Police and Firefighters Member Handbook: Introduction
This handbook summarizes your rights and benefits as a member of the 1977 Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension and Disability Fund (1977 Fund, or “the Fund”).
The 1977 Fund was established for eligible public safety officers and their survivors. The Fund pays:
- disability, and
- survivor benefits.
On July 1, 2011, the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) Board of Trustees began to manage the Fund. Any mention of the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF) Board in this handbook and other materials will refer to the INPRS Board.
Your 1977 Fund was established to make benefit payments to you and your survivors as outlined by Indiana statutes. The Fund consists of:
- member contributions,
- employer contributions, and
This handbook explains the benefit terms of the Fund.
You are required to join the Fund if:
- you are a full-time, fully-paid police officer, or
- you are a firefighter,
- your employer participates in the Fund, and
- you were hired or rehired after April 30, 1977.
To become a member of the Fund, you must:
- pass the required statewide baseline test, the local board's mental exams, and*
- be less than age 36.
A veteran who has at least 20 years of service in the armed forces may become a member of the fund. The maximum age is 40 and six months to meet the conditions for membership.
*Your department may conduct more physical agility or mental exams. If you are a public safety officer performing the duties of a police officer and firefighter for a single employer, you are covered in the Fund. You must meet the baseline requirements.
- As an active member of the Fund, you can end service with one 1977 Fund employer to become employed with another Fund employer. Age limits and physical and mental requirements for admission are waived if you are re-employed in 180 days or less after you end service. The 180-day limit does not apply if you are reinstated with a police or fire department following a layoff for financial reasons.
- You or your employer may purchase service at the rate that would have been credited to the Fund. You may purchase service if you qualify to join but an error or oversight by the local board or hiring authority delays your enrollment effective date. You will not be kept from joining the Fund if you are age eligible when you apply.
- The local board will provide proof of your baseline statewide physical test results. This proof must be received in six months or less of the test date. If INPRS receives the proof more than six months after the test date, the requirements for submission have not been met. You may appeal to INPRS to accept your certification. The appeal must be in writing, signed by you and must provide a reason the certification should be accepted. INPRS will determine if the certification will be accepted.
You may purchase up to two years of military service credit, under certain conditions.
You may purchase, at full actuarial cost, prior service in other public retirement funds including:
- Teachers Retirement Fund (TRF),
- State Excise Police, Gaming Agent, Gaming Control Officer and Conservation Enforcement Officers' Retirement Plan,
- The State Police Trust and the Sheriff's Pension Trust.
If you have been employed in an out-of-state position that would receive service credit under the Fund, you may purchase the service you earned in that position. The purchase will be at full actuarial cost.
Base salary is defined by state law as the salary of a first-class police officer or firefighter plus all longevity increases. You will only receive longevity increases if your employer offers them. Base salary is certified to the Fund by each department. All benefits paid by the Fund are calculated according to the base salary. When you retire, your benefits are determined by the base salary for your department in the year your service ends. This first-class salary varies by employer and it is certified yearly to the Fund.
Section Two: Contributions