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About the Individual Account Program

The Individual Account Program (IAP) is the second part of a PERS retirement package. It is an invested 401(a) account that is funded by transferring a portion of an employee’s pay into their IAP account each month. (Some employers reimburse employees for that percentage.) When an employee retires, they can begin receiving disbursements from the account or they can roll it over into another retirement account. Unlike pension payments, which continue for life, IAP disbursements continue until the account is spent.

Once an employee successfully completes their first six months of work and qualifies to earn benefits, 6% of their monthly salary that is subject to IAP contributions* is withdrawn from their paycheck and placed into their IAP account (exception: see Employee Pension Stability Account below).

Vesting in the IAP

New employees become vested in their IAP as soon as their PERS membership begins (i.e., after their six-month membership wait time). Vesting in optional employer accounts may have different rules.

Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA)

Introduced in 2020 as a product of the Member Redirect program, the EPSA is a way to help reduce employers’ rising contribution rates and give employees a way to contribute to their pension costs. Employees who earn over a certain amount per month have a portion of their 6% IAP contribution redirected into their EPSA. When they retire, that money is used to help fund their pension.

Learn more: Go to About the EPSA.

To learn about the other part of a PERS retirement package, read About the PERS Pension.

*Salary that is subject to PERS pension and IAP contributions and included in calculating PERS retirement benefits is categorized as “subject salary.” Payments that are not subject to PERS contributions nor used in benefits calculation are called “non-subject salary.” Refer to the Payment Categories chart to find how different types of payments are categorized.