When am I eligible to retire?
There are options to retire earlier, but your benefit will be reduced to reflect the fact that you will be receiving it over a longer period of time. You may retire with a reduced benefit with either:
- You are 60 years of age regardless of years of service
- You have 30 years of service (any age)
- Your years of service plus your age equal 80 (e.g., 25 years and age 55)
- 10 years of service and are age 55 or older
- 20 years of service and are age 40 or older
I'm eligible to retire soon. What should I be thinking about or prepare for?
What are my options if I separate from employment?
- Leave your contributions in the retirement system and defer retirement to a future date or until eligible to retire
- Withdraw your contributions plus interest, plus an additional amount equal to 50% of contributions (plus interest) made prior to February 2, 2009, and an amount equal to 50% of contributions (plus interest) up to 6.44% made after February 1, 2009
If you have fewer than five years of service and are under age 60, you must withdraw your money, unless you have dual membership with another eligible retirement system. You will receive an amount equal to your contributions plus interest.
Withdrawals are eligible for rollover.
Download the application for Withdrawal or Transfer of Contributions, or Deferred Retirement for more detailed information.
Why is my membership date different from my hire date?
- In a job classification that was not eligible for TERS membership as described in the Tacoma Municipal Code, Section 1.30.300 - Exclusion from Membership, but later became eligible due to an employment status change.
- Before January 1, 2000 employees were required to complete three months of continuous service.
What is my contribution rate and how much does the City contribute?
How can I figure out what my monthly retirement pension will be?
If I have a financial emergency, am I able to borrow against our retirement fund?
Am I eligible to purchase service credit and, if so, what does it cost?
How far in advance do I need to notify TERS that I intend to retire?
What do I need to bring to my Retirement Counseling Appointment?
- Copy of your Birth Certificate. If you choose a spousal/survivor benefit option, a copy of their birth certificate is required.
- Copy of your Marriage Certificate, or Washington State Registered Domestic Partnership Certificate if applicable.
- Copy of your Driver's License and for your spouse/domestic partner, if applicable.
- A blank voided check for direct deposit.
What does TERS require from me if I am going to be divorced?
What is a QDRO?
How do I make address, health benefits, and tax changes to my retirement account?
Once I retire, when is the first pension check received?
What is portability and how does it affect my retirement benefits in TERS?
May I come into the Retirement office and talk to someone regarding the TERS plan?
Can I get a year-to-date balance of my retirement account and service credit?
The highlighted Employee Self Service is a hyperlink that can only be accessed on the City's Intranet or remote access through VPN.
I am applying for a loan. How can I get formal documentation of my TERS balance or payments?
Is it mandatory that I become a member of TERS?
How can I get disability retirement?
- You have at least five years of City service. The five year eligibility requirement is not applicable if your disability is the result of an on-the-job injury.
- You must be permanently and totally incapacitated either physically or mentally.
- You shall be examined or evaluated by an independent medical examiner (IME) appointed by the Board of Administration. Examination or evaluation must meet the satisfaction of the TERS Disability Committee before a disability retirement can be approved.
Applying for Disability Retirement
If you wish to apply for a disability retirement, the first step is to complete the Retirement Estimate Request Form. Once you have received the estimate and you wish to continue the process for disability retirement, you will need to complete a Disability Retirement Application Part 1 and Disability Retirement Application Part 2. Please see the Disability Retirement page for more information.
- You are in active City service.
- You are within three months after the discontinuance of City service if incapacity has been continuous from discontinuance of City service.
- You are within one year of discontinuance of City service and if you applied for benefits under the City's Basic Long-Term Disability Insurance Plan within 180 days of discontinuance of City service for a condition that was present while in City service and are receiving Long-Term disability payments.
Are there medical and dental benefits available once I retire?
What happens to my pre-2000 overtime contribution once I retire?
- Request a lump sum refund, which will be subject to federal income tax.
- Transfer the amount to another tax-deferred account, such as a traditional IRA or deferred compensation account (ICMA).
- Purchase additional service credit, if applicable.
- Purchase an additional annuity from TERS, which will not be considered for any cost of living increases.
I updated my beneficiary information with HR, why doesn't it show in TERS?
Are my benefits taxable? How much tax is taken out?