Chapter 2: JRS Membership

Summary

The information in this section is provided to help you determine an employee's eligibility for membership in the Judicial Retirement System (JRS). If you have questions about this information, please contact Employer Support Services.

The actual rules that govern membership are contained in state retirement law. [RCW 2.10]    [WAC 415.100] This handbook summarizes those rules in less legalistic terms. It is not a complete description of the law. If there are any conflicts between what is written here and state retirement law, the law will govern.

Plan Rules

For Periods on or After July 1, 1988

Effective July 1, 1988, membership in JRS was closed to new members. Membership is only allowed for judges elected or appointed to the Superior Court, the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, who had established JRS membership before July 1, 1988. Judges elected or appointed to the Superior Court, the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, who are not eligible for JRS membership, may elect to become members of PERS. To establish membership in PERS, the judge must apply for membership under the rules governing elected officials. (See "PERS Membership" in this chapter for details.)

For Periods Prior to July 1, 1988

Any judge elected or appointed to the Superior Court, the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, between August 8, 1971, and July 1, 1988, was required to be a member of JRS.

JRS Retirees

A JRS retiree, who is elected or appointed to judicial service in the Superior Court, Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, is required to return to JRS membership. Membership begins from the first day of employment. When membership resumes, the retiree's pension is suspended until the employment ends.

A JRS retiree who is appointed to pro tempore service in the Superior Court, Court of Appeals or Supreme Court is not required to return to JRS membership. The retiree may work up to 810 hours in a calendar year without affecting his or her pension. (See "Employing Retirees" in Chapter 5 for details.)

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