Following are the steps you will want to take six months before your planned retirement date, and links to help you get started.
Have a one-on-one consultation
Set up an appointment with a Retirement Benefits Specialist. All retirement counseling sessions include:
- A review of your service credit history
- Discussions about your retirement options
- Multiple retirement estimates to help you pick the right options and the best dates
- A review of your retiree healthcare options
- A walk through and assistance on how to fill out your retirement document(s)
Request an Official Retirement Estimate and Election to Retire form
It is best to contact us for these requests six months prior to your retirement. This allows you to have time to carefully review and ensure you are satisfied with your retirement option and to gather any other necessary information or documents.
Complete any pending transactions
Depending on your plan and individual circumstances, here are some of the transactions you may need to complete before you retire, or shortly thereafter.
Buybacks: You may be able to enhance your average monthly salary by selling back your unused sick leave, vacation and holiday time, or other unused leave. See more under Pensionable Leave Items on the Compensation page. Specifics on buybacks vary, so check with your department’s payroll. (Note: Overtime and termination pay are not included in your final compensation.)
Termination pay: When you terminate service for retirement, the County payroll department issues you payment for unused sick, vacation, holiday, and/or nonelective leave hours that remain on the books. This payment is taxable. If you would like to defer the taxes on this payment, contact Empower Retirement at 800-947-0845 and ask about a termination pay rollover.
Reciprocity: Under reciprocity, you must apply for retirement from each system separately and retire from each system concurrently (on the same day).
Service credit purchases: If you retire before your contract is paid in full, you must complete payment within 120 days after your termination or retirement date.
Plan transfers for members of Plans D and E: If you have prospectively transferred from Plan E to D or from Plan D to E, carefully review your online plan book for specific information about retiring under your plan. (See Plan D | Combined Allowances or Plan E | Combined Allowances.)
If you are transferring from Plan E to D via an Open Window transfer, you have 120 days to complete your purchase after you retire. If payment has not been completed within 120 days, you will remain in Plan E and your retirement allowance will be calculated according to the provisions of Plan E. See more under the Transfers to Plan D page.
Once you’ve completed all of your “6 Months Before” steps, get ready to retire!