Multiple Plans

If you are a member of more than one Washington state retirement system, you are a dual member. You can combine service credit earned in all dual member systems to become eligible for retirement.

Washington state retirement systems:
  • Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS)
  • Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS)
  • School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS)
  • Public Safety Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS)
  • Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System (LEOFF), Plan 2 only
  • Washington State Patrol Retirement System (WSPRS)
  • First-class city retirement systems for Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma

For members of more than one plan who are getting ready to retire: You cannot apply for retirement though your online account. You must contact DRS to request an official benefit estimate and retirement application.

When can I retire?

To see if you are eligible to retire, add up the service credit you earned in each of your member systems. If that combined service makes you eligible to retire from one of your plans, you can choose to retire from all of them.

Your total benefit cannot exceed the amount you would have received if all your service had been in a single system.

Early retirement rules still apply to dual members.

Deferral

If you would like to defer one retirement benefit while still receiving another, you will need to contact DRS to complete a deferral form.

Retirement eligibility

Select the system you are currently in to see the requirements.

PERS and TRS Plan 1

Normal retirement is:

  • Any age with at least 30 service credit years, or
  • Age 55 with at least 25 service credit years, or
  • Age 60 with at least 5 service credit years

PERS, SERS and TRS plan 2

Normal retirement is:

  • Age 65 with at least 5 service credit years

Early retirement is age 55 with at least 20 service credit years.

If you have 30 or more years of service and you are age 62, you can also retire with a full benefit.

PERS, SERS and TRS Plan 3

Normal retirement is:

  • Age 65 with at least 10 service credit years, or
  • Age 65 with 5 service credit years, including 12 service credit months earned after age 44, or
  • Age 65 with at least 5 service credit years that were earned under Plan 2 before: July 1, 19996 (for TRS), Sept. 1, 2000 (for SERS) or June 1, 2003 (for PERS)

Early retirement is age 55 with at least 10 service credit years.

If you have 30 or more years of service and you are age 62, you can also retire with a full benefit.

LEOFF Plan 2

Normal retirement is:

  • Age 53 with at least 5 service credit years

Early retirement is age 50 with at least 20 service credit years.

WSPRS Plan 1 and 2

Retiring from active status:

  • Any age with at least 25 service credit years, or
  • Age 55 with any service credit

Retiring from inactive status:

  • Age 60 with at least 5 service credit years, or
  • Age 55 with at least 5 service credit years

PSERS Plan 2

Normal retirement is:

  • Age 65 with at least 5 service credit years, or
  • Age 60 with at least 10 years of PSERS service credit

Early retirement is age 53 with at least 20 service credit years.

City plans

The Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane city retirement systems are not administered by DRS. If you need information, contact the appropriate system directly.

How is my benefit calculated?

If you are in multiple plans, you will receive a separate monthly benefit from each of your systems. Each system calculates the payment amount in its own way. But they are all composed of three factors:

  • Service credit years (SCY)
  • Multiplier (usually 1% or 2%)
  • Highest average monthly earnings (Average Final Compensation, AFC)

PERS

Plan 1 and 2

2% x SCY x AFC* = monthly benefit

Plan 3

1% x SCY x AFC* = monthly benefit

*Plan 1: The average of your 24 consecutive highest paid service credit months. Your benefit can be no higher than 60% of your AFC. Plan 2 and 3: The monthly average of your 60 consecutive highest paid service credit months.

TRS

Plan 1 and 2

2% x SCY x AFC* = monthly benefit

Plan 3

1% x SCY x AFC* = monthly benefit

*Plan 1: The average of your 2 consecutive highest paid fiscal years (June-July). Your benefit can be no higher than 60% of your AFC. Plan 2 and 3: The monthly average of your 60 consecutive highest paid service credit months.

SERS

Plan 2

2% x SCY x AFC* = monthly benefit

Plan 3

1% x SCY x AFC* = monthly benefit

*The monthly average of your 60 consecutive highest paid service credit months.

PSERS

Plan 2

2% x SCY x AFC* = monthly benefit

*The monthly average of your 60 consecutive highest paid service credit months.

LEOFF

Plan 2

2% x SCY x FAS* = monthly benefit

*FAS: Final Average Salary. The monthly average of your 60 consecutive highest paid service credit months.

WSPRS

Plan 1 and 2

2% x SCY x AFS* = monthly benefit

*AFS: Average Final Salary Plan 1: The monthly average of your 24 consecutive highest paid service credit months. Your benefit can be no higher than 75% of your AFS. Plan 2: The monthly average of your 60 consecutive highest paid service credit months.

In most cases, your monthly benefit will be based on the highest base salary you earned, regardless of which system you earned it in.

Advantages of being in more than one plan

  • You can add up service credit earned in all dual member systems to become eligible to retire.
  • You might be able to restore service credit you withdrew.
  • You might be able to retire retroactively from one or more of the member systems.
  • You can use your highest base salary to calculate your monthly benefit.

If you ever worked in a SERS-eligible position and a PERS-eligible position at the same time, different rules apply. Contact DRS for more information.

Options for retirement date

When you decide to stop working for your most recent employer in your active retirement system and start your benefit, you need to decide on a retirement date for your prior member system. Here are your choices for the prior system:

  • Start your benefit on the same date as your active system.
  • Defer taking other system(s) benefit to later date, up to full retirement age.
  • If eligible, retroactively retire in other system(s). “Retroactive retirement” means that when you retire from your active plan you might be able to retire from your prior plan to a retroactive date. Doing so would result in a lump sum payment retroactive to the
    retirement date in addition to your monthly benefit.

Restoring service credit

If you have withdrawn service credit on your record, you can repay any contributions you took out of a previous member system. Doing so will restore your service credit. You have 24 months from the time you became a member of more than one system to pay back the funds plus interest.

Login to your online account to check your service credit totals.

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