IPERS - Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System

Who is Eligible?

All benefits eligible employees with an appointment of 1/2 time or greater for a duration of nine continuous calendar months.
  • Participation is mandatory except for employees who elect TIAA.
  • International employees are not eligible for IPERS, see IPERS webstie for eligibiltiy requirements


Non-benefits eligible employees who earn $1000 in two consecutive quarters of employment are automatically enrolled in IPERS.  If you have questions regarding your eligibility or why you are required to participate, please contact the Iowa State University Payroll Office:

  • Phone:  515-294-6556
  • Email:  payroll@iastate.edu


What is IPERS?

The IPERS plan is a defined benefit plan. The retirement income is determined by a formula based on years of service and the salary earned. Defined benefit plans are sometimes called traditional pension plans.


Who governs IPERS? 

The rules governing the operation of IPERS are controlled by the State of Iowa legislature. Changes are communicated by IPERS directly to members.


How much can I contribute?

Employee contributes: 5.95% of budgeted salary
ISU Contributes: 8.93% of budgeted salary   

Contributions are reviewed each July 1 based on actuarial valuation and subject to change by State Legislative Act. IPERS may adjust rate up or down by no more than one percentage point.


When am I vested?

Definition of Vested: Ownership in the retirement funds deposited and earned in your account by ISU.

Employee Contributions: A member is always 100 percent vested in their own contributions.
ISU Contributions: Employees are vested after July 1, 2012 after completion of seven years of continuous service or upon reaching 65 while in IPERS covered employment, whichever comes first.


What happens when I resign from ISU?

If a member continues working in an IPERS covered position (Iowa public employment): participation in IPERS may continue.

If leaving public employment: the member may:
  • Roll the value of the account over to another qualified plan
  • Take a refund
  • Leave funds on deposit with IPERS 
    • If not vested, funds will be in a noninterest bearing account.
    • If vested, the funds will continue to accumulate interest.

Contact IPERS directly for options and forms.


Retirement Comparison

Comparison between the two retirement plans, IPERS and 403b(TIAA).



Benefits Office