DRS Retirement Outlook – Summer 2023

The Retirement Outlook newsletter provides valuable information about DRS programs, benefits and services for active and retired customers.

The return of in-person seminars

They’re back!

DRS in-person seminars have returned. On July 29, the Education & Outreach unit will hold their first in-person Nearing Retirement seminar in three years. The seminar will be held in Centralia. You can sign up here.

“We’re excited to return to live and in living color presentations,” says Education & Outreach’s Jim Mendoza. “People are beyond eager for direct, face-to-face interaction. Plus, there is a special energy that exists when providing in-person instruction.”

DRS will also hold an in-person Nearing Retirement seminar in Spokane on Saturday, Sept. 30. You can sign up for this seminar here.

If you’re nearing retirement, attending a retirement seminar is the best way to get all the information and know exactly what your next steps should be. The seminars run from 9 am to 1:30 pm and are available online or in-person. The half-day format allows you time to understand the retirement process.

In the seminar you’ll learn how to…

  • request an official estimate
  • restore or purchase service credit
  • increase your retirement income with annuity options

There will also be time to discuss Social Security and health care.

DRS will continue to offer webinars via Zoom as well as on-demand training videos for those who prefer to not attend a seminar in person. You can find more information on webinars/seminars on the DRS website.

DRS website’s top 3 customer searches

Here’s a snapshot of the top three topics customers searched for on the DRS website last quarter (January – March 2023). Take a quick peek and discover why you might want to find out what they were looking for and why.

  1. Cost of living (COLA)

Do you know what the current COLA percentage is for retirees and how to qualify, or that most plans and systems have an automatic COLA?

These informative videos about what a COLA is and when you become eligible will help you know what to expect when you begin planning for retirement.

  • Deferred Compensation Program (DCP)

People searched for information about DCP to understand what it is, how it works and to change their contribution amount. DCP is available to you if your employer participates.

Find out how you can increase your retirement savings the easy way. You can calculate how much you want to save with DCP, enroll in the program and get started with videos and introductory information on the DCP webpage.

  • Voya

Plan 3 and DCP customers use search to locate where their account information is or how to log on. That information is here along with how to contact Voya with questions. Direct investment customers (those without a DRS pension account) can log in here.

2023 legislative update

During the 2023 legislative session, six pension-related bills were passed. The new laws address:

  • Interruptive military service credit
  • Insurance coverage for separated (but not retired) members of plans covered by the Washington state Health Care Authority, including the Public Employees’, School Employees’ and Teachers’ Retirement System Plans 2
  • A one-time benefit increase for PERS Plan 1 and TRS Plan 1 retirees
  • Public Safety Employees Retirement System membership for telecommunicators
  • Repealing some postretirement employment restrictions
  • Actuarial funding of state retirement systems

More information on each of these laws can be found on the Legislative page of the DRS website.

2023 pension payment schedule

Jan 31
Feb 28Mar 31Apr 28
May 31Jun 30Jul 31Aug 31
Sep 29Oct 31Nov 30Dec 29

DRS issues pension payments on the last business day of each month. Please note: The date you receive your payment will depend on your financial institution.

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