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   Credited Service   

Credited Service

Membership in the Judges’ Retirement System of Illinois is comprised of judges and associate judges of any court and the director of the Office of the Illinois Courts, if the director had previously established membership in JRS as a judge.


You automatically become a member of JRS unless you file an election with the Board of Trustees not to participate. Your written decision declining participation must be filed within 30 days from the date of being notified of the option.


You contribute a percentage of your salary by payroll deduction for benefits. If you are single, you are not required to contribute to the survivor’s annuity, but you are required to notify JRS of your decision immediately.

If you are married, or marry while a judge, you may file an ‘Election Not to Participate in the Survivor’s Annuity Benefit.’ Your form declining participation must be filed within 30 days of notifying JRS of your marital status.

If one of the above options is chosen, your total contribution is 8.5% of your salary. Contributions to the survivor’s annuity are not required for an eligible child to qualify for the child’s annuity.

If you are not contributing to the survivor’s annuity and later marry or remarry, you will receive full credit for the survivor’s annuity if:

  • You repay any refunded contributions, plus interest.
  • Payment is made covering the period you were unmarried and not contributing to the survivor’s annuity, plus 3% interest.

You may also provide a pro-rated benefit for your spouse by contributing to the survivor’s benefit from the date of your marriage with no back payments required.

Contributions made after January 1, 1982, have been excluded from your gross income for federal and state income tax purposes. You pay no tax on your contributions until you receive them.

Service credit starts with the first day you become a contributing member. Your service during any fraction of a month is considered a full month of service.

If Your Contributions Were Refunded

See Optional Service Credit

Service Under Other Illinois Public Retirement Systems

If you have established at least one year of credited service under an Illinois Public Retirement System that participates in the Retirement Systems’ Reciprocal Act, your service under that system may be used when determining eligibility for a JRS benefit.

In general, the rules of each retirement system apply in determining a benefit. The benefit amount is based on the benefit formula and amount of service in each system on your last day of service.

Under the Reciprocal Act, JRS computes benefits using final compensation received as a judge. However, your total benefits cannot be higher than it would have been if all service were in one system.

Click here to see the list of systems that participate in the Retirement Systems' Reciprocal Act.

Credited Service

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