Retirement Information

New Employee Planning

In general, employees who work ½ time or more are required to be a member of one of the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) Plans

I. 90 Day Window

New employees (or newly eligible employees) have 90 days from the beginning of your eligibility to enroll in a retirement plan.  Employees will automatically be enrolled in the default plan (TRS/SRS Plan 2) if they fail to return an enrollment form to the Payroll & Benefits Department within 90 days.

II. Plans

Planning to Retire

Retiring is a very important step and requires planning. Consider the following to help you gather the information that will help you prepare for the next stage in your life.

  1. Attend a DRS Retirement Planning Seminar
    DRS offers workshops and all day seminars covering various aspects of retiring a couple of times during the year. Seating is limited, and these workshops/seminars fill up quickly.
  2. Attend SEA seminars
    The Spokane Educational Association (SEA) offers evening seminars that address a number of retirement issues. Sessions are open to both represented and non-represented employees. Contact SEA at 325-4503 for additional information.
  3. Meet with a Financial Planner to get professional advice.

If you plan to retire in the next few months, notify Human Resources and Payroll Department immediately.

Tax Sheltered Investment Plans

For recommendations on 403(b) and 457 plans, contact your financial planner.

The OMNI Newsletter provides updates and information to help better understand your tax-deferred retirement benefits. The recent newsletters are available here:

Additional Learning Opportunities

The Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) has multiple resources available for all stages of your career. They are now offering several webinars on a variety of topics including Plan Choice, Investment Basics and Getting Ready for Retirement.

To review webinar topics and schedules, click on the link below for the DRS Education home page. The webinar link is located at the bottom the Education homepage

This article has helpful information on the impact of the timing of your retirement date and your benefits: Resignation timing affects health and pension benefits for school employees and teachers.


Frequently Asked Questions

I am a substitute. Do I get retirement credit?

You may be eligible to purchase retirement credit for your service as a substitute. For requirements for obtaining Retirement Service Credit, click on either the TRS Substitute Guide for Certificated Staff or the SERS Substitute Guide for Classified Staff. For further information, contact the District's retirement staff listed above or click on DRS website for the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems site.

How do I setup a Social Security Account?

Set up a "my Social Security Account." The Social Security Administration has a website where you can keep track of your earnings, get an estimate of your future benefits, apply for Medicare, apply for Social Security benefits when you retire and more.

What is PEBB retiree insurance?

There are eligibility and procedural requirements that must be met to ensure the employee may enroll in or defer retiree insurance coverage.

Procedural requirements include PEBB receiving a retiree enrollment form no later than 60 days after the employee's employer-paid or COBRA coverage ends.

The determination of eligibility for retiree coverage is made by PEBB staff and is based on their eligibility to separate or retire under their DRS retirement plan as well as timely receipt of the enrollment form. (WAC 182-12-171 and WAC 182-12-200)

PEBB has created a Preparing for Retirement-Health Insurance Options checklist that employees may find helpful when separating or retiring. There is also information about retirement on the PEBB website.

The Health Care Authority (HCA) hosts webinars to learn more about Retiree Health Insurance offered through the PEBB Program, you can register to attend using this link. These webinars provide an overview of retiree health insurance including eligibility criteria, medical and dental plan availability, monthly premiums, and the enrollment process. Be sure to register for a webinar under the SEBB section specifically geared for school district employees.