You’ve completed your Steps to Prepare and its now two months or less from your target retirement date. You’re ready to retire! What’s next?
It’s time to make it official by completing and submitting your retirement paperwork. Doing so timely is extremely important during the retirement process, so we’ve compiled everything you need in one place and provided some helpful tips to make this final step as easy as possible.
Keep track of everything you need to do with this easy-to-use Retirement To-Do List. Downloadable forms you will need to submit are listed below. Be sure to consult the Pre-Retirement Guide for detailed information on a variety of retirement topics specific to your situation.
Submit your retirement forms
Following are the essential forms you will need to complete and submit during the retirement process.
- Online Election Form. Be sure to carefully review and understand your retirement options before submitting your form.
- Beneficiary Designation Form plus any required documentation. Read more about designating beneficiaries.
- Federal and California Tax Withholding Forms (W-4P/DE-4P). Read more about Tax Requirements.
- Direct Deposit authorization and voided check. Read more about Direct Deposit.
- Retiree healthcare enrollment forms:
- If you change your mind about when to retire: Request to Rescind or Change Retirement Date
Other Documents You May Need to Submit
- If divorced: Complete copies of conformed divorce/dissolution of partnership documents for legal review (Judgment of Dissolution, Notice of Entry of Judgment, and Qualified Domestic Relations Order) Read more about pre-retirement divorce and community property laws.
- For Plan E members subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP): Social Security Administration statement verifying your reduced benefit amount. You must provide to LACERA within six months of your retirement date.
Consider submitting a LACERA special durable power of attorney
Accidents and illnesses happen. It’s an unfortunate part of life. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and have the right documents in place in the event you become unable to handle your own affairs. Having a LACERA special durable power of attorney in place ensures that your spouse, partner, or other trusted individual can conduct important LACERA business on your behalf if needed.
- Special Durable Power of Attorney Guide
- LACERA Special Durable Power of Attorney Instructions and Form
How to submit your documents
- Upload on My LACERA (Recommended: It’s fast, easy, and convenient.)
- Use the secure drop box at our 300 N. Lake location
- Fax to 626-564-6155
- Mail to LACERA at P.O. Box 7060, Pasadena, CA 91109-7060
Once you’ve completed and uploaded your paperwork, following are some additional steps you will want to take and things to keep in mind.
Update your contact information on My LACERA
Before you retire, make sure you have updated your My LACERA account with your personal email address and cellphone number, rather than your work contact information. This is important, since once you retire, you will no longer have access to your work contact methods. To make updates, log into My LACERA and click “Profile.”
Why is this important? First, for security reasons—so that LACERA can instantly confirm your identity when your account is accessed. Second, it helps you stay connected with LACERA and receive timely information and announcements.
Announce your retirement date
It’s not required, but after you submit your retirement election form, we recommend that you notify your employer and supervisor about your retirement date to ensure a timely exit process (for example, some departments will require you to return property issued to you before they will process your termination). If you don’t want to make an announcement, LACERA will notify your department at the appropriate time.
If you change your mind about retiring, you have until 5 p.m. on the business day prior to the date you elected to retire to submit your signed request. We recommend carefully reviewing and submitting the Request to Rescind or Change Retirement Date form.
LACERA will notify your department of your pending retirement
Once LACERA processes your retirement election and places you on the Board of Retirement’s agenda (which includes the official retirement list that the Board of Retirement ratifies at every meeting), we will send you a letter notifying you that the Board has approved your retirement. We will also send your personnel office an electronic notice that you have elected to retire and the date of your retirement.
The electronic notification to your personnel office triggers your department to begin processing your retirement in their payroll system. LACERA cannot pay you a benefit until your department has placed a termination date in their payroll system.
To ensure you receive your first allowance check by direct deposit at the end of the month following the month you retire, your termination date must be posted on the 15th of the month following the month you retire. Please make sure you verify that you have completed any necessary items with your department so that they can post your termination date timely. A delay in your termination date could delay your first check by a month.
Once your paperwork is submitted and accepted, you have received your Board letter, your transactions are completed, and your department is notified, you can retire.