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PDFWAC 415-112-504

What are my TRS Plan 1 retirement benefit options?

Upon retirement from Plan 1 for service under RCW 41.32.480 or disability under RCW 41.32.550 (1)(c), you must choose to have your retirement benefit paid to you by one of the options described in this section. You may also select an optional supplemental cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment.
(1) May I withdraw any of my contributions? You may withdraw some or all of your accumulated contributions as follows:
(a) If you retire according to the provisions of RCW 41.32.498, you may withdraw some or all of your accumulated contributions at the time of retirement. Your monthly retirement benefit will be reduced according to the amount you withdraw.
(b) If you terminate service due to a disability under the conditions of RCW 41.32.550 (1)(a), you may withdraw all your accumulated contributions in a lump sum payment. You will receive no monthly retirement benefit.
(2) Which option will pay my beneficiary a monthly benefit after my death? Options described in subsection (3)(c) through (e) of this section will pay a monthly benefit to your survivor after your death. The person you name at the time of retirement to receive a monthly benefit after your death is referred to as your "survivor beneficiary." After your death, your survivor beneficiary will receive a monthly benefit for the duration of their life. Your monthly retirement benefit will be reduced to offset the cost of the survivor option. See WAC 415-02-380 for more information on how your monthly benefit will be affected if you choose a survivor option.
(3) What are my benefit options?
(a) Maximum benefit (nonsurvivor option). The department will pay you the maximum benefit allowed by statute. Under this option you will receive a monthly retirement benefit throughout your lifetime. Your monthly benefit will cease upon your death, and any remaining balance of accumulated contributions will be:
(i) Retained by the retirement fund if you retired for service under RCW 41.32.497 or 41.32.498; or
(ii) Paid according to subsection (9) of this section if you retired because of disability and were receiving a monthly retirement benefit under RCW 41.32.550 (1)(c).
(b) Option one: Standard benefit for service retirement (nonsurvivor option). The department will pay you a monthly retirement benefit throughout your lifetime. Your monthly benefit will cease upon your death, and any remaining balance of accumulated contributions will be paid according to subsection (9) of this section.
(i) This benefit option has a lower monthly benefit than the maximum benefit in (a) of this subsection because, with this option, any remaining accumulated contributions will be paid to your beneficiaries upon your death.
(ii) If you are retiring because of disability under RCW 41.32.550 (1)(c), you will not benefit from this option because your beneficiaries will receive any remaining accumulated contributions under the maximum benefit in (a) of this subsection.
(c) Option two: Joint and one hundred percent survivor benefit. The department will pay you a reduced monthly retirement benefit throughout your lifetime. After your death, your survivor beneficiary will receive a gross monthly benefit equal to your gross monthly benefit.
(d) Option three: Joint and fifty percent benefit. The department will pay you a reduced monthly retirement benefit throughout your lifetime. After your death, your survivor beneficiary will receive a gross monthly benefit equal to fifty percent of your gross monthly benefit.
(e) Option four: Joint and two-thirds benefit.1 The department will pay you a reduced monthly retirement benefit throughout your lifetime. After your death, your survivor beneficiary will receive a gross monthly benefit equal to two-thirds (66.667%) of your gross monthly benefit.
(4) Do I need my spouse's consent on the option I choose? The option you select will determine whether spousal consent is required.
(a) If you are married and select a nonsurvivor benefit option, you must provide your spouse's notarized consent. If you do not provide spousal consent, the department will pay you a monthly retirement benefit based on option three (joint and fifty percent benefit) with your spouse as the survivor beneficiary as required by RCW 41.32.530(2).
(b) If you are married and select a survivor benefit option for your spouse, spousal consent is not required. The department will pay you a monthly benefit based on the option you selected.
(c) If you are married and select a survivor benefit option for someone other than your spouse, spousal consent is required. If you do not provide notarized spousal consent, the department will pay you a monthly retirement benefit based on option three (joint and fifty percent benefit) with your spouse as the survivor beneficiary as required by RCW 41.32.530(2).
(d) If your survivor beneficiary has been designated by a dissolution order according to subsection (5) of this section, which was filed with the department at least thirty days before your retirement date, spousal consent is not required.
(5) Can a dissolution order require that a former spouse be designated as a survivor beneficiary? Yes. A dissolution order may require that a former spouse be designated as a survivor beneficiary. The department is required to pay survivor benefits to a former spouse pursuant to a dissolution order that complies with RCW 41.50.790.
(6) What is the supplemental COLA option? In addition to choosing a retirement benefit option described in subsection (3) of this section, you may choose a supplemental annual COLA. If you select this option, your monthly retirement benefit will be reduced to offset the cost of this benefit.
(7) What happens if I choose a benefit option with a survivor option and my survivor beneficiary dies before I do? If your survivor beneficiary dies before you do, you may request to have your benefit increased as described in WAC 415-02-380.
(8) May I change my benefit option after retirement? Your choice of a benefit option is irrevocable with the following three exceptions:
(a) Return to membership. If you retire and then return to membership, you may choose a different retirement option upon your subsequent retirement. See RCW 41.32.044.
(b) Postretirement marriage option. If you select the maximum benefit option or the standard benefit option at the time of retirement and marry after retirement, you may select a benefit option with a survivor option and name your current spouse as survivor beneficiary, provided that:
(i) Your benefit is not subject to a property division obligation pursuant to a dissolution order. See WAC 415-02-500;
(ii) The selection is made during a one-year window, on or after the date of the first anniversary and before the second anniversary of your postretirement marriage;
(iii) You provide a copy of your certified marriage certificate to the department; and
(iv) You provide proof of your current spouse's birth date.
(c) Removal of a nonspouse survivor option. If you select a survivor benefit option and name a nonspouse as survivor beneficiary at the time of retirement, you may remove that survivor beneficiary designation and have your benefit adjusted to a standard benefit. You may exercise this option one time only.
(9) Who will receive the balance of my accumulated contributions, if any, after my death?
(a) If you do not have a survivor beneficiary at the time of your death, and you die before the total of the retirement benefit paid equals the amount of your accumulated contributions at the time of retirement, the balance will be paid according to this subsection.
(i) Except as provided in (a)(ii) of this subsection, any remaining balance will be paid to the person or entity (i.e., trust, organization, or estate) you have nominated by written designation, executed and filed with the department.
(ii) If you retired for service and chose the maximum benefit option, any remaining balance will be retained by the retirement fund.
(b) If you have a survivor beneficiary at the time of your death, and your survivor beneficiary dies before the total of the retirement benefit paid equals the amount of your accumulated contributions at the time of retirement, the balance will be paid to the person or entity (i.e., trust, organization, or estate) your survivor beneficiary has nominated by written designation, executed and filed with the department.
(10) For more information, see RCW 41.32.530 and 41.32.550.
 
1 Available to members retiring on or after January 1, 1996.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050. WSR 20-06-040, § 415-112-504, filed 2/27/20, effective 3/29/20. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5). WSR 13-18-034, § 415-112-504, filed 8/28/13, effective 10/1/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5), 41.32.530, 41.32.550. WSR 05-23-062, § 415-112-504, filed 11/14/05, effective 12/15/05.]
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