Applying for Retirement is a Click Away
A recent retiree told us we made it “fun.” Some have even compared it to the best-selling tax return software, TurboTax®. Another reviewer said it was “quite easy to follow.”
What’s all the buzz about? Customers are talking about the new online retirement application developed by the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS).
If you haven’t signed up yet, or logged in to your online account for awhile, do it now and click on the “Apply for Retirement link” in the left navigation bar. Once inside, you’ll see a list of “I want tos” to choose from. Tailored just for you, the application will display only what you need based on your retirement system, plan and retirement eligibility rules. Even if you’re not ready to retire, you’ll find lots of important retirement planning information.
“Not only do our customers continue to have the more traditional paper processes available to them,” says DRS Deputy Director Marcie Frost, “they now have a tool that allows them to complete their retirement application any time, day or night.”
Features, features and more features
Here’s some of what you can look forward to no matter your age or retirement eligibility:
- A customized, personal experience based on your retirement system and plan.
- Retirement planning information and tools.
- A list of everything you need before you can retire online.
- Lots of access to assistance either through the help text, email or phone.
And once you’re ready to retire, the application will be just a click away, ready for you to complete:
- Forms will prefill with your information – you don’t need to type in your name, address, phone number and other personal information over and over again.
- A worksheet to help you determine how your medical, dental, life and union dues will affect your monthly benefit.
- Two calculators – one for help with your federal taxes and the other for purchasing service credit.
- The retirement tracker will keep you informed about where your application is in the process and the forms you need to complete and return to DRS.
To begin the application process, you must have at least one benefit estimate from us that matches your intended retirement scenario, to include:
- Retirement date;
- Separation date;
- Average salary;
- Survivor birth date (if applicable); and
- Early Retirement Factor (ERF) (if applicable).
You can request a retirement benefit estimate by using the contact us link at the top of the page.
Frost is excited to offer this new electronic version of the retirement application to customers. “It was a unique opportunity for the project team,” she says. “Now our customers will have the opportunity to let us know if we’ve met or exceeded their expectations.”
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Your Retirement Account
As a member or retiree in any DRS pension plan, you can securely access your retirement account online. If you’re a member, you can view your account, annual statement and service credit balance, create a retirement benefit estimate, and complete your retirement application online. If you’re retired, you can get copies of your 1099-Rs, annual statement, keep track of your return-to-work hours and see other helpful information related to your retirement benefit.
For participants in Plan 3 and the Deferred Compensation Program, you can also access your investment accounts by logging in here.
Remember, your retirement account is the gateway to a wealth of personalized online services. Click the Sign Up button to get started. If you need more information, see the Online Account Access help page.