Note: This article has been updated to correct the eligibility date for LEOFF 1 members and to clarify the type of funds that can be used for rollovers.
LEOFF and WSPRS retirees who retired before having an opportunity to buy a state-offered annuity are being provided a special window to do so.
The purchase option, which will be available between Jan. 1 and June 1, 2017, applies to specified retirees of the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters’ (LEOFF) Retirement System and the Washington State Patrol Retirement System (WSPRS). Retirees who can purchase the annuity are:
The minimum purchase amount is $25,000 and must be made by rolling over funds from an eligible retirement plan. An eligible plan is a tax qualified plan, like a deferred compensation or retirement plan, offered through employment with a city, county, state or federal government agency. The annuity is available through the state Department of Retirement Systems (DRS).
Active members of LEOFF and WSPRS can purchase an annuity at retirement. Earlier this year, the Legislature decided to open a special purchase window for LEOFF and WSPRS retirees who retired before an annuity option became available in their respective plans. The window was approved through the passage of Substitute Senate Bill 6264.
An annuity purchase is a way to convert a lump sum of money to a guaranteed income stream. For more information on this annuity purchase and the window of opportunity, see the frequently asked questions from DRS. Starting in January, a calculator will be available in online account access that will help users project how much their benefit could be increased by an annuity purchase.