Planning for your retirement or distant retirement is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family.
Snohomish County Government employees participate in one of several retirement systems administered by the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS). Employees and the County contribute jointly to the plans. When you become a county employee, you receive retirement plan information and forms at your New Employee Orientation.
The majority of eligible employees are participants in the Public Employees Retirement System, or PERS.
There are three PERS plans:
If you were a member of a PERS plan (Plan 1, 2 or 3) before you began work at the county, you automatically resume participation in the same plan after you begin county employment.
Note: The PERS1 plan is only for employees hired before October 1, 1977 or those who have been previously enrolled in PERS 1 or have held a job under the Washington State Department Retirement system.
Commissioned law enforcement officers participate in the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' System, or LEOFF.
There are two LEOFF plans:
Note: The LEOFF 1 plan is for Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters hired before October 1, 1977.
For public safety employees whose jobs contain a high degree of physical risk to their own personal safety, but are not eligible for LEOFF (i.e., Corrections and Marshals).
Employee and Employer Rates:
Retirement Plan Rates
For more information about your retirement, contact the Washington State Retirement System at the following number: 1-800-547-6657. Their Web site is also a great source of information both now and after you retire, including the Plan Booklets and a tool for calculating your estimated retirement: http://www.drs.wa.gov/.
If you are planning for retirement and you haven't been able to attend one of the popular "Planning for Retirement" seminars presented by the state Department of Retirement Services, you now have an opportunity to view the same presentations online. Key segments of a recent seminar were recorded and are now available in on-demand webinar format. The presentations can be accessed at:
http://ncwctc.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=183 and will be available until the close of the next legislative session (April 2013). These seminars provide a range of retirement planning information for members of Washington State Retirement Systems PERS, SERS, TRS, PSERS, LEOFF 2 and WSPRS 2. While the presentations are geared to those within five years of retirement, the information can benefit any member in building retirement readiness.
Also, the Retirement Planning section on the DRS website (http://www.drs.wa.gov/retirement-planning/nearingretirement.htm) provides useful information to help you prepare for your retirement, regardless of how close or far away it is. You can also sign up for online account access (http://www.drs.wa.gov/administration/my-drs/default.htm), where you can review your service credit, contributions, beneficiary information and much more. You can also create a benefit estimate that is based on the data in your account and – when you are ready – apply for retirement online.
Just Planning or Getting Ready to Retire
There are lots of things to consider when you are planning to retire. Here are some more ideas to get you started:
- Make an appointment with a Human Resources representative to discuss how to apply for retirement, medical options and other benefit information: ContactHR
- Visit the department of Labor website for additional information: http://www.dol.gov/
- Visit the Social Security website for additional information on retirement and Medicare:
- More information about medical providers from Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner - Statewide Health Insurance Benefit Advisors (SHIBA) Helpline:
- Consult with your deferred compensation provider:
- Consult with a financial planner
- Continue learning after your retirement through Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington: http://www.outreach.washington.edu/olli/
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