Public Records

Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28, DRS is suspending in-person inspection of documents until further notice. Additionally, the department’s five-day response to public records requests may be delayed, especially for written correspondence mailed to DRS. As always, public records requests can be submitted electronically at If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Public Records Officer at the numbers/addresses listed below.

Many records are available on the Department of Retirement Systems website. Requesters are encouraged to view the documents available prior to submitting a public records request.

How to make a request

The Washington Public Records Act (RCW 42.56) requires that records requested are “identifiable.” A general question is not a public records request. The Act also lists certain public records that do not have to be disclosed.

To make a public records request, we prefer it be made in writing, email, or fax so both parties have a record of the request. If this is not possible, we will be pleased to discuss the request over the telephone and place it in writing for you. For us to respond as quickly as possible, please be specific about the records you are requesting. We also need information about how to contact you if we have questions and where to send the records. Your request should contain the following information:

  •  Requester’s name, complete mailing address, phone, email address and fax number.
  •  Date and time of day of the request.
  •  The specific nature of the request, including:
    •  Description of requested records (title, subject, date, policy, etc.)
    •  How do you want your requested records sent (email or mail)

In addition, you may be required to complete a Declaration of Non-Commercial Purpose form.

Public records requests and questions should be directed to:

Michelle Brown
Public Records Officer
Department of Retirement Systems
PO Box 48380
Olympia, WA 98504-8380
Phone: 360.664.7854
Fax: 360.753.3166

How will we respond?

Within five business days after receiving a request, we will do one of three things:

  •  Provide the record(s);
  •  Deny the public records request; or
  •  Acknowledge your request and give you a reasonable estimate of how long it will take to respond. Additional time to respond to a request may be based upon the following:
    •  To clarify the intent of the request;
    •  To locate and assemble the information requested;
    •  To notify third persons or agencies affected by the request; or
    •  To determine whether any of the information requested is exempt and if a denial should be made as to all or part of the request (state law requires us to cite the specific exemption from disclosure).

If you prefer to review the records at the DRS office, please note this on your request. The Public Records Officer will make records available for inspection and copying by appointment during customary office hours of 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 4 pm (Pacific time), Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Requesters will not remove documents from the viewing area or disassemble or alter any documents.

Material exempt from public disclosure

The Public Records Act provides that certain types of records and information are exempt from public disclosure. For example, the following retirement system member information is exempt from disclosure and will not be disclosed without authorization from the retirement member: beneficiary information, Social Security number, home address, home/cell phone number, personal email, deferred or defined contribution amounts, and medical information.

Where exempt information can be deleted from a record (redacted), the record will be provided without the exempt information. Whenever DRS withholds all or part of a record, we will identify the applicable exemption.

Member information subject to disclosure

The Public Records Act requires DRS to disclose certain information regarding retirement system members, if requested. This information includes, but is not limited to: member name, member earnings, pension payments, employment dates, employer, service credit, and Plan 1 and Plan 2 employee and employer contributions. 

If you have any questions about what information about you may be released under the Public Records Act, please contact our Public Records Officer using the contact information listed above.

Is there a charge for copies?

Fees are not charged for inspecting public records or for locating public records and making them available for copying. However, fees might be charged for copying, scanning and delivering copies of public records. These fees will not exceed the rates established in state law.

Beneficiary Designation

Members, you can update your beneficiary information from your online retirement account. Select “My Account” in the navigation menu and then “View/Edit” beside “Beneficiary.”

(If you prefer to fill out and mail in a printed form, select this link.)