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While all of these questions are not directly related to PERF membership and benefits, answering “yes” to the following may provide peace of mind.
Each year, PERF mails 1099-R forms to all benefit recipients by Jan. 31. The 1099-R form is much like a W2 form. It lists the total amount of benefits received during the year. It also shows the taxable and non-taxable amounts. PERF can also withhold Indiana and Federal taxes. County taxes may be withheld if you withhold state taxes. If you did not complete tax withholding forms at the time of your retirement, you may do so at any time.
PERF can withhold Federal tax based upon your marital status and the number of exemptions claimed. Please note: you must enter a withholding election (married with three exemptions, single, etc.) before electing an additional flat, whole dollar amount. You may go online to download the forms, call, or write to request them.
Direct deposit is the required method to distribute benefit payments. That way your check will not be late, lost, or stolen. If you change banks, contact PERF for instructions. You may also start again at a new bank by completing a PERF direct deposit form.
If you change account numbers with the same bank, or if you change banks, contact PERF. Do NOT close your old account until you know funds are being deposited into your new account. It may take up to 60 days for the change to take effect.
If you are not using direct deposit and have not received your check by the 25th of the month, contact the PERF office. We can begin the replacement process no sooner than 10 days after the monthly benefit checks were mailed.
When a member dies, PERF must be notified to stop the member’s benefit payments and make payments to the appropriate beneficiaries. PERF needs a copy of the death certificate, including the retiree’s name, Social Security number and date of death. The family may keep the check received in the month the member dies, but must return any subsequent payments to the Fund. Please call, mail or fax a copy of the death certificate to PERF. Include your name, relationship to the member and telephone number, as we may need to contact you for further information.
Once PERF has verified the retiree’s death, the surviving beneficiary will be notified of any necessary action that may be needed on their part in order to start receiving their benefit.
For this reason it is very important that you keep PERF informed of your beneficiary’s current address.
Indiana law allows a beneficiary to decline a bequest if they feel it is in their interest to do so. The law also determines how the bequest will be handled if the beneficiary declines it. For more specific information on your situation, please contact PERF directly.
Once you have named a beneficiary or beneficiaries on your Retirement Application and processing is completed, you can change that designation only in limited circumstances, depending on the option you chose. Be certain which option your benefit is being paid under, then check the chart below to find out the changes you are entitled to make.
|Your Retirement Option||Beneficiary Changes Available|
|Option 10, 61 or 71 at retirement,||You may change your beneficiary for the pension up to five years from the effective date of your retirement.|
|You may change your beneficiary at any time as long as there is a balance (ASA portion only).|
|Option 20 at any time||Beneficiary changes allowed under certain conditions.|
|Option 30, 40 or 50 at retirement||You cannot make a change as long as your joint survivor beneficiary is alive (with the exceptions shown below):
|Option 30, 40 or 50 at retirement and your beneficiary dies first||You may name a new joint survivor beneficiary, or change to retirement Option 20.|
For options 30, 40 and 50, you must furnish a copy of your spouse or joint survivor beneficiary’s death certificate, and, in the case of marriage, a copy of your marriage license. PERF will also need the birth certificate of your new joint survivor beneficiary. Please note that changing your joint survivor beneficiary may have a significant impact on your monthly benefit.
Members may change their joint survivor beneficiary or form of benefit after retirement due to divorce unless it is prohibited in the divorce decree or property settlement agreement. This event has been added to the limited number of circumstances under which a joint survivor beneficiary may be changed after retirement.
Changes will become effective after receipt of completed forms and required documents. We do not make those changes retroactively.
You are entitled to go back to work after you retire and continue receiving PERF retirement benefits. If you are returning to a position covered by PERF, you must have a separation of employment for a period of at least 30 days. For example, if a member stops working on May 18, his or her retirement date is June 1. He or she would be eligible to re-employ in a PERF-covered position on or after June 18. If you do not have a 30-day separation from service, your retirement is void and you will not be eligible for pension benefits.
A PERF member’s application for retirement benefits is void if the member has an agreement, formal or informal, prior to his or her retirement, with a covered employer to become re-employed in a covered position. Your effective retirement date is the first day of the month for which you were paid retirement benefits. There is no earnings limitation for members who choose to return to work in a PERF-covered position after retirement. No additional service credit is earned and no contributions will be made to your ASA if you return to work in a PERF-covered position.
Members who have retired from another Indiana public pension fund (such as the 1977 Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension and Disability Fund) must also meet this 30-day separation from service requirement before taking a PERF-covered position with the same employer.
Errors may occur when determining benefits provided by PERF. This could be due to incorrect or incomplete data or for other reasons. If such an error is discovered, PERF reserves the right to correct the error at any time, including after you take a distribution of your account balance. If you receive an overpayment as a result of any error, you will be notified of the amount and will be required to repay it to PERF. If you have an underpayment, you will receive an additional payment from PERF.
At Age 70 With 20 years of Service
You may begin receiving retirement benefits while continuing to work in a PERF-covered position if you are age 70 and have at least 20 years of creditable service. A member who chooses to begin receiving monthly retirement benefits while working in a PERF-covered position cannot earn additional service credit towards retirement, but may continue to make contributions to their ASA. Members choosing this option may not withdraw their continued contributions and earnings until separated from service.
Special Provisions for Those in Elected Office
You may begin receiving retirement benefits while continuing to work in an elected position if:
If you are receiving monthly retirement benefits and are elected or appointed to an eligible elected position covered by PERF, you may continue or discontinue your retirement benefits while in office. If you continue your benefits, you will not earn additional service credit, and you may choose to make ASA contributions, but are not obligated to do so. If you discontinue retirement benefits, mandatory 3 percent contributions must be made to your ASA, and you earn additional service credit. Members may not withdraw their continued contributions and earnings until separated from service.
PERF sends monthly benefits to over 77,000 recipients.