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DRS Rules Center

About the Rules Center

The Rules Center is the central source of information for all Department of Retirement System (DRS) rules. Rules are also known as Washington Administrative Code (WAC). State agencies adopt rules to implement state and federal law. The legal requirements for rule-making are found in the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 34.05 RCW.

Find more information about rule-making or WACs by visiting the Office of the Code Reviser, the Washington State Register and the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee websites.

DRS Rule Preproposals

All agencies file their preproposals with the Code Reviser’s Office for publication in the Washington State Register (WSR). The WSR numbers shown on the right side of the table are assigned by the Code Reviser’s Office. Select a WSR number to go directly to the preproposal notice.

TopicWSR Number
Deferred compensation program (DCP) and Plan 3 distribution options:To ensure customers understand their distribution options from their defined contribution (Plan 3) or DCP accounts, with the addition of new options permitted by the federal SECURE and CARES Acts, and the removal of direct purchases of commercial annuities.
Non-spouse survivor benefit option:To comply with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations governing nonspousal survivor benefits from a retirement plan.21-04-142
Distributions following the member’s death with no survivor beneficiary: This rule-making action will clarify how any remaining contributions and prorated monthly benefit will be distributed following a member’s death, if there is no ongoing survivor benefit.21-01-182
Plan choice irrevocability:This rule-making action will clarify when a member’s choice for Plan 2 or Plan 3 becomes irrevocable.20-24-127
Retiree employment in an ineligible position: Eligibility for retirement requires a thirty day separation from covered employment. This amendment will clarify whether the thirty day separation requirement is met if the member has been employed in a position that is ineligible for membership in a retirement plan.20-24-128
LEOFF Plan 2 catastrophic benefit adjustments: This amendment will clarify that adjustments to offset workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits will be prospective.20-24-129
Deferred compensation program (DCP) distributions: To clarify distribution rules for DCP customers who return to covered employment.20-23-119
Defined Benefit Annuity Purchase – To clarify the sources of funds that may be used to purchase a defined benefit annuity.20-21-109
Public records fees – To clarify the fees that will be assessed for documents and electronic files provided in response to a request made in accordance with the Public Records Act, including procedures for payment, and when the fees may be waived.19-06-086
Eligibility for membership in the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ (LEOFF) Retirement System: To clarify how the department interprets the statutes to determine LEOFF eligibility. Other revisions may be included if opportunities for further clarification are identified during this review.17-20-073 Withdrawn: 20-21-050
Petitions for review of the department’s administrative decisions – The Department of Retirement Systems is evaluating the petitions process, and might identify alternative methods for seeking resolution to some administrative decisions.17-11-021
Property division in dissolution orders – To correct WAC and RCW citations and clarify language as required.05-12-034

Proposed Rule Hearings

Proposed RuleWashington State Register Citations/Hearing Information

Expedited Rule-Making

DRS Notices of Expedited Rule-Making (CR-105)

Expedited rule-making is a shortened rule making process only used in select circumstances. RCW 34.05.353 outlines the types of changes that an agency can make to a rule without filing a CR-101 or CR-102, or having a public hearing. For example, an agency can correct a typographical error or update an address through expedited rule-making.

All agencies file their notices of expedited rule-making with the Washington State Register (WSR). If after reviewing the notice you object to the agency using expedited rule-making for the proposed changes, please contact the Department’s Rules Coordinator. You have 45 days from the notice’s publication in the WSR to object. Contact DRS to participate in rule-making.

TopicWSR Number
There are no expedited filings at this time

Recently Adopted Rules

Rules AdoptedWashington State Register Citations
Distributions following the member’s death with no survivor beneficiary: This rule-making action clarifies how any remaining contributions and prorated monthly benefit will be distributed following a member's death, if there is no ongoing survivor benefit.

Preproposal: 21-01-182
Proposal: 21-07-143

Concise Explanatory Statement

Adoption: 21-10-036

Effective: May 29, 2021

Deferred compensation program (DCP) distributions: To clarify distribution rules for DCP customers who return to covered employment.

Prepropoal:  20-23-119

Proposal:  21-04-141

Concise Explanatory Statement

Adoption:  21-07-044

Effective:  April 11, 2021

LEOFF Plan 2 catastrophic duty disability – To describe the process for periodic reviews to assess continued eligibility for catastrophic duty disability benefits.

Preproposal:  20-16-099

Proposal:  20-23-117

Concise Explanatory Statement

Adoption:  WSR 21-01-209

Effective:  January 23, 2021
Deferred Compensation Program (DCP) rollovers – To clarify eligibility to rollover funds from another source into a DCP account.

Preproposal:  20-16-098

Proposal:  20-21-048

Concise Explanatory Statement

Adoption:  WSR 20-24-108

Effective:  January 1, 2021


LEOFF Plan 2 Reportable Compensation – To clarify whether certain payments to LEOFF Plan 2 members are considered basic salary for the purpose of calculating retirement benefits, in accordance with RCW 41.26.030 (4)(b).

Preproposal:  20-13-087

Proposal:  20-21-049

Concise Explanatory Statement

Adoption:  WSR 20-24-109

Effective:  January 1, 2021

Emergency Rulemaking Order: Furlough or temporary layoff for K-12 employers participating in the Shared Work Program – To comply with state and federal laws related to the Shared Work program and the Governor’s Directive 20-15 concerning schools that have shifted to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adoption: 20-22-058

Effective: October 30, 2020
DCP, JRA and Plan 3 distributions – To incorporate federal SECURE Act changes regarding required minimum distributions, and describe upcoming changes made possible by the transition to a different record keeper.Preproposal: WSR 20-07-123
Proposal: WSR 20-14-097
Concise Explanatory Statement
Adoption: WSR 20-17-006
Effective: September 5, 2020
Postretirement employment during a period of emergency – Waiving and suspending limits on post-retirement employment during a period of emergency proclaimed by the governor under RCW 43.06.010(12).Preproposal: WSR 20-09-045
Proposal: WSR 20-13-096
Concise Explanatory Statement
Adoption: WSR 20-16-006
Effective: August 22, 2020
WSPRS Definition of Salary – To implement Chapter 97, Laws of 2020 (SB 6218), modifying the definition of salary for Washington State Patrol Retirement System Plan 1 members who entered the system on or after July 1, 2001, to include lump sum payments for holiday pay and unused vacation leave for the purpose of calculating pension benefits.

Preproposal: 20-08-131
Proposal: 20-11-080
Concise Explanatory Statement

Adoption: 20-14-040

Effective: July 26, 2020

Calculation of the retirement benefit for members with service in more than one retirement planRCW 41.54.030(2) allows members with service in more than one plan to use the base salary earned in one plan as the compensation for calculating the retirement benefit from another plan. This rule making will clarify the process for calculating the benefit and ensure consistency between the plans.Preproposal: 19-19-088
Proposal: 20-11-083
Concise Explanatory Statement
Adoption: 20-14-039
Effective: July 26, 2020
Emergency Rulemaking Order: Furlough or temporary layoff and the Shared Work Program – To comply with state and federal laws related to the Shared Work program and state agencies’ ability to qualify for participation in this federal program.

Adoption:  20-14-028
Effective:  June 23, 2020
Expired: October 20, 2020

PERS, SERS and TRS default retirement plan – To implement Chapter 313, Laws of 2019 (SB 5360), changing the default retirement plan for new members in Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), School Employees' Retirement System (SERS) and Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) who do not make a plan choice selection within ninety days of hire, and to clarify provisions for new members with a break in service during their plan choice period.

Preproposal: 20-07-083

Proposal: 20-10-097
Concise Explanatory Statement
Adoption: 20-13-064
Effective: July 16, 2020

Notarized signature alternatives – To permit alternatives to requirements for a notarized signature on retirement applications, forms and documents.

Preproposal: 20-07-114
Proposal: 20-10-098

Concise Explanatory Statement

Adoption: 20-13-065
Effective: July 16, 2020

Participating in Rules Development

Often DRS uses public meetings and ad hoc committees to help develop rules. To participate, contact the rules coordinator. Be sure to include your email and return postal address.

Rules Coordinator

Email drs.rules@drs.wa.gov or call 800-547-6657

More ways to contact us

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.)