October 19, 2010
By Adam Dauksas
A recent interpretation of pension rules by the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (“IMRF”) should have your District exercising caution when hiring an IMRF annuitant to work in an IMRF-qualified position.
Retirees receiving an IMRF pension who return to work in an IMRF qualifying position, without being re- enrolled in the retirement system, could be held responsible for paying back to IMRF the entire amount of all annuity payments that were improperly received while working in that qualifying position during retirement. Moreover, these repayment amounts would be in addition to any member contributions owed by the retiree.
School districts, and other IMRF employers should also be aware that in the event a retiree is unable to repay to IMRF the entire past annuity amounts improperly received by them, and all or a part of the fault for failing to re- enroll the retiree lies with the district, IMRF may seek to recover the annuity payments directly from the district. In fact, IMRF has recovered such improperly paid annuity amounts directly from at least one school district in the past.
If you have any questions regarding the employment of IMRF retirees, please do not hesitate to contact Scariano, Himes and Petrarca.