PERS Plan 1 Rules for Governor-Appointed Officials

Last Updated October 2017
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If you are or were a Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) Plan 1 member when the governor appointed you to office, you may choose whether to participate in PERS Plan 1 while in your appointed position. You aren’t required to join membership.

When may I apply for membership?

You may apply for membership at any time while serving in your appointed position. If you enter membership after your appointment has begun, your membership will be retroactive to the first day of your appointed service. You will be required to pay employee contributions plus interest back to that date.

If your current governor-appointed position doesn’t have a set term of office, your “current term of office” includes all uninterrupted service beginning with the first day of your current appointment.

Your membership decision is final. Once you join retirement system membership, you must remain a member until you separate from all eligible public employment. If you serve an additional term of office with the same employer without a break in service, you will remain a retirement system member.

May I receive credit for past service?

As a governor-appointed official, you aren’t eligible to purchase service credit for previous terms of governor-appointed service. However, you may purchase service credit for your previous terms in elected PERS-covered positions.

To purchase service credit, you must pay the required employee and employer contributions plus interest for your previous term or terms of elected service. To find out the cost, contact DRS. Your employer might choose to pay the required employer contributions and interest for you.

How much service credit will I earn in my appointed position?

As a PERS Plan 1 governor-appointed official, you receive one month of service credit for each month during which you earn compensation in your appointed position.

If the governor appointed you to serve as a member of a board, committee or commission, you earn service credit as follows:

  • For service on or after Sept. 1, 1991: You receive one month of service credit for each month during which you are compensated for at least 70 hours of work. If you are compensated for fewer than 70 hours in a month, you receive one-quarter service credit for that month.
  • For service between July 1, 1976, and Sept. 1, 1991: You receive one month of service credit for each month during which you are compensated for at least 70 hours of work.

How much will my benefit be?

Once vested and meeting the plan’s age requirement, your service retirement benefit will be based on the following formula:

2% x service credit years x Average Final Compensation (AFC) = monthly benefit

Example

If you retire at age 61 with 30 years of service credit and a monthly AFC of $7,000, your monthly benefit will be calculated as follows:

2% x 30 x $7,000 = $4,200

In most cases, your AFC is the monthly average of your 24 consecutive highest-paid service credit months. Your benefit can be no higher than 60% of your AFC. To learn more, read the PERS Plan 1 Handbook, available on the DRS website.

How much will I contribute to my retirement plan?

As a PERS Plan 1 governor-appointed official, you will contribute 6% of your salary or wages to your retirement plan. This includes overtime and tax-deferred wages, but it might not include some forms of severance pay or some cash payments for unused sick leave.

What if I am already a PERS Plan 1 retiree when appointed?

If you are a retired PERS Plan 1 member when the governor appoints you to office, you have two choices:

  • Remain retired and continuing to receive your monthly benefit while in office.
  • Return to active membership while in office.

If you return to active membership, you will stop receiving your monthly benefit. You will resume making contributions to PERS Plan 1 and accumulating service credit prospectively from the first day of the month following the date DRS accepts your application.

How do I choose to participate?

To begin, continue or reestablish PERS Plan 1 membership, contact DRS and provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Social Security number
  • Address and phone number
  • Position title and employer
  • Beginning date of current governor-appointed service
  • Beginning and ending dates of any prior elected official service

DRS will then send you a letter and application.

Summary

This content is a summary. It isn't a complete description. State retirement laws govern your benefit. If a conflict exists between the information here and what is contained in current law, the law governs.