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### How does the department use my age in calculating benefits?

This section provides an overview of the several different ways in which the department uses age in calculating benefits. The department may use your age to determine your retirement date, early retirement factors to apply, survivor factors, or cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment factors.
(1) Present value: The department uses a rounding method to determine your age when calculating what your future lifetime monthly benefit is worth in present-day dollars. If the number of months in your age is under six months, the department will round down. If the number is six months or more, the department will round up. See WAC 415-02-340 for more information about the present value calculations.
Example 1:
At the time that the department is calculating Sharon's age in making a present value calculation, Sharon is 55 years, 5 months and 26 days old. The department will round down and use 55 as Sharon's age.
Example 2:
At the time that the department is calculating Donna's age in making a present value calculation, Donna is 54 years and 7 months old. The department will round up and use 55 as Donna's age.
(2) Early retirement: The department uses the difference between the date you are eligible for normal retirement and your date of actual retirement to calculate any actuarial reduction to your benefit. See WAC 415-02-320 for more information about early retirement.
(a) Step 1: The department determines the date you are eligible for normal retirement.
(i) All plans (except for LEOFF Plan 1, TRS Plan 1, WSPRS Plans 1 and 2, JRF and JRS): You can retire the first day of the month following your meeting the age requirement for retirement if you are otherwise eligible.
 Example: Jake was born on May 12, 1941. On May 12, 2006, Jake reached age 65 and met the age requirement for retirement. Provided that he is otherwise eligible, Jake's retirement date is June 1, 2006.
(ii) LEOFF Plan 1, TRS Plan 1, WSPRS Plans 1 and 2, JRF, and JRS: If a retirement date other than the first of the month is allowed, you can retire on the day you meet the age requirement, or the following day (depending on the plan).
 Example: If Jake is a member of this type of plan, he could retire May 12th or 13th, 2006 (his birthday or the day after his birthday).
(b) Step 2: The department determines the difference between the date you are eligible for normal retirement and your date of actual retirement as follows:
(i) Example 1:
 Date of eligibility for normal retirement 06/01/06 Date of actual retirement 08/01/02 Determination of full years: 08/01/02 to 07/31/05 is 3 years Determination of full months: 08/01/05 to 05/31/06 is 10 months Difference is: 3 years, 10 months
(ii) Example 2:
 Date of eligibility for normal retirement 05/13/06 Date of actual retirement 08/01/02 Determination of full years: 08/01/02 to 07/31/05 is 3 years Determination of full months: 08/01/05 to 04/30/06 is 9 months Additional days are not considered: 05/01/06 to 05/13/06 are not considered Difference is: 3 years, 9 months
(c) Step 3: Determine the early retirement factor. The department uses the difference calculated in step 2 to determine the early retirement factor used to calculate your benefit as described in WAC 415-02-320.
(3) Optional COLA factor for PERS Plan 1 and TRS Plan 1. The department uses the rounding method described in the "present value" subsection in this section to calculate your age when determining the optional COLA factor. See WAC 415-02-360 for a description of the optional COLA factor calculation.
(4) Calculating age to use in determining the survivor option factor. At retirement, if you select a survivor option, the department must calculate the difference between your age and your survivor beneficiary's age. See WAC 415-02-380 for more information about survivor options.
(a) Step 1: The department calculates your age and your survivor beneficiary's age at the time of your retirement.
(b) Step 2: The department rounds the ages, using the same method described in the "present value" subsection in this section.
(c) Step 3: The department subtracts your survivor beneficiary's age from your age.
Example:
 Member's age: 60 Minus survivor beneficiary's age: 49 11
Result: The department will use the survivor option factor for a survivor beneficiary who is 11 years younger than the member.
Example:
 Member's age: 65 Minus survivor beneficiary's age: 67 -2
Result: The department will use the survivor option factor for a survivor beneficiary who is two years older than the member.
(5) Terms used
(a) JRF - Judicial retirement fund.
(b) JRS - Judicial retirement system.
(c) LEOFF - Law enforcement officers' and firefighters' retirement system.
(d) PERS - Public employees' retirement system.
(e) SERS - School employees' retirement system.
(f) TRS - Teachers' retirement system.
(g) WSPRS - Washington state patrol retirement system.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5). WSR 10-16-086, § 415-02-310, filed 7/30/10, effective 9/1/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5) and chapter 41.45 RCW. WSR 08-20-068, § 415-02-310, filed 9/25/08, effective 10/26/08; WSR 03-06-044, § 415-02-310, filed 2/27/03, effective 4/1/03.]
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