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Preparing to Retire
Retiring Under PERS 1 Rules

UNDERSTAND

Your age and length of service determine when you can retire from active UW service. You are also eligible to retire from the UW and begin a PERS income if you meet the following criteria:

Type of Service Age at which you can retire
Active service

• Any age with 30 years of service credit

• Age 55 or older with 25 years of service credit

• Age 60 with five or more years of service credit

Inactive service*

• Age 65 and you have accrued five service credit years

• Age 60 with five or more years of service credit (your benefit will be reduced, based on life expectancy factors from the state actuary for each year you are under age 65)

• Age 60 or older if you separated from service on or after January 1, 2002, were at least age 50 at separation, and have at least 20 years of service credit at separation

* Note: Beginning a PERS retirement income from inactive status does not carry UW retiree rights and privileges.

You can review all PERS 1 retirement options and do a self-estimate of benefits. Download the Benefit Estimate Worksheet.

Interruptive Military Service Credit

Additional service credit is available to those who interrupt their membership with PERS 1 to serve in the United States Armed Forces. If you are an eligible PERS 1 member, you can receive credit for your interruptive military service. No payments are required. For more information, see Interruptive Military Service Credit for PERS Plan 1, or contact DRS.

ACT

Purchase Service Credit

If you are eligible, you may purchase additional service credit to increase your monthly retirement benefit. Consider the following:

Review the DRS website for more information about this option:
www.drs.wa.gov/publications/member/multisystem/purchase.htm

Prepare to Retire

  1. Contact the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) within six (6) months of your projected retirement date to request an estimate of your retirement benefit and the PERS Retirement Income Election forms. Complete and return the forms to DRS.
  2. If you are retiring at age 65 or greater and you wish to enroll in the PEBB Retiree Medical Insurance benefit (Medicare Parts A and B), contact the Social Security Office. We recommend enrolling in this program three (3) months prior to your retirement date.
  3. Attend the workshop, Retiring from PERS Plan 1, 2 or 3, where you will receive a retirement packet containing forms and information that you will need to officially retire. If you cannot attend a workshop, please email benefits@uw.edu to request a retirement packet.
  4. Notify your supervisor, department chairman, or dean of your projected last day of work.
  5. Within 30 to 60 days of your retirement date, complete and return the UW Retirement Application and the VEBA Enrollment Form—both forms may be found in your retirement packet.
  6. Complete and return additional online retiree forms to make further elections or changes.
  7. Complete the Group Life Insurance Portability Form (optional).
  8. For life insurance conversions , please contact the Benefits Office.

EXPLORE

Do you know how much your retirement benefit will be? Do you know what other income will you have available to you in retirement? See the DRS Lifetime Retirement Planning website for answers to these and other questions. Use the benefits estimator tool and/or download checklists and publications here too.

Refer to the Social Security Office Retirement Estimator Benefit Calculator for an estimate of your social security retirement benefit.

Learn about additional retiree insurance options available to you.

Are you considering post-retirement UW employment? If so, note that this requires a minimum of one full calendar month break in service after retirement—no exceptions—as well as other post-retirement employment restrictions. Failure to understand and track post-retirement employment limits can result in the retiree’s loss of pension. Learn more about returning to work as a DRS retiree.

Retirement Compensation Calculation for July 2009–June 2011: 
Laws of 2009; Chapter 30

In calculating average final compensation under this law for a member of PERS plan 1, 2, or 3, the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) shall include any compensation forgone by the member during the 2009-2011 fiscal biennium as a result of reduced work hours, voluntary leave without pay, or temporary furloughs if the reduced compensation is an integral part of the employer's expenditure reduction efforts, as certified by the employer. At retirement, certification for UW retirees will be provided by the Benefits Office directly to DRS. Neither retirees nor their departments need to provide special information to facilitate this certification. Please contact DRS directly for more information.