Last Updated October 2017
If you have never been a member of a DRS-covered retirement plan or you are or were a Plan 2 or Plan 3 member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) or Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System (LEOFF) when the governor appointed you to office, you may choose whether to participate in PERS Plan 2 or Plan 3 while in your appointed position. You aren’t required to join membership.
You may apply for membership at any time while serving in your appointed position. If you enter membership after your appointment has begun, your membership will be retroactive to the first day of your appointed service. You will be required to pay employee contributions plus interest back to that date.
If your current governor-appointed position doesn’t have a set term of office, your “current term of office” includes all uninterrupted service beginning with the first day of your current appointment.
Your membership decision is final. Once you join retirement system membership, you must remain a member until you separate from all eligible public employment. If you serve an additional term of office with the same employer without a break in service, you will remain a retirement system member.
As a governor-appointed official, you aren’t eligible to purchase service credit for previous terms of governor-appointed service. However, you may purchase service credit for your previous terms in elected PERS-covered positions.
To purchase service credit, you must pay the required employee and employer contributions plus interest for your previous term or terms of elected service. To find out the cost, contact DRS. Your employer might choose to pay the required employer contributions and interest for you.
The amount of service credit you earn factors into your monthly benefit in retirement. As a PERS Plan 2 or Plan 3 governor-appointed official, you earn service credit as follows:
Once vested and meeting your plan’s age requirement, your service retirement benefit will be based on one of the following formulas:
In most cases, your AFC is the monthly average of your 60 consecutive highest-paid service credit months. To learn more, read the PERS Plan 2 Handbook or PERS Plan 3 Handbook, available on the DRS website.
Plan 2: You must contribute a percentage of your salary or wages to your retirement plan. The Pension Funding Council adopts contribution rates and periodically adjusts them to reflect the overall cost of the plan. The Legislature has the final decision on contribution rates. See the current rates.
Plan 3: The amount you contribute depends on the contribution rate option you choose. Plan 3 features six contribution rate options ranging between 5% and 15% that, once selected, may only be changed if you change employers.
If you are a retired PERS Plan 2 or Plan 3 member when the governor appoints you to office, you have two choices:
To begin, continue or reestablish membership, contact DRS. Provide the following information:
DRS will then send you a letter and application.
This content is a summary. It isn’t a complete description. State retirement laws govern your benefit. If a conflict exists between the information here and what is contained in current law, the law governs.