permanently disabled if the INPRS board receives written certification of your disability by a licensed and practicing physician (your treating physician) and the INPRS Medical Authority.
This certification must state that your:
You must be re-examined by at least two licensed physicians (your treating physician and an INPRS physician) within a year. The INPRS physician will be chosen by the INPRS board. The board will decide the intervals for the re-examinations. If, in the judgment of these physicians, you have improved from your disability, your benefits will stop unless you:
Your annual benefit, if you become permanently disabled, will equal the salary you were receiving at the time you ended service*, multiplied by the percentage shown below:
|Years of Service||Percentage|
|22 or more||60%|
*Your disability benefit for the 1977 JRS is based on the salary being paid for the office on the effective date of your disability benefit, even if the salary is higher than when you separated from service. Your disability benefit for the 1985 JRS is based on your pay at the time you ended service.
*If you have at least 12 years of service plus a partial year of service, an additional percentage is calculated based on the number of months in the partial year.
Under the 1977 and 1985 JRS, your spouse or elected child or children qualify for survivor benefits if you:
Under JRS, the surviving spouse is usually entitled to the greater of an amount set by statute or 50 percent of your retirement benefits that you were drawing (or would have been entitled to draw) at the time of your death.
If a child is entitled to benefits, he or she will receive his or her share until age 18. If a child has a physical or mental disability, the child will receive benefits the entire period of the disability, or until he or she turns 18, whichever period is longer. Acceptable proof of disability must be submitted to INPRS. When benefits end for a child with a disability, the remaining benefits will be shared equally among the remaining children. If the surviving spouse is living when benefits end for all selected children, the surviving spouse will receive the benefit for the remainder of his or her life.
If no benefits are payable to a surviving spouse or elected child or children, any dependent(s) may withdraw contributions plus interest at a rate set by the board. If there are no surviving dependents, the benefits are payable to your estate.
If you are not survived by a spouse, child or children, or other dependents, your contributions, plus interest at a rate set by the board and minus any payments made to you, will be paid to the executor or manager of your estate. This will happen within 60 days of a request for the funds being properly filed with INPRS.
You can log in to your online member account to manage your personal and pension benefit information. You will need your Social Security number (SSN) and passcode to get started. If you do not have your SSN or passcode, call our office at (888) 286-3544.
You will need to submit information to the Fund at least 90 days before you plan to retire. To process your retirement benefit, you will need the following information:
You will only be taxed on your benefit payments when you receive your distribution.
To process your survivor benefit, you must submit the following information:
If you qualify, you may purchase service under conditions described in the Indiana Pension Laws and the Indiana Administrative Code.
If you are a judge in the 1977 JRS with PERF service credit before becoming a judge or after leaving the bench, you may be given credit for that service in the JRS under certain conditions. You must have service credit in one of the following positions:
If you are a judge or magistrate, have at least eight years of service credit in the JRS, and have prior unvested service in another Indiana pension plan, you may purchase part or all of that service at actuarial cost. This applies to:
You may purchase the prior service credited under another Indiana pension fund. You will receive credit if the state contributes the necessary amount and the judge or full-time magistrate pays in a lump sum or in a series of payments determined by the board. The total cost of the service is determined by our actuary and no more than five annual payments may be made to cover the costs.
You will receive credit in the 1977 JRS if the state contributes the necessary amount to pay off the service liability. You will have to pay the amount that you would have contributed if you had been a member of the JRS during that service. The amount is determined by our actuary.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, if you are a judge in the 1985 JRS with PERF service credit before becoming a judge or after leaving the bench, you may be given credit for that service in the 1985 JRS under certain conditions. You must be a judge who:
You will receive credit in the 1985 JRS if the state contributes the necessary amount to pay off the service liability. You will have to pay the amount that you would have contributed if you had been a member of the JRS during that service. The amount is determined by our actuary.
If you are a magistrate in the 1985 JRS after Dec. 31, 2010, with PERF service credit, you may be given credit for that service in the JRS under certain conditions. You must be a magistrate who:
You will receive credit in the 1985 JRS if the state contributes the necessary amount to pay off the service liability. You will have to pay a lump sum to pay off the service liability. The amount is determined by our actuary.
If you end service in the JRS and return to a covered position for at least one year, you may purchase all or part of your previous service.
You may withdraw all of your contributions to the fund, if you:
You may choose to receive:
If you end service as a plan member under the 1985 JRS (other than by death or disability) and if you do not qualify for a retirement benefit, you may withdraw all of your contributions to the fund.
You may choose to receive:
If you end service before you qualify for monthly benefits, you may elect to receive a distribution of your member contributions.
The 6 percent pre-tax basis contribution will be taxed (as ordinary income) for the year the distribution is received.
If you are under age 59 ½ at the time your distribution is paid, you may be subject to an additional 10 percent federal tax penalty on the above taxable amount.
An explanation of your four distribution choices and the tax consequences of those choices follow:
NOTE: If you elect to have your contributions paid directly to you and not a direct rollover to an IRA or a Qualified Retirement Plan, INPRS is required to withhold 20 percent of all taxable portions. The 20 percent withholding is for federal income taxes.
If you select Choice B or C, INPRS will send you a check payable to the trustee of the IRA or Qualified Retirement Plan. It is your responsibility to deliver the check to the trustee of the IRA or Qualified Retirement Plan that you specified on your distribution form. The company must receive the rollover funds 60 days from the date of the check. You will receive a separate check payable to you for your non-taxable portion and any taxable portion not directly rolled over.
NOTE: Federal income tax will not be withheld if you choose a direct rollover. The taxable portion of your direct rollover will not be taxed until you choose a distribution from that plan.
CAUTION: You should consult the trustee of your qualified plan or IRA or your professional tax advisor if you need more information about the taxes on your distribution.
Appeals of the JRS plan initial determination will be heard by an Administrative Law Judge in compliance with the Indiana Administrative Orders and Procedures Act IC 4-21.5.
To request administrative review, you must have rights as a party or a right to intervene. The steps of administrative review are here.
All parties will have the chance to present additional evidence during the appeal process. The Administrative Law Judge will submit findings to INPRS. INPRS will review the findings of the Administrative Law Judge and issue a final determination.
All parties will be informed of the final determination.
It’s vital that you keep us up-to-date about changes to your name, phone number, email address, mailing address or beneficiaries.
You can update this information when you register for your INPRS online account. Changing your information with your employer will not update the information with us. You need to contact us directly. This is the only way to update your personal information.
You can change your address or beneficiary using your online account once you've registered.
To change your name, you must complete the Member Data Change form. You can only submit requests for change of name in writing. Legal documentation such as a court order, divorce decree, or marriage license is required when you submit your change.
If you have questions, please call our Customer Service Center at (888) 286-3544. We are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
Every attempt has been made to verify that the information in this handbook is correct and up-to-date. Published content does not constitute legal advice. If a conflict arises between information contained in this publication and the law, the applicable law shall apply.