New Employee Planning for DRS Retirement
Eligible employees are required to be a member of a Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) Plan. Find eligibility information in the Plan Handbooks on the DRS website.
New members have 90 days from their initial eligibility date to choose between Plan 2 or Plan 3. Find plan choice information on the DRS Plan Choice webpage.
If a plan is not chosen within the 90-day deadline, the employee will automatically be enrolled in Plan 2. After the 90 days, the plan option is final and cannot be changed.
On August 25, 2022 WSSRA and DRS conducted a Plan 2/Plan 3 comparison webinar designed to provide newly hired K-12 employees with the information they need to make an informed retirement plan decision.
A link to a recording of that webinar is DRS Webinar for new K-12 employees - Zoom.
Tax Sheltered Investment Plans with DCP & 403(b)
Retirement eligible employees have the opportunity to enroll in tax deferred 403(b) and 457 Deferred Compensation Plans (DCP):
- To enroll in an eligible 403(b) plan, employees must consult with their financial planner and complete the required 403(b) Annuity Authorization form.
Reach US OMNI by phone at 877-544-6664.
- Find enrollment and other information for the 457 plan on the DRS site.
Additional Retirement Options Webinar conducted on October 6th. Discusses options available to eligible SPS employees for additional retirement savings. Presenters include VOYA, US OMNI, and Gallagher on behalf of VEBA HRA.
- Retirement Overview (DRS and Social Security)
- Deferred Compensation Program (at minute 6:00)
- Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan 403(b) (at minute 15:45)
- VEBA HRA (at minute 24:25)
Retirement Education Resources & Webinars
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 schedule visit DRS Webinar site, and look for the webinar link at the bottom the page.
Washington State School Retirees’ Association
The WSSRA (formerly the Washington State Retired Teachers’ Association) aims to provide leadership and promote action relevant to all retired and active school personnel. They offer annual "101-level" Pre Retirement Webinars that cover the basics of the “Big Five” of retirement planning—DRS, HCA/PEBB, Social Security, Medicare and VEBA. More information can be found at WSSRA's website under Events.
Substitute Retirement Information
Substitute employees may be eligible to purchase retirement service credits. For requirements for obtaining Retirement Service Credit, review the Plan Handbooks.
For further information, contact DRS at 1-800-547-6657 or go to the DRS website.
WA 529 College Savings Plans
Saving for Education
Learn about the Washington 529 Education Savings Plans (WA529)
Did you know that saving for your child’s future education expenses can have a positive impact on their success in school? No matter what the amount, a child who has a savings account specifically for their future education costs is 6 times more likely to graduate and pursue additional college and career training.
The Washington 529 Education Savings Plans include the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program and DreamAhead College Investment Plan. 529 plans are taxed-advantaged education savings plans that help families save for future education expenses.
Parents, grandparents, or anyone can save for a child’s future education and on-going training. The savings can be used to pay for a variety of qualified education expenses at colleges, universities, and technical and vocational training, including apprenticeship programs in the U.S. and even some schools abroad.
Visit WA529 to learn more about GET and DreamAhead and get started with an account today.