General Membership Information
All regularly employed and legally qualified teachers who serve in the public schools of Indiana must be members of the fund. Included in the fund are certain faculty and staff at Vincennes University, Ball State University, Indiana State University, and the University of Southern Indiana (although these individuals may have the option of selecting the fund or an alternate University plan). Some legally qualified State employees may also be eligible for enrollment in the fund. Teacher aides and higher education graduate assistants are not eligible for membership in the fund. In addition, substitute teachers must meet specific qualification and service criteria before becoming eligible for membership in the fund.
Documents to Submit
Educators who are enrolling in the fund must complete an "Enrollment Form for New Members," (State Form 37680). This form is available from the Forms page or by contacting our Member Service Center. When submitting an "Enrollment Form for New Members," educators must submit a legible photocopy, certified original, or original birth certificate. Pursuant to Rule 2-7-3 of Title 550 of the Indiana Administrative Code, the fund is not permitted to pay retirement benefits to members who have not submitted sufficient proof of their date of birth.
*Please note: a legible photocopy of the birth certificate is sufficient for both member and survivor, if applicable. If original copies or certified copies are sent, they will not be returned unless the member includes this request in writing with his/her retirement application.
In lieu of submitting a valid birth certificate, this proof can be satisfied by providing the fund with one of the following:
- A copy of a "Certificate of Birth Registration" signed by the health officer of the county or state where the birth occurred;
- A copy of a valid United States of America Passport;
- An executed "Proof of Birth" affidavit in the form prescribed by the Fund and a copy of a photo identification card such as a state-issued driver's license or identification card; OR
- Other evidence relating to the member's date of birth that may be submitted to the Board for approval and acceptance.
All fund members will receive a TRF account number upon the acceptance of their application. This TRF number is assigned to the member on a permanent basis. Even if members leave employment in a fund-covered position for an extended period of time, their TRF number will remain the same should they return to service in a fund-covered position.
Making Changes to Your Account
Fund members often need to make changes to their account information. Events that may precipitate a change in account information include:
- Change of Address
- Change to Beneficiary Designations
- Change of Name
- Change to Asset Allocation Strategy in a member's individual Annuity Savings Account
- Change to Asset Allocation Strategy in a member’s Rollover Account
The Fund has created specific forms for these purposes. To protect the security of the member's account and to reduce the amount of paperwork in a member's file, the Fund requires members to use these forms for any changes to become effective. A member can obtain Fund forms from our Internet home page (have your TRF number available) or by contacting the Fund directly via telephone, e-mail, or written correspondence. Please complete and return the form via U.S. mail.
Who May Act for the Member
Power of Attorney- The fund will honor requests and directions from a lawful holder of a Power of Attorney document for a member. This individual is known as the attorney-in-fact. The Power of Attorney must grant the attorney-in-fact the authority to transact business of the type requested. For instance, if the Power of Attorney document grants the attorney-in-fact broad discretion to handle all banking and financial transactions, the fund will accept directions regarding benefit check delivery. If, on the other hand, a member grants what is known as a Health Care Power of Attorney, the attorney-in-fact does not have the authority to direct the fund on any matter, even something as simple as an address change.
If a member wishes to name a Power of Attorney for fund business only, without incurring the expense of legal counsel, the fund provides a Power of Attorney form. However, please note that this Power of Attorney will apply only to fund business and is not valid for general public use.
If an attorney-in-fact attempts to act on behalf of a member, the fund will require a copy of the Power of Attorney. If a copy of the Power of Attorney is not in the member's file, the requested transaction will be denied. The denial will then be returned to the attorney-in-fact, requesting proof of legal authority to act on behalf of the member.
Please note that Indiana law has very specific requirements for a Power of Attorney to be valid. The member's signature must be witnessed and attested to by a Notary Public. Further, the Notary Public must sign the document along with his or her printed name and notarial seal.
A member retains the right to act on their own behalf even if powers are also granted to an attorney-in-fact.
Guardians - The fund will honor requests and directions from a legally appointed guardian of the estate of a member.
Before the fund can recognize acts of a guardian, the fund must receive copies of the Letters of Guardianship and/or other official court documents appointing the guardian. Only the guardian of the "estate" of the member, the person with the power to handle financial matters (as opposed to the guardian of the "person," who is responsible for the physical well being of a member), may direct the fund.
Guardians are appointed only when a member is declared incompetent by a court of law. Thus, the member, while under an active guardianship, is unable to act on their own behalf. The fund will not recognize acts of these members until provided proof that the member's right to act on his or her own behalf has been restored.
Most disputes are settled by communication between the parties involved. In the case where no agreement is reached, there is an appeal procedure available. Members who believe that they have been aggrieved by an action of the fund may contact the fund's legal department for information on the appeals process.
Medicare supplement group health insurance is available to the fund's retirees and spouses age 65 and over. A member will receive information on the available plan, options, and costs at the time of retirement.