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Purchasing an Annuity

What is an annuity?

Annuities are lifetime income plans you purchase.

When it’s time to retire, you have some additional options—options that can change your finite savings into a monthly, lifetime income called an annuity.

An annuity is a guaranteed income plan you purchase. The monthly payments you receive are based on the dollar amount you choose to purchase. The annuity will provide monthly payments for your lifetime. The annuities DRS offers are administered by Washington state with investments managed by the Washington State Investment Board.

Is an annuity right for me?

Annuities can provide guaranteed income for your life. And they offer security through a set monthly income which can increase annually if you are eligible for a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). However, flexibility is not a feature of annuities. Once you set it up, an annuity doesn’t allow you to change the income amount. Once you begin receiving monthly payments, you cannot cancel the annuity.

With annuities, you take money out of market risk and use it to give yourself a monthly lifetime income. Annuities are the only investment withdrawal option that guarantee you will not outlive your account balance.

Each year you’ll receive a statement that shows the taxable amount of your annuity. Complete a Form W-4P to choose the amount you’d like withheld from your payments for taxes. Without a Form W-4P, the tax withholding will follow IRS guidelines using a status of married with three allowances.

For more information about taxes, review IRS Publication 575. You might want to consult a tax advisor. DRS and the record keeper are not authorized to give tax advice.

Public employees PERS annuities

PERS Plan annuity

This annuity is available to all PERS, SERS and PSERS retirement plan members. With this annuity, your survivor will be the same as the one you selected for your pension payment. You can use your DCP savings to purchase this annuity in addition to other approved funding sources. If you return to work, this annuity continues. See annuity video.

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the annuity amount I can purchase? Yes, the minimum purchase amount is $5,000. There are no maximum limits.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Annuity.” Here you can find the monthly increase to your pension for any purchase amount.

 

What funds can I use to purchase an annuity? Your payment must come from an eligible governmental plan, like your DCP savings. Members cannot use PERS/SERS/TRS Plan 3 contributions to pay for this annuity.

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? Your retirement date or the day after your bill for the annuity is paid in full, whichever comes later.

 

How often do I receive my annuity benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor must be the same survivor and survivor option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually. If you’re a Plan 1 member, a COLA is optional at retirement and your choice will also apply to this annuity purchase.

 

How do I purchase this annuity? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? In most cases, no. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase.

There are two exceptions:

If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

Once you make the purchase, you’ll have 15 days to cancel the transaction. You’ll receive a mailed contract that includes your rescission, or cancel by date.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded if I die? If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your annuity purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary.

 

What if I return to work? Your annuity continues.

Purchase service credit

Purchasing additional service credit increases your monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life. You can purchase between one and 60 months of service credit in whole months. The increase to your benefit is calculated using the same formula as your retirement benefit. This additional service credit is available at the time of your retirement only. Also, you cannot use the additional credit to qualify for retirement (it won’t increase your years of service).

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the amount of service credit I can purchase? Minimum: One month; Maximum: 60 months.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Service.” Here you can find the estimated cost and income increase per month you purchase.

 

What funds can I use to purchase service credit? You can use any funds except for Plan 3 contributions.

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? After you have made payment in full.

 

How often do I receive the benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor will be the same option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually. If you’re a TRS Plan 1 or PERS Plan 1 member, a COLA is an optional choice at retirement.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? No. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase. If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

 

How do I purchase service credit? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? Yes. If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary. For TRS Plan 1, this refund does not apply if you selected the Maximum Option.

 

What if I return to work? The return to work rules for service credit are the same as your retirement benefit. If you return to work for a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will stop if you return to retirement system membership or if you exceed allowable hours as a retiree (867 per year). If you do not return to a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will continue.

 

When will my benefit increase be effective? The increase in your benefit will be effective the day after the department receives your full payment.

PERS Plan 3 TAP – Total Allocation Portfolio

Plan 3 members can use their plan contributions to purchase the Total Allocation Portfolio (TAP) Annuity. With the TAP Annuity, you are not limited to the survivor options you chose for your pension retirement. You can choose another survivor. You can also purchase the TAP Annuity any time after you separate from DRS-covered employment.

When can I purchase? When DRS receives your separation date, or any time after.

 

Are there limits to the annuity amount I can purchase? Minimum: $25,000; Maximum: Your total Plan 3 investment account balance.

 

How much does it cost? Use the TAP Annuity Estimator calculator or contact the Plan 3 record keeper.

 

What funds can I use to purchase the annuity? Use contributions from your WSIB investment account. If you have funds in Self-Directed investments, you can transfer them to the WSIB program when making the purchase. The Plan 3 record keeper can help you with this. 

 

How often do I receive my annuity benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? In most cases, no. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase.

There are two exceptions:

If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

Once you make the purchase, you’ll have 15 days to cancel the transaction. You’ll receive a mailed letter that includes your rescission, or cancel by date.

 

How do I purchase an annuity? Complete the purchase online or use the Plan 3 TAP Annuity Purchase form.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. Your TAP annuity will receive an automatic COLA of 3% annually. This COLA is applied on the anniversary of the annuity.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your annuity purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary.

 

What if I return to work? Your annuity continues.

 

Can I buy more than one TAP Annuity? No. You can buy only one TAP Annuity.

 

How can I find out more? See the Plan 3 TAP Annuity Purchase form or contact the Plan 3 record keeper.

How long does it take? 45 to 90 days

The timeline includes DRS receiving your request and a separation date from your employer. Your employer usually sends your separation date to DRS after you receive your final paycheck—that could take up to 45 days depending on your employer’s reporting process. 

 

Why does it take this long? The price for the WSIB TAP fund is calculated each month, after the end of the month. When you request to move money from this fund (purchase an annuity), it can take two or more months to know the value and have the final reporting from your employer. The exact timing will depend on when each transaction event occurs.

 

TAP Purchase Timeline

Month 1 Customer requests the annuity purchase from customer’s TAP balance. (Flat amount or % of balance.)

Month 2 TAP fund value is declared as of the prior month-end based on fund performance.  Customer’s funds are used to purchase the annuity after fund value is declared.

Month 3 First annuity payment is issued to the customer. Customer will receive payments around the 10th of each month. Customer also receives annuity contract and has 15 days to cancel the annuity purchase.

 

Example

January Customer retires and submits annuity purchase paperwork. DRS receives a separation date from the employer.*

February The TAP fund price for January is determined, and customer’s funds are used to purchase the annuity.

March The customer receives their first annuity payment. Customer also receives annuity contract and has 15 days to cancel the annuity purchase.

 

*If the DRS record keeper has not received completed paperwork from the customer or the employer has not sent the separation date by the third to last business day of the month, it could add an additional month to the purchase timeline—this is why the estimate is 45-90 days to receive the first annuity payment.  

 

How do I purchase the TAP Annuity?

  • If you don’t already have your Plan 3 funds in the WSIB TAP investment program, you will need to move them there. You can do this either before or when you request the annuity, but you must contact the record keeper to initiate this transfer.
  • Submit your annuity purchase online through your Plan 3 investment account. Your purchase timeline will also be dependent on when DRS receives your separation date from your employer.

 

What is the fastest way to purchase the TAP Annuity?

There are a few actions you can take to ensure your annuity purchase goes smoothly.

Transfer your funds into the WSIB TAP investment program prior to making your TAP Annuity purchase. Contact the record keeper to initiate this transfer. You don’t have to wait until you stop working.

Complete your TAP Annuity purchase request online through your Plan 3 account. Ensure that the DRS record keeper has all necessary paperwork before the third to last business day of the month.

Check in with your payroll office to know when they will be sending your separation date to DRS. If  DRS receives this information after the third to last business day of the month,  it will delay the purchase cycle another month.

 

What Else Should I Know?

You don’t need to be separated to move money into the TAP investment program, only to purchase the TAP annuity.

You can purchase the TAP annuity anytime you qualify to receive a distribution – between employment opportunities, at retirement or any time after retirement.

You can only purchase the TAP annuity one time per retirement system membership (one each for PERS, SERS or TRS accounts).

The 3% Cost-of-Living increase (COLA) will be added to your payment each year on the anniversary of your annuity purchase.

Teachers TRS annuities

Teachers Plan annuity

This annuity is available to all Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) members. Unlike purchasing service credit or the Plan 3 TAP annuity, the Teachers’ annuity can be purchased using any funds other than member Plan 3 contributions. With this annuity, your survivor will be the same as the one you selected for your pension payment. If you return to work, this annuity continues. See annuity video.

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Annuity.” Here you can find the monthly increase to your pension for any purchase amount.

 

Are there limits to the annuity amount I can purchase? No. There are no minimum or maximum limits.

 

What funds can I use to purchase the annuity? You can use any funds except for your Plan 3 contributions. If one of your funding sources will be cash or check, the IRS limits the total amount you can pay with this option. The total cash or check must be no more than 100% of your salary in the year of annuity purchase or $58,000 in 2021 (whichever is less).

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? Your retirement date or the day after your bill for the annuity is paid in full, whichever comes later.

 

How often do I receive my annuity benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor will be the same option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually. If you’re a Plan 1 member, a COLA is optional at retirement and your choice will also apply to this annuity purchase.

 

How do I purchase this annuity? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? In most cases, no. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase.

There are two exceptions:

If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

Once you make the purchase, you’ll have 15 days to cancel the transaction. You’ll receive a mailed letter that includes your rescission, or cancel by date.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your annuity purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary. This refund option does not apply to the TRS Plan 1 Maximum Option.

 

What if I return to work? Your annuity continues.

Purchase service credit

Purchasing additional service credit increases your monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life. You can purchase between one and 60 months of service credit in whole months. The increase to your benefit is calculated using the same formula as your retirement benefit. This additional service credit is available at the time of your retirement only. Also, you cannot use the additional credit to qualify for retirement (it won’t increase your years of service).

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the amount of service credit I can purchase? Minimum: One month; Maximum: 60 months.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Service.” Here you can find the estimated cost and income increase per month you purchase.

 

What funds can I use to purchase service credit? You can use any funds except for Plan 3 contributions.

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? After you have made payment in full.

 

How often do I receive the benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor will be the same option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually. If you’re a TRS Plan 1 or PERS Plan 1 member, a COLA is an optional choice at retirement.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? No. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase. If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

 

How do I purchase service credit? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? Yes. If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary. For TRS Plan 1, this refund does not apply if you selected the Maximum Option.

 

What if I return to work? The return to work rules for service credit are the same as your retirement benefit. If you return to work for a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will stop if you return to retirement system membership or if you exceed allowable hours as a retiree (867 per year). If you do not return to a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will continue.

 

When will my benefit increase be effective? The increase in your benefit will be effective the day after the department receives your full payment.

TRS Plan 3 TAP – Total Allocation Portfolio

Plan 3 members can use their plan contributions to purchase the Total Allocation Portfolio (TAP) Annuity. With the TAP Annuity, you are not limited to the survivor options you chose for your pension retirement. You can choose another survivor. You can also purchase the TAP Annuity any time after you separate from DRS-covered employment.

When can I purchase? When DRS receives your separation date, or any time after.

 

Are there limits to the annuity amount I can purchase? Minimum: $25,000; Maximum: Your total Plan 3 investment account balance.

 

How much does it cost? Use the TAP Annuity Estimator calculator or contact the Plan 3 record keeper.

 

What funds can I use to purchase the annuity? Use contributions from your WSIB investment account. If you have funds in Self-Directed investments, you can transfer them to the WSIB program when making the purchase. The Plan 3 record keeper can help you with this. 

 

How often do I receive my annuity benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? In most cases, no. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase.

There are two exceptions:

If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

Once you make the purchase, you’ll have 15 days to cancel the transaction. You’ll receive a mailed letter that includes your rescission, or cancel by date.

 

How do I purchase an annuity? Complete the purchase online or use the Plan 3 TAP Annuity Purchase form.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. Your TAP annuity will receive an automatic COLA of 3% annually. This COLA is applied on the anniversary of the annuity.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your annuity purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary.

 

What if I return to work? Your annuity continues.

 

Can I buy more than one TAP Annuity? No. You can buy only one TAP Annuity.

 

How can I find out more? See the Plan 3 TAP Annuity Purchase form or contact the Plan 3 record keeper.

How long does it take? 45 to 90 days

The timeline includes DRS receiving your request and a separation date from your employer. Your employer usually sends your separation date to DRS after you receive your final paycheck—that could take up to 45 days depending on your employer’s reporting process. 

 

Why does it take this long? The price for the WSIB TAP fund is calculated each month, after the end of the month. When you request to move money from this fund (purchase an annuity), it can take two or more months to know the value and have the final reporting from your employer. The exact timing will depend on when each transaction event occurs.

 

TAP Purchase Timeline

Month 1 Customer requests the annuity purchase from customer’s TAP balance. (Flat amount or % of balance.)

Month 2 TAP fund value is declared as of the prior month-end based on fund performance.  Customer’s funds are used to purchase the annuity after fund value is declared.

Month 3 First annuity payment is issued to the customer. Customer will receive payments around the 10th of each month. Customer also receives annuity contract and has 15 days to cancel the annuity purchase.

 

Example

January Customer retires and submits annuity purchase paperwork. DRS receives a separation date from the employer.*

February The TAP fund price for January is determined, and customer’s funds are used to purchase the annuity.

March The customer receives their first annuity payment. Customer also receives annuity contract and has 15 days to cancel the annuity purchase.

 

*If the DRS record keeper has not received completed paperwork from the customer or the employer has not sent the separation date by the third to last business day of the month, it could add an additional month to the purchase timeline—this is why the estimate is 45-90 days to receive the first annuity payment.  

 

How do I purchase the TAP Annuity?

  • If you don’t already have your Plan 3 funds in the WSIB TAP investment program, you will need to move them there. You can do this either before or when you request the annuity, but you must contact the record keeper to initiate this transfer.
  • Submit your annuity purchase online through your Plan 3 investment account. Your purchase timeline will also be dependent on when DRS receives your separation date from your employer.

 

What is the fastest way to purchase the TAP Annuity?

There are a few actions you can take to ensure your annuity purchase goes smoothly.

Transfer your funds into the WSIB TAP investment program prior to making your TAP Annuity purchase. Contact the record keeper to initiate this transfer. You don’t have to wait until you stop working.

Complete your TAP Annuity purchase request online through your Plan 3 account. Ensure that the DRS record keeper has all necessary paperwork before the third to last business day of the month.

Check in with your payroll office to know when they will be sending your separation date to DRS. If  DRS receives this information after the third to last business day of the month,  it will delay the purchase cycle another month.

 

What Else Should I Know?

You don’t need to be separated to move money into the TAP investment program, only to purchase the TAP annuity.

You can purchase the TAP annuity anytime you qualify to receive a distribution – between employment opportunities, at retirement or any time after retirement.

You can only purchase the TAP annuity one time per retirement system membership (one each for PERS, SERS or TRS accounts).

The 3% Cost-of-Living increase (COLA) will be added to your payment each year on the anniversary of your annuity purchase.

School employees SERS annuities

SERS Plan annuity

This annuity is available to all PERS, SERS and PSERS retirement plan members. With this annuity, your survivor will be the same as the one you selected for your pension payment. You can use your DCP savings to purchase this annuity in addition to other approved funding sources. If you return to work, this annuity continues. See annuity video.

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the annuity amount I can purchase? Yes, the minimum purchase amount is $5,000. There are no maximum limits.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Annuity.” Here you can find the monthly increase to your pension for any purchase amount.

 

What funds can I use to purchase an annuity? Your payment must come from an eligible governmental plan, like your DCP savings. Members cannot use PERS/SERS/TRS Plan 3 contributions to pay for this annuity.

When does my annuity benefit begin? Your retirement date or the day after your bill for the annuity is paid in full, whichever comes later.

 

How often do I receive my annuity benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor must be the same survivor and survivor option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually. If you’re a Plan 1 member, a COLA is optional at retirement and your choice will also apply to this annuity purchase.

 

How do I purchase this annuity? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? In most cases, no. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase.

There are two exceptions:

If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

Once you make the purchase, you’ll have 15 days to cancel the transaction. You’ll receive a mailed contract that includes your rescission, or cancel by date.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded if I die? If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your annuity purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary.

 

What if I return to work? Your annuity continues.

Purchase service credit

Purchasing additional service credit increases your monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life. You can purchase between one and 60 months of service credit in whole months. The increase to your benefit is calculated using the same formula as your retirement benefit. This additional service credit is available at the time of your retirement only. Also, you cannot use the additional credit to qualify for retirement (it won’t increase your years of service).

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the amount of service credit I can purchase? Minimum: One month; Maximum: 60 months.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Service.” Here you can find the estimated cost and income increase per month you purchase.

 

What funds can I use to purchase service credit? You can use any funds except for Plan 3 contributions.

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? After you have made payment in full.

 

How often do I receive the benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor will be the same option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually. If you’re a TRS Plan 1 or PERS Plan 1 member, a COLA is an optional choice at retirement.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? No. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase. If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

 

How do I purchase service credit? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? Yes. If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary. For TRS Plan 1, this refund does not apply if you selected the Maximum Option.

 

What if I return to work? The return to work rules for service credit are the same as your retirement benefit. If you return to work for a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will stop if you return to retirement system membership or if you exceed allowable hours as a retiree (867 per year). If you do not return to a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will continue.

 

When will my benefit increase be effective? The increase in your benefit will be effective the day after the department receives your full payment.

SERS Plan 3 TAP – Total Allocation Portfolio

Plan 3 members can use their plan contributions to purchase the Total Allocation Portfolio (TAP) Annuity. With the TAP Annuity, you are not limited to the survivor options you chose for your pension retirement. You can choose another survivor. You can also purchase the TAP Annuity any time after you separate from DRS-covered employment.

When can I purchase? When DRS receives your separation date, or any time after.

 

Are there limits to the annuity amount I can purchase? Minimum: $25,000; Maximum: Your total Plan 3 investment account balance.

 

How much does it cost? Use the TAP Annuity Estimator calculator or contact the Plan 3 record keeper.

 

What funds can I use to purchase the annuity? Use contributions from your WSIB investment account. If you have funds in Self-Directed investments, you can transfer them to the WSIB program when making the purchase. The Plan 3 record keeper can help you with this. 

 

How often do I receive my annuity benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? In most cases, no. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase.

There are two exceptions:

If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

Once you make the purchase, you’ll have 15 days to cancel the transaction. You’ll receive a mailed letter that includes your rescission, or cancel by date.

 

How do I purchase an annuity? Complete the purchase online or use the Plan 3 TAP Annuity Purchase form.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. Your TAP annuity will receive an automatic COLA of 3% annually. This COLA is applied on the anniversary of the annuity.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your annuity purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary.

 

What if I return to work? Your annuity continues.

 

Can I buy more than one TAP Annuity? No. You can buy only one TAP Annuity.

 

How can I find out more? See the Plan 3 TAP Annuity Purchase form or contact the Plan 3 record keeper.

How long does it take? 45 to 90 days

The timeline includes DRS receiving your request and a separation date from your employer. Your employer usually sends your separation date to DRS after you receive your final paycheck—that could take up to 45 days depending on your employer’s reporting process. 

 

Why does it take this long? The price for the WSIB TAP fund is calculated each month, after the end of the month. When you request to move money from this fund (purchase an annuity), it can take two or more months to know the value and have the final reporting from your employer. The exact timing will depend on when each transaction event occurs.

 

TAP Purchase Timeline

Month 1 Customer requests the annuity purchase from customer’s TAP balance. (Flat amount or % of balance.)

Month 2 TAP fund value is declared as of the prior month-end based on fund performance.  Customer’s funds are used to purchase the annuity after fund value is declared.

Month 3 First annuity payment is issued to the customer. Customer will receive payments around the 10th of each month. Customer also receives annuity contract and has 15 days to cancel the annuity purchase.

 

Example

January Customer retires and submits annuity purchase paperwork. DRS receives a separation date from the employer.*

February The TAP fund price for January is determined, and customer’s funds are used to purchase the annuity.

March The customer receives their first annuity payment. Customer also receives annuity contract and has 15 days to cancel the annuity purchase.

 

*If the DRS record keeper has not received completed paperwork from the customer or the employer has not sent the separation date by the third to last business day of the month, it could add an additional month to the purchase timeline—this is why the estimate is 45-90 days to receive the first annuity payment.  

 

How do I purchase the TAP Annuity?

  • If you don’t already have your Plan 3 funds in the WSIB TAP investment program, you will need to move them there. You can do this either before or when you request the annuity, but you must contact the record keeper to initiate this transfer.
  • Submit your annuity purchase online through your Plan 3 investment account. Your purchase timeline will also be dependent on when DRS receives your separation date from your employer.

 

What is the fastest way to purchase the TAP Annuity?

There are a few actions you can take to ensure your annuity purchase goes smoothly.

Transfer your funds into the WSIB TAP investment program prior to making your TAP Annuity purchase. Contact the record keeper to initiate this transfer. You don’t have to wait until you stop working.

Complete your TAP Annuity purchase request online through your Plan 3 account. Ensure that the DRS record keeper has all necessary paperwork before the third to last business day of the month.

Check in with your payroll office to know when they will be sending your separation date to DRS. If  DRS receives this information after the third to last business day of the month,  it will delay the purchase cycle another month.

 

What Else Should I Know?

You don’t need to be separated to move money into the TAP investment program, only to purchase the TAP annuity.

You can purchase the TAP annuity anytime you qualify to receive a distribution – between employment opportunities, at retirement or any time after retirement.

You can only purchase the TAP annuity one time per retirement system membership (one each for PERS, SERS or TRS accounts).

The 3% Cost-of-Living increase (COLA) will be added to your payment each year on the anniversary of your annuity purchase.

Law enforcement and Fire Fighter LEOFF annuities

LEOFF Plan annuity

This annuity is available to all Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ (LEOFF) customers. With this annuity, your survivor will be the same as the one you selected for your pension payment. You can use your DCP savings to purchase this annuity in addition to other approved funding sources. If you return to work, this annuity continues. See annuity video.

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the annuity amount I can purchase? Minimum: $25,000; There is no maximum.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Annuity.” Here you can find the monthly increase to your pension for any purchase amount.

 

What type of funds can I use to purchase an annuity? Your payment must come from an eligible governmental plan, like your DCP savings. Members cannot use PERS/SERS/TRS Plan 3 contributions to pay for this annuity.

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? Your retirement date or the day after your bill for the annuity is paid in full, whichever comes later.

 

How often do I receive my annuity benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor must be the same survivor and survivor option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually.

 

How do I purchase this annuity? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? In most cases, no. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase.

There are two exceptions:

If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

Once you make the purchase, you’ll have 15 days to cancel the transaction. You’ll receive a mailed letter that includes your rescission, or cancel by date.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your annuity purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary.

 

What if I return to work? Your annuity continues.

Purchase service credit

Purchasing additional service credit increases your monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life. You can purchase between one and 60 months of service credit in whole months. The increase to your benefit is calculated using the same formula as your retirement benefit. This additional service credit is available at the time of your retirement only. Also, you cannot use the additional credit to qualify for retirement (it won’t increase your years of service).

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the amount of service credit I can purchase? Minimum: One month; Maximum: 60 months.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Service.” Here you can find the estimated cost and income increase per month you purchase.

 

What funds can I use to purchase service credit? You can use any funds except for Plan 3 contributions.

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? After you have made payment in full.

 

How often do I receive the benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor will be the same option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually. If you’re a TRS Plan 1 or PERS Plan 1 member, a COLA is an optional choice at retirement.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? No. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase. If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

 

How do I purchase service credit? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? Yes. If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary. For TRS Plan 1, this refund does not apply if you selected the Maximum Option.

 

What if I return to work? The return to work rules for service credit are the same as your retirement benefit. If you return to work for a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will stop if you return to retirement system membership or if you exceed allowable hours as a retiree (867 per year). If you do not return to a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will continue.

 

When will my benefit increase be effective? The increase in your benefit will be effective the day after the department receives your full payment.

Public Safety PSERS annuities

PSERS Plan annuity

This annuity is available to all PERS, SERS and PSERS retirement plan members. With this annuity, your survivor will be the same as the one you selected for your pension payment. You can use your DCP savings to purchase this annuity in addition to other approved funding sources. If you return to work, this annuity continues. See annuity video.

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the annuity amount I can purchase? Yes, the minimum purchase amount is $5,000. There are no maximum limits.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Annuity.” Here you can find the monthly increase to your pension for any purchase amount.

 

What funds can I use to purchase an annuity? Your payment must come from an eligible governmental plan, like your DCP savings. Members cannot use PERS/SERS/TRS Plan 3 contributions to pay for this annuity.

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? Your retirement date or the day after your bill for the annuity is paid in full, whichever comes later.

 

How often do I receive my annuity benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor must be the same survivor and survivor option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually. If you’re a Plan 1 member, a COLA is optional at retirement and your choice will also apply to this annuity purchase.

 

How do I purchase this annuity? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? In most cases, no. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase.

There are two exceptions:

If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

Once you make the purchase, you’ll have 15 days to cancel the transaction. You’ll receive a mailed contract that includes your rescission, or cancel by date.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded if I die? If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your annuity purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary.

 

What if I return to work? Your annuity continues.

Purchase service credit

Purchasing additional service credit increases your monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life. You can purchase between one and 60 months of service credit in whole months. The increase to your benefit is calculated using the same formula as your retirement benefit. This additional service credit is available at the time of your retirement only. Also, you cannot use the additional credit to qualify for retirement (it won’t increase your years of service).

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the amount of service credit I can purchase? Minimum: One month; Maximum: 60 months.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Service.” Here you can find the estimated cost and income increase per month you purchase.

 

What funds can I use to purchase service credit? You can use any funds except for Plan 3 contributions.

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? After you have made payment in full.

 

How often do I receive the benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor will be the same option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually. If you’re a TRS Plan 1 or PERS Plan 1 member, a COLA is an optional choice at retirement.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? No. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase. If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

 

How do I purchase service credit? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? Yes. If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary. For TRS Plan 1, this refund does not apply if you selected the Maximum Option.

 

What if I return to work? The return to work rules for service credit are the same as your retirement benefit. If you return to work for a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will stop if you return to retirement system membership or if you exceed allowable hours as a retiree (867 per year). If you do not return to a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will continue.

 

When will my benefit increase be effective? The increase in your benefit will be effective the day after the department receives your full payment.

Washington State Patrol WSPRS annuities

WSPRS Plan annuity

This annuity is available to all Washington State Patrol (WSPRS) customers. With this annuity, your survivor will be the same as the one you selected for your pension payment. You can use your DCP savings to purchase this annuity in addition to other approved funding sources. If you return to work, this annuity continues. See annuity video.

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the annuity amount I can purchase? Minimum: $25,000; There is no maximum.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Annuity.” Here you can find the monthly increase to your pension for any purchase amount.

 

What type of funds can I use to purchase an annuity? Your payment must come from an eligible governmental plan, like your DCP savings. Members cannot use PERS/SERS/TRS Plan 3 contributions to pay for this annuity.

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? Your retirement date or the day after your bill for the annuity is paid in full, whichever comes later.

 

How often do I receive my annuity benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor must be the same survivor and survivor option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually.

 

How do I purchase this annuity? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? In most cases, no. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase.

There are two exceptions:

If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

Once you make the purchase, you’ll have 15 days to cancel the transaction. You’ll receive a mailed letter that includes your rescission, or cancel by date.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your annuity purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary.

 

What if I return to work? Your annuity continues.

Purchase service credit

Purchasing additional service credit increases your monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life. You can purchase between one and 60 months of service credit in whole months. The increase to your benefit is calculated using the same formula as your retirement benefit. This additional service credit is available at the time of your retirement only. Also, you cannot use the additional credit to qualify for retirement (it won’t increase your years of service).

When can I purchase? When you are retiring.

 

Are there limits to the amount of service credit I can purchase? Minimum: One month; Maximum: 60 months.

 

How much does it cost? Log in to your account and choose “Purchasing Service.” Here you can find the estimated cost and income increase per month you purchase.

 

What funds can I use to purchase service credit? You can use any funds except for Plan 3 contributions.

 

When does my annuity benefit begin? After you have made payment in full.

 

How often do I receive the benefit? Monthly.

 

Can I designate a survivor? Yes. Your survivor will be the same option you chose for your retirement benefit.

 

Will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)? Yes. You will receive a COLA up to 3% annually. If you’re a TRS Plan 1 or PERS Plan 1 member, a COLA is an optional choice at retirement.

 

Can I cancel the annuity if I change my mind? No. Annuities are fixed income sources. Once you purchase the annuity, you will not have access to the funds you used to make the purchase. If you have not completed the annuity purchase, you can still change or cancel the annuity.

 

How do I purchase service credit? Request this annuity when you retire online. You can also purchase it when completing a paper retirement application.

 

Will my annuity purchase be refunded when I die? Yes. If you (and your survivor if you selected a survivor option) die before the amount of your purchase has been paid back to you, the difference will be refunded to your beneficiary. For TRS Plan 1, this refund does not apply if you selected the Maximum Option.

 

What if I return to work? The return to work rules for service credit are the same as your retirement benefit. If you return to work for a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will stop if you return to retirement system membership or if you exceed allowable hours as a retiree (867 per year). If you do not return to a DRS-covered employer, your annuity will continue.

 

When will my benefit increase be effective? The increase in your benefit will be effective the day after the department receives your full payment.

Updating Your Address and/or Name

Retirees, inactive members, beneficiaries and legal-order payees: You can update your address from your online retirement account. Just select “Address” from the welcome screen. If you need to update your name, fill out and send in a printed form as well as a copy of documentation showing the change.

Active members: Update your name and/or address through your employer. That new information will soon appear in your online retirement account.

Direct Deposit

Set up and manage direct deposit of your benefit payments from your online retirement account. Just follow the “Direct Deposit” directions under “My Account” in the navigation menu.

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

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.)