New Member Information

On behalf of the Retirement Fund Board of Trustees and staff, welcome to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC). As a new employee, you will automatically become an active member of this Retirement Fund.

All of the information below pertains specifically to employees hired after January 1, 2011. Employees hired after this date are generally what are referred to as Tier II Participants. All benefits and contributions described below are for Tier II Participants. By way of definition:

Tier I Participant: An employee of the District who first became a member before January 1, 2011 under any reciprocal retirement system or pension fund established under Chapter 40 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes other than Judges, General Assembly, police and fire pension plans. This includes any Commissioner who fits the criteria above who elects to participate in the Fund within 90 days after becoming a Commissioner.

Tier II Participant: An employee of the District who first became a member on or after January 1, 2011 except for those who were members of any reciprocal retirement system including the IMRF, Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, Laborers' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, County Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund of Cook County, Forest Preserve of Cook County Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund, Chicago Park Pension, State Employees Retirement System, State Universities Retirement System, Illinois Teachers Retirement System,  or Chicago Teachers Pension Fund prior to January 1, 2011. This includes any Commissioner who fits the criteria above who elects to participate in the Fund within 90 days after becoming a Commissioner.

 

What to Expect on Your First Day

1) Fund staff will establish in which tier you will participate. Service with the funds listed below prior to January 1, 2011 will qualify you for Tier I benefits:

 

County Employees' Annuity & Benefit Fund

Municipal Employees' Annuity & Benefit Fund

Forest Preserve District Employees' Annuity & Benefit Fund

Park Employees' Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago

Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund

Public School Teachers' Pension & Retirement Fund

State Teachers' Retirement System

State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois

State Universities Retirement System

Laborers' Annuity & Benefit Fund

 

Fund staff will contact any fund with which you claim to have service to verify your participation in that fund. Assuming we are able to verify that service, you will be deemed a Tier I Participant. Otherwise, you will be a Tier II Participant.

 

 

2) You will complete many forms. You will be asked to complete and sign the following forms:

 

  • Form SSA-1945. This form is an acknowledgement of the fact that you will not be contributing to Social Security during your tenure at the District.
  • Employee Information Sheet. All current non-retired members should have an updated employee information form on file. This form advises the Fund where you live, your marital status, whether you have children and how many, if you have military service, if you have worked under another public pension fund in Illinois, and whether you have worked at the District before. All of this information is valuable in helping us to counsel you regarding retirement benefit eligibility.
  • Beneficiary Form. It is important for all members and annuitants to have a current designation of beneficiary form on file. This form indicates to whom the Fund should make payment of any refund due should you die and have no surviving spouse. Further details are available on the form.

 

3) You will be asked to provide original documents as follows:

 

  • Your birth certificate, passport, or certificate of naturalization,

 

And, if applicable:

 

  • Your spouse's birth certificate, passport, or certificate of naturalization,
  • Government issued marriage certificate,
  • Any divorce decrees, first and last pages, and
  • Birth certificates for your children or judgment order for adoption. No other documents can be accepted as proof of birth for children because they do not list parentage.

 

Copies of your original documents will be made and the originals will be returned to you.

 

4) You will be provided a summary of your MWRD Retirement Fund benefits. Here are the highlights:

 

Contributions

  • For Tier II participants, a statutory 9% will be deducted from the bi-weekly salary on a pre-tax bases. This is your pension contribution. Of that 9%, one half of a percent is applied to post-retirement annuity increases, 1 ½% is applied to the surviving spouse annuity, and the remaining 7% is applied to the employee annuity.
  • For Tier I participants, the rate of contributions is 10% in 2013, 11% in 2014 and 12% in 2015 and beyond.
  • If you are not married at the time of retirement you will receive a No Spouse Refund of the spouse contributions plus 3% interest. This payment is made at the same time as the first retirement check.

 

Retirement Annuity for Tier II Employees

  • An employee can retire as early as age 62 with 10 years of pension service credit.
  • If you retire between age 62 and 67, the retirement annuity is discounted 0.5% per month for each month you are under age 67.
  • There is no discount of the retirement annuity if the employee has reached age 67.
  • The retirement annuity (a.k.a. pension or retirement benefit) is calculated as a percentage of a eight-year final average salary. The accumulation rate is 2.2% per year for the first 20 years of service and 2.4% per year for each year in excess of 20 years. The maximum retirement annuity is 80% of the eight-year final average salary.
  • Retirees receive a cost of living increase starting the January 1 occurring either on or after the attainment of age 67 or the first anniversary of the annuity start date, whichever is later.
  • That cost of living increase will be the lesser of 3% and one-half the annual unadjusted percentage increase (but not less than zero) in the consumer price index-u for the 12 months ending September prior to the increase. The increase will be calculated as a percentage of the originally granted annuity.

 

Spouse Annuity

When the death occurs before retirement:

 

  • If you you die while an active employee, have at least three calendar years of service from the date of entry, and you are married at the time of death, your spouse is eligible for a surviving spouse annuity.
  • This annuity is effective the first of the month after the employee's death.
  • To calculate the surviving spouse annuity, the Fund first calculates the annuity to which the employee would have been eligible had he retired on the date of death. No discount is applied to the base annuity regardless of the deceased employee's age at the time of death. That amount is then multiplied by the spouse factor, 66 2/3%.
  • Surviving Spouse annuitants receive a cost of living increase starting the January 1 occurring either on or after the first anniversary of the annuity start date.
  • That cost of living increase will be the lesser of 3% and one-half the annual unadjusted percentage increase (but not less than zero) in the consumer price index-u for the 12 months ending September prior to the increase. The increase will be calculated as a percentage of the originally granted annuity.

 

When the death occurs after retirement:

 

  • If you were married at the time of retirement and remain married until the time of death or if you were married at the time of retirement and divorced subsequent to retirement but were married for at least 10 years at the time of retirement, then your spouse will be eligible for a retirement annuity.
  • The surviving spouse annuity is effective the first of the month after the retiree's death.
  • The spouse's annuity is 66 2/3% of the employee annuity at the time of death.
  • Surviving spouses receive a cost of living increase starting the January 1 occurring on the first anniversary of the annuity start date.
  • That cost of living increase will be the lesser of 3% and one-half the annual unadjusted percentage increase (but not less than zero) in the consumer price index-u for the 12 months ending September prior to the increase. The increase will be calculated as a percentage of the originally granted surviving spouse annuity.

 

For full information regarding surviving spouse annuity benefits eligibility or calculations, see the spouse annuity information sheet.

 

Child's Annuity

  • A child's annuity is payable upon the death of an employee if the employee has completed thirty six (36) months of service from the date of employment.
  • The annuity is payable to age 18 (age 23 if a full-time student).
  • The annuity is $500 per month if one parent is alive. The family maximum is $5,000.
  • The annuity increases to $1,000 per month if neither parent is living. The family maximum is $5,000.

 

Disability Benefits

For more information on disability, refer to the Ordinary (non-work related) Disability or Duty (work related) Disability pages.

 

Resignation

 

Many employees continue District employment to retirement. However, if you are terminated or if you resign, you will be entitled to a refund of contributions, provided you are under age 62 or have less than 10 years of service. More information on resignations and refunds can be found on the page labeled "resignation."

 

 

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