DRS Rules Center

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About the Rules Center

The Rules Center is the central source of information for all Department of Retirement System (DRS) rules. Rules are also known as Washington Administrative Code (WAC). State agencies adopt rules to implement state and federal law. The legal requirements for rule-making are found in the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 34.05 RCW.

Find more information about rule-making or WACs by visiting the Office of the Code Reviser, the Washington State Register and the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee websites.

DRS Rule Preproposals

All agencies file their preproposals with the Code Reviser’s Office for publication in the Washington State Register (WSR). The WSR numbers shown on the right side of the table are assigned by the Code Reviser’s Office. Select a WSR number to go directly to the preproposal notice.

TopicWSR Number
LEOFF Plan 2 catastrophic duty disability – To update the process for periodic reviews to assess continued eligibility for catastrophic duty disability benefits.22-01-070.
Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ (LEOFF) Plan 2 disability survivor option changes: To clarify survivor options when a LEOFF Plan 2 member's disability status changes.21-12-097
Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) Plan 2 and 3 disability benefits: To clarify TRS Plan 2 and 3 disability retirement benefits, including eligibility and application requirements.21-12-098
Calculating retirement benefit indexing for Plan 3 and LEOFF Plan 2: Plan 3 of the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), School Employees' Retirement System (SERS), and Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), and the Law Enforcement Officers' and Firefighters' Retirement System (LEOFF) Plan 2 provide an increased benefit if retirement is delayed following separation from employment after twenty or more years of service. The increase is referred to as a benefit "index." This rule-making action will clarify how the indexed retirement benefit is calculated.21-11-096
Plan 3 delayed contributions: To clarify how the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) will determine if a Plan 3 member has experienced a loss of investment earnings resulting from their employer's delay in the submittal of contributions, and how such a loss will be calculated.21-11-097
Property division in dissolution orders:To update and clarify the rules related to property division dissolution orders involving the retirement plan. Updates include the elimination of certain fees.21-11-098
Deferred compensation program (DCP) and Plan 3 distribution options:To ensure customers understand their distribution options from their defined contribution (Plan 3) or DCP accounts, with the addition of new options permitted by the federal SECURE and CARES Acts, and the removal of direct purchases of commercial annuities.21-07-139
Non-spouse survivor benefit option:To comply with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations governing nonspousal survivor benefits from a retirement plan.21-04-142
Plan choice irrevocability:This rule-making action will clarify when a member’s choice for Plan 2 or Plan 3 becomes irrevocable.20-24-127
Retiree employment in an ineligible position: Eligibility for retirement requires a thirty day separation from covered employment. This amendment will clarify whether the thirty day separation requirement is met if the member has been employed in a position that is ineligible for membership in a retirement plan.20-24-128
Public records fees – To clarify the fees that will be assessed for documents and electronic files provided in response to a request made in accordance with the Public Records Act, including procedures for payment, and when the fees may be waived.19-06-086
Petitions for review of the department’s administrative decisions – The Department of Retirement Systems is evaluating the petitions process, and might identify alternative methods for seeking resolution to some administrative decisions.17-11-021
Property division in dissolution orders – To correct WAC and RCW citations and clarify language as required.05-12-034

Proposed Rule Hearings

Proposed RuleWashington State Register Citations/Hearing Information
LEOFF Plan 1 minimum medical and health standards: The minimum medical and health standards for establishing membership in LEOFF Plan 1 prior to October 1, 1977, are no longer necessary.Preproposal:21-23-057
Proposal: 22-02-077
Remote hearing: February 8, 2022, 10:00 AM
Telephone: 253.215.8782 (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 847 3557 9121
Computer (Zoom):
LEOFF Plan 2 return from disability: To clarify the process when a Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ (LEOFF) Plan 2 disability retiree returns to work.Preproposal: 21-17-139
Proposal: 22-01-126
Remote hearing: January 25, 2022, 11:30 AM
Telephone: 253.215.8782 (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 881 4900 1711
Computer (Zoom): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88149001711

Expedited Rule-Making

DRS Notices of Expedited Rule-Making (CR-105)

Expedited rule-making is a shortened rule making process only used in select circumstances. RCW 34.05.353 outlines the types of changes that an agency can make to a rule without filing a CR-101 or CR-102, or having a public hearing. For example, an agency can correct a typographical error or update an address through expedited rule-making.

All agencies file their notices of expedited rule-making with the Washington State Register (WSR). If after reviewing the notice you object to the agency using expedited rule-making for the proposed changes, please contact the Department’s Rules Coordinator. You have 45 days from the notice’s publication in the WSR to object. Contact DRS to participate in rule-making.

TopicWSR Number

Recently Adopted Rules

Rules AdoptedWashington State Register Citations
Survivor option changes: To implement Chapter 161, Laws of 2020 (SB 6417), allowing members to change their survivor option one time within 90 calendar days following receipt of the first retirement benefit.Preproposal: 21-18-122
Proposal: 21-22-116
Concise Explanatory Statement
Adoption: WSR 22-01-061
Effective: January 8, 2022
LEOFF Plan 2 catastrophic benefit adjustments: To clarify that adjustments to offset workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits will be prospective.Preproposal: WSR 20-24-129
Proposal: WSR 21-19-149
Concise Explanatory Statement
Adoption: WSR 21-22-049
Effective: November 28, 2021
Automatic refunds of small inactive retirement fund contributions: In accordance with RCW 41.50.180, this rule allows DRS to initiate refunds of contributions to inactive, non-vested members with account balances less than $1,000.Preproposal: WSR 21-15-111
Proposal: WSR 21-19-150
Concise Explanatory Statement
Adoption: WSR 21-22-048
Effective: November 28, 2021
Defined Benefit Annuity Purchase: To clarify the sources of funds that may be used to purchase a defined benefit annuity.Preproposal: WSR 20-21-109
Proposal: WSR 21-19-148
Concise Explanatory Statement
Adoption: WSR 21-22-047
Effective: November 28, 2021
Eliminate subsection numbers in citations for definitions: Lists of definitions in RCW and WAC are alphabetized, so subsection numbers change when new terms are added. Eliminating references to specific subsections will remove and avoid incorrect citations.Proposal:WSR 21-11-111
Adoption: WSR 21-16-020
Effective: August 23, 2021
Distributions following the member’s death with no survivor beneficiary: This rule-making action clarifies how any remaining contributions and prorated monthly benefit will be distributed following a member's death, if there is no ongoing survivor benefit.Preproposal:


Concise Explanatory Statement


May 29, 2021
Deferred compensation program (DCP) distributions: To clarify distribution rules for DCP customers who return to covered employment.Preproposal:


Concise Explanatory Statement


April 11, 2021
LEOFF Plan 2 catastrophic duty disability – To describe the process for periodic reviews to assess continued eligibility for catastrophic duty disability benefits.Preproposal:


Concise Explanatory Statement

WSR 21-01-209

January 23, 2021
Deferred Compensation Program (DCP) rollovers – To clarify eligibility to rollover funds from another source into a DCP account.Preproposal:


Concise Explanatory Statement

WSR 20-24-108

January 1, 2021
LEOFF Plan 2 Reportable Compensation – To clarify whether certain payments to LEOFF Plan 2 members are considered basic salary for the purpose of calculating retirement benefits, in accordance with RCW 41.26.030 (4)(b).Preproposal:


Concise Explanatory Statement

WSR 20-24-109

January 1, 2021

Participating in Rules Development

Often DRS uses public meetings and ad hoc committees to help develop rules. To participate, contact the rules coordinator. Be sure to include your email and return postal address.

Rules Coordinator

Email drs.rules@drs.wa.gov or call 800-547-6657

More ways to contact us

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