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Portability/Dual Membership


If you have ever worked for the State of Washington, other municipalities or agencies in Washington State or cities of Seattle or Spokane, you might be able to claim portability.


Portability is often misunderstood.


In short, claiming portability allows you to combine certain pension benefits between the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System (TERS) and the other portable pension systems.


Portability does not mean that your contributions in the other pension system are transferred to TERS. You are only entitled to a pension from each respective system based on the number of years that you worked in each system; however, salary information is shared between the two pension systems. In addition, the number of years that you have worked in each system are combined to determine vesting rights.


If you withdrew your funds from a portable pension plan you may be able to buy back your service time within a specified time period if you become a member of a portable plan such as TERS. Contact the portable system to inquire whether or not you can buy back time in their system, which could give you portability rights.


Please see our Portability Flyer for more information.

Additional Information can be found on the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems site.


Portability is a complex topic. For additional TERS portability information, please contact the Retirement Department at (253) 502-8200.