DRS Email 19-017, New PERS, SERS and PSERS Annuity Purchase Option

Notice No.: 19-017

Date: Oct. 24, 2019

Applies to: All Employers

Subject: DRS Email 19-017, New PERS, SERS and PSERS Annuity Purchase Option

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, retiring members of PERS, SERS and PSERS will join members of the state’s other pension systems in having the option to purchase an annuity via the Washington State Investment Board (WSIB). This notice is to advise you of the upcoming change and to encourage you to share information with your employees about the new annuity purchase option.

Under legislation approved earlier this year, retiring PERS, SERS and PSERS members will be able to supplement their regular pension benefit by purchasing a WSIB annuity. (The option has been available in TRS, LEOFF and WSPRS plans for the past several years).

The purchase option will be available on or after Jan. 1, 2020. If you have employees retiring on or after Jan. 1, they don’t need to wait to request an estimate for an annuity—they can do this now as part of requesting their official retirement estimate.

The WSIB annuity provides a way for retirement system members to supplement their regular pension benefit. The annuity option is growing in popularity because of the security it provides for retirees. Annuities offer a steady, guaranteed income stream that isn’t subject to market conditions.

Here is a bit more information about the new annuity option:

  • While there is no maximum amount, a minimum purchase of $5,000 is required.
  • The funds to purchase this annuity must come from an eligible governmental plan, such as the Deferred Compensation Program.
  • If the employee returns to work or membership, their annuity continues.
  • The survivor and the survivor option for this annuity will be the same as the one the employee selects for their pension retirement.

Additional information about this annuity and other annuities is available at www.drs.wa.gov/annuity.

If you have any questions regarding this DRS Notice, please contact Employer Support Services at 360-664-7200, option 2, or 800-547-6657, option 6, option 2, or email us.

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