Preparing For Retirement


The most common questions we receive in Payroll Services are questions regarding retirement.  For most employees, planning for retirement will be the most important financial decision of your life.  For those employees just starting their careers, it is never too early to start saving for retirement.  It is also never too late for employees to start planning for the next chapter of your life after retirement.  Here we will provide the tools and services to guide you through the steps of retirement from saving early to receiving your pension and continuing your health insurance into retirement. 

                                                                     Retirement Button


“I would have retired earlier if I saved extra when I was young” is a comment we hear often from employees starting the retirement process.  There is more to retirement than your IMRF pension and it is important to understand your benefits and the additional options that are available to you.  Employees have the option to allocate additional earnings through the IMRF Voluntary Additional Contributions, Nationwide 457 Deferred Compensation, and Roth 457 plans. 

Through IMRF, employees can participate in the Voluntary Additional Contributions (VAC) in which you may contribute up to 10% of earnings, and VACs on deposit at the beginning of a year are credited with interest (7.25% current rate) at the end of the year.  Unlike regular contributions, employer does not contribute, nor are these contributions tax-deferred. 

There is also the option to participate in the Nationwide 457 Deferred Compensation and Roth 457 plans.  Madison County has a Nationwide representative that visits the Admin building nearly once a month, along with visits to the Highway, Wood River, and Detention Home locations about every 3 months.  The Nationwide rep can assist employees with enrollment, contribution changes, investment elections, and retirement planning.  Keep an eye out for our meeting fliers to schedule an appointment.     

Are you a ROE employee enrolled in TRS? Visit for more information.


For most employees, planning for retirement will be the most important financial decision of your life.  Therefore, it is always recommended to talk to your financial advisor when preparing for retirement.  If retirement is near, and you are ready to discuss the steps to make your retirement official, this information will assist you. 

The first step to understanding your IMRF Pension is to setup a member access account if you have not already done so.  With this account, you can instantly get a pension estimate using their Pension Calculator, view your service credit, and most importantly complete the IMRF Retirement application paperwork online.  You can also register for one of their informative retirement workshops. 

Nationwide offers many tools and services to assist your plans for retirement.  If you already participate in the Nationwide 457 Deferred Compensation or Roth 457 plans, you will want to meet with our rep to discuss your options to receive your income, including lump-sum, partial-sum, annuity, or rollover.

Another reason to consider the Nationwide 457 plans and to meet with our rep, whether you already participate or not, is to discuss your Vacation and Sick Leave payout.  Many employees elect to contribute some or all of their final pay into the 457 Deferred Comp plan to avoid paying nearly 40% for federal taxes.  You will also avoid paying state taxes on any 457 Deferred Comp contributions.

Employees may also want to visit the Social Security website for more information about those benefits.  Since social security benefits vary for nearly every employee, we recommend contacting them directly with any questions. 

We are not financial or tax advisors. Employee’s seeking financial advice when preparing for retirement should talk to your financial advisor.              

If you have questions about any of the additional retirement plans, or if you are near retirement and want to discuss the required steps to complete that process, feel free to visit Payroll Services, in Room 154 of the Administration building. Our doors are open most days from 8:00 – 4:30, call 296-4027 or 296-4026 in advance if you would like to schedule a specific meeting time.   


One of the main obstacles preventing employees from retiring is the cost of health insurance.  The cost of continuing insurance can come as a surprise to many employees.  All employees terminating employment are eligible to continue their current coverage at full cost for 18 months of COBRA.  Retiring employees who are enrolled in IMRF or SLEP are eligible to continue their coverage for as long as needed. 

An employee, upon retirement or termination of employment, may deduct several months of premiums for continuation of his/her group health/dental/vision coverage on a pretax basis from his/her last lump-sum paycheck.  The number of months of premiums being prepaid on a pretax basis cannot exceed the number of months left in the plan year (December 1st through November 30th).  For example, an employee, who retires May 31, may request to have up to 6 months (June - November) of premiums deducted pretax from his/her last lump-sum paycheck. 

IMRF members can elect to have their health insurance premiums automatically withheld from the pension check.  IMRF members also have access to IMRF-endorsed insurance plans with discounted group rates. 

Visit for information on Medicare.      

The employee medical plan is managed through the Safety and Risk Management Department. 
For contact information please click here.