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August 2021


TRS will continually deliver the retirement security promised to our members by maintaining the highest and most efficient level of service and by living our values:

  • Put the best interests of others first
  • Diversity
  • Teamwork
  • Continuous improvement

The Member Guide provides an overview of your TRS benefits. You are a member of Tier 1 in the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois (TRS) because you first contributed to TRS before Jan. 1, 2011 or you have pre-existing creditable service with a reciprocal pension system prior to Jan. 1, 2011.

A member first contributes to TRS on his or her first day of paid service.

Public Act 96-0889, which was signed into law in spring 2010, added a new section to the Pension Code that applied different benefits to anyone who first contributed to TRS on or after Jan. 1, 2011 and does not have any previous service credit with a pension system that has reciprocal rights with TRS. These members are referred to as “Tier 2” members.

This guide has been prepared to answer general questions that you have about us, the services we offer, and your responsibilities as a member or an annuitant. We make every effort to provide you with the most current information, including rule changes enacted by our Board of Trustees and benefit changes resulting from legislation. This guide includes legislative changes signed into law as of August 23, 2021.

Effective June 1, 2011, Illinois law entitles a party to a civil union to the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits as are afforded or recognized by the law of Illinois to spouses. For information about changes that have occurred since the publication of this guide, see our Topics & Report newsletter by selecting the Topics & Report option from the left side of the Forms/Publications page.

It is our policy to comply with all applicable federal and state laws, rules, and regulations. If there is a conflict between information contained in this guide and the applicable law, rule or regulation, the law, rule or regulation takes precedence.