What you will need to apply for retirement
If you’re planning to retire within the next year, your first step is to request a benefit estimate from DRS.
You can do this by logging into to your online retirement account and providing your planned retirement date. If you are a member of multiple DRS retirement systems or you prefer to complete a paper application, DRS will mail you an application with your benefit estimate.
A Retirement Specialist will review your account and provide you a document that shows your estimated retirement benefit. This will also include information about how your benefit will be reduced if you select a survivorship option.
Though DRS prioritizes applications for earlier retirement dates, it’s best to complete your retirement application 30-90 days before you plan to retire.
The application will ask you a series of questions and to provide some personal information, including:
- your current marital status and whether any portion of your retirement has been awarded as part of a divorce or separation;
- the date you will separate from employment and date you will begin your retirement;
- whether you will choose the Single Life Benefit (Option 1) or take a reduced benefit to provide a survivorship option (Option 2, 3 or 4);
- the Social Security number and date of birth for any survivor or beneficiary selected;
- if you select a survivorship, a copy of a document that confirms their date of birth, such as a driver’s license or passport;
- federal income tax withholding – similar to when you start a new job and fill out a W-4, you will select “Married” or “Single” and the number of allowances. You can use this calculator to determine how much will be withheld;
- whether you would like to purchase an additional supplementary annuity;
- routing and account number for your bank or credit union for direct deposit; payments will always be made on the last banking day of the month;
- if completing a paper application, your signature will need to be notarized; and
- if married and not providing a survivorship option to your spouse, your spouse will need to sign an acknowledgement and have their signature notarized.
After completing your retirement application, DRS will send you a confirmation email or letter.
All of the above is for your monthly pension payments. If you are a member of Plan 3 and you would like to learn more about withdrawals from your investment account, visit your plan guide: PERS, SERS or TRS.