DRS Email 15-015, Updates to the DRS Online Retirement Application

  • Notice No.: 15-015
  • Date: July 2, 2015
  • Applies to: All Employers
  • Subject: DRS Email 15-015, Updates to the DRS Online Retirement Application
The Department of Retirement Systems recently completed several updates to the popular Online Retirement Application (ORA), including enhancements to make it easier for customers to track the progress of their application, both during and after the submittal of their information. These enhancements and other improvements are displayed in this recent presentation to the DRS Advisory Committee.

One change of particular interest to employers is that members who retire online will no longer receive a paper confirmation letter. In the past, this letter was used by employees to provide proof of retirement when documentation is required by the employer. Now, members using ORA can provide proof of retirement by printing out their completed application or confirmation screen, or by forwarding the DRS confirmation email.

More than 50 percent of our customers are now applying for retirement online, and we consistently hear that members appreciate the application’s simplicity and ease of use. These recent updates to ORA are part of our continuing efforts to encourage online applications by making sure the tool meets customer expectations for a personalized, intuitive and convenient experience.

As you communicate with your employees who are nearing retirement, we’d appreciate your assistance in encouraging them to use the Online Retirement Application. Below is an example of language that could be used in future communication.

“If you plan on drawing your retirement benefit, you must submit a completed retirement application to the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS). You can complete your application online by logging in to your retirement account at www.drs.wa.gov.”

We appreciate all you do to help public employees through this important transition. If you have questions please reply to this notice or contact Employer Support Services at 360-664-7200 option 2, or 800-547-6657, option 6, option 2..