Thinking about retiring soon?

Start planning now for your retirement down the road. The County offers its employees several opportunities to save for the future, including a pension through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, a Nationwide Deferred Compensation Plan, an HRA VEBA account, and Social Security benefit contributions. 


Click below to learn more about each plan.

DRS

VEBA

 


Steps to take to retire:

You can book a 15 minute consultation with the Human Resources Administrative Specialist if you have any questions.

Step 1) Review the DRS Planning for Retirement Checklist.


1 - 2 Years Before Retirement:

Step 2) Request your Estimate from DRS.

4 - 6 Months Before Retirement:

  • Contact DRS or go to your DRS Online Retirement Account to request your monthly benefit estimate. 
  • Your estimate is valid for 6 months. You will need to request another if the 6 months have past.
  • A Retirement Specialist will review your account and provide a document showing your estimated retirement benefit. This will also include information about how your benefit will be reduced if you select a survivorship option.
  • Please note that requesting an estimate is not the same as applying for retirementYou will still need to complete an application.
  • Please also allow a reasonable time for DRS to provide your estimate.

Step 3) Apply for Retirement at DRS.


30 - 90 Days Before Retirement:

  • Have your estimate provided by DRS as you can not apply without it.
  • Apply for retirement through your DRS Online Retirement Account or contact DRS for a paper application.
  • If you are a member of multiple DRS retirement systems, or prefer a paper application, DRS will mail it with your benefit estimate.
  • Though DRS prioritizes application for earlier retirement dates, its best to complete your application 30-90 days before you plan to retire.
  • DRS will send you a confirmation email or letter upon complete.
  • For more help, watch this step-by-step online application guide.
  • You can also visit the FAQs page.

Benefits Information When Retiring 


Health Insurance 

The Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) offers retiree health and dental insurance to employees who were eligible for PEBB benefits during employment with Pierce County. Teamsters does not offer retiree health insurance. 


Please review the PEBB Retiree Enrollment Guide and consider attending a Retirement Webinar with the WA State Health Care Authority.

 

  • PEBB Retiree Eligibility
    • Must be a vested member of, and eligible to retire from your WA State pension retirement plan when your employer coverage ends. 
    • PERS 2 members must immediately begin to receive a monthly retirement plan payment.
  • PEBB Retiree Enrollment 
    • Retiree form(s) and any other required documents must be received by Health Care Authority no later than 60 days after your employer coverage ends

For questions, contact the PEBB program at 1-800-200-1004. 

 

Deferred Compensation (457)

Pierce County employees who have participated in a 457 deferred compensation plan have options on what action (if any) they can take at retirement. Whether you want to keep your money in the plan, roll your money to another account, or start taking money, Nationwide can help you take these steps. 


You can use the Retirement Planning Tool to get started.

 

For more information, contact Nationwide’s customer service at 1-844-547-8405 or online.

 

VEBA

Some Pierce County employees vote annually within bargaining units or as part of a non-represented group to participate in VEBA (Voluntary Employee Benefit Association). They may also vote to determine the percentage of sick leave cash out at retirement that can be deposited pre-tax into a VEBA account. A VEBA account can then be used to pay certain health care costs through a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) VEBA plan.


For more information about the plan, see the HRA VEBA webpage.

 

2021 Calendar Year Vote Results

Yes – 100% of sick leave balance. 

 

2022 Calendar Year Vote Results

Yes – 100% of sick leave balance. 

 

Participating Groups

  • Unrepresented employees
  • Teamsters Local 117A
  • Teamsters Local 117C - PCS Sheriff's Department 
  • AFSCME Local 120J
  • 1889 & 1889CS - Sheriff's Guild & Community Service Officers
  • AFSCME Local 3752LT - Correctional Lieutenants
  • Captain's Association
  • PPAA - Prosecuting Attorney's Association
  • U17A - Professional Technical Engineers 
  • U17S - Professional Technical Engineers Supervisors 
  • IAM Local U297 



Department of Retirement Systems (DRS)

Pierce County Benefits


Pierce County Human Resources


handbook

Pierce County Retirement Handout



Get information on your health and dental plan continuation, payoffs, and more.
calculato

Calculate Time Off Balances/Cash-outs



Learn how to calculate your time off balance cash outs in Workday.

social_security

Social Security
Website



For many, Social Security will provide part of their retirement income.