IPERS - Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System

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

Additional information about IPERS can be found in the New Member Handbook:

How much can I contribute?

Regular employee contributes:  6.29% of budgeted salary effective July 1, 2019
ISU Contributes:  9.44% of budgeted salary effective July 1, 2019

Protection Occupation employee contributes:  6.41% of budgeted salary effective July 1, 2020
ISU Contributes:  9.61% of budgeted salary effective July 1, 2020

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.

Can I save more money from my paycheck for retirement?

Any Iowa State University employee with a budgeted salary commitment is eligible to participate (casual hourly employees are not eligible). Even if your basic retirement plan is Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS), Federal Employees Retirement System, or any other substitute basic annuity plan (other than TIAA), you can participate in the voluntary retirement savings plan through TIAA or AIG Retirement Services.

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.