It’s never too early to begin preparing and we’re here to help. Be sure to take a look at our checklist of retirement planning steps that includes not only the “what,” but also the “when.”
You’re considered retired once you begin receiving a retirement benefit. This is usually the day following the last day you work. If you separate from employment, but wait to start drawing a benefit, you’ll be considered retired once you do begin receiving it.
Yes. But if you return to work as a full-time fire fighter or law enforcement officer, your retirement benefit will be suspended and you will immediately resume your membership in LEOFF. If you think you might be returning to work after retirement, call us to see if your benefit will be affected. For more information, read the Thinking About Working After Retirement? publication.
There are two catch-up options you can use to defer additional money to your DCP account. For details, call us at 1-888-327-5596 and select option 2.
You are guaranteed a retirement benefit for your lifetime and, if you have an eligible survivor, for the lifetime of your survivor.
Our goal is for you to receive your benefit payment by the end of the month.
you will receive your first benefit payment by the last banking day in the month you retire (a banking day is any day the bank is open).
Please note: We’re only able to send your check to one bank account. If you would like your payment deposited in two accounts, be sure to arrange with your bank for an automatic transfer of funds.
Deductions to your retirement benefit check can include:
The good news is some of the payroll deductions you currently see (Social Security, Medicare) will not be taken from your retirement benefit.
It depends on your age and your service credit.
You can begin drawing your retirement benefit at age 50 if you have at least five years of service credit.
You can use online account access to estimate your benefit or, if you are within one year of retirement, please call us at 360-664-7000 or 800-547-6657 to request a written estimate. Here is the formula we will use to calculate your monthly benefit:
Service credit months ÷ 12 x 2% x Final Average Salary = Monthly Benefit
If you became a LEOFF member after Feb. 18, 1974, your service retirement benefit is limited to 60% of your final average salary, unless you retire on or after July 1, 2006.
It depends on your employment situation before you retire. If you hold the same position or rank for at least 12 months before your retirement date, your basic salary at the time you retire will be your FAS.
If you separate from employment before you’re eligible to retire and you have at least five years of service, your basic salary at the time you separate will be your FAS.
If you’re disabled, your basic monthly salary at the time you retired will be your FAS. Contact your local disability board for more information.
Applying for retirement – online
Go to your online retirement account. Log in (or sign up if you haven’t already done so). The online retirement application will display only what you need based on your retirement system, plan and retirement eligibility rules. Follow the step-by-step instructions and electronically submit the application to us when you’re ready. If you encounter any issues during the process, don’t give up! Just give us a call and we will help walk you through it.
Applying for retirement – paper application packet
When you are ready to begin the process, request a retirement application from us. Be sure to submit the completed application with all required signatures and documentation, including proof of age for your survivor if you choose one of the options with a survivor benefit.
Remember, if you’re purchasing service credit, you’ll need to complete and turn in your purchase form with your retirement application.
If you prefer to talk with a Retirement Specialist in person, you can stop by our Olympia office anytime during our normal business hours of 8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday, excluding holidays. It works best if you first request an estimate and retirement packet and have enough time to look it over before you visit. That will give your Retirement Specialist specific information to go over with you and also ensure your questions are answered.
You can reach us at 360-664-7000 or 800-547-6657. Here are directions and a map to DRS.
Here are a few things to consider when moving outside the country or state:
Active members: Update your name and/or address through your employer. That new information will soon appear in your online retirement account.