Chapter 1: Overview


DRS provides services to more than 300,000 current and former Washington state employees. We depend on our strong partnership with employers to effectively provide services to retirement system members. We value the important contributions employers make, which are vital to our work in two ways:

  • Entering timely and accurate transmittal information ensures DRS can maintain current and reliable member information.
  • Submitting prompt and correct payments enables DRS meets its financial obligations to its members.
  • This guide serves as your reference to correctly managing those functions. If you need additional information, please contact DRS for assistance. You can also email Employer Support Services or call us at 360-664-7200, option 2, or 800-547-6657, option 6 and then 2.

How to find what you need

  • Find your general topic by chapter – or –
  • Use the search box at the top to search for specific information in the handbook and DRS website

Who reports retirement information to the Department of Retirement Systems?

  • State agencies
  • School districts
  • Tribal compact schools
  • Charter schools
  • Educational service districts
  • Community and technical colleges
  • Universities
  • Cities and towns
  • Counties
  • Fire protection districts
  • Public health agencies
  • Emergency service districts
  • Housing authorities
  • Irrigation and water districts
  • Washington Public Power Supply System
  • Mosquito districts
  • Weed control districts
  • Libraries and library districts
  • Port authorities
  • Commodity commissions
  • Public utility districts
  • Sewer districts
  • Transit authorities
  • Other local government entities

What retirement plans does DRS administer?

The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) contains these retirement systems, plans and applicable laws:

Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS)

Public Safety Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS)

School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS)

Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS)

Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System (LEOFF)

Washington State Patrol Retirement System (WSPRS)

Judges’ Retirement Fund (JRF)

Judicial Retirement System (JRS)

Deferred Compensation Program (DCP)

Judges Retirement Account (JRA)

Additional resources about public pensions in Washington state:


Governance and Administration

Pension Benefits by County

Annual Financial Reports

GASB Standards 

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