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Submit your Retirement Application no later than 90 days before you expect to begin receiving your PERF retirement benefit. Please send the Retirement Application directly to PERF. You do not have to submit it to your employer first.
At least one year in advance of your anticipated retirement, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with a Retirement Counselor. Your counselor will prepare an official estimate of your retirement benefits and discuss the estimate and the payment choices you need to make on the retirement application. Please do not request a separate benefits estimate if you plan to see a counselor.
If you don’t seek a counseling appointment, we encourage you to request a copy of the Applying for Retirement Benefits packet a year before your anticipated retirement. This is a large packet that includes a Request for Estimate of Benefits, the actual application, federal and state tax forms, and a direct deposit form. Please contact PERF to request this packet.
Reviewing the application, considering your retirement options, including all the required documents, and submitting your application with all required signatures, notarizations and necessary documents no later than 90 days before you retire will facilitate timely receipt of your first benefit payment. You may choose to send the application to PERF closer to your retirement, but that may lead to a gap between your final paycheck and your first benefit check.
Once you have submitted an application, PERF must request verification from your previous employer(s) of your wages and service. Completing this step typically requires the most time, and is dependent on the response time of those employers. After your last day in pay status, your current employer will be asked to submit a Report of Separation from Employment, Wages and Contributions form. You are not required to submit this form to your employer or to PERF. Again, delays in receipt of your final wage and service information can delay your first benefit check.
The retirement application process is an important milestone that requires careful planning and preparation well in advance of your actual final day. In the application process, if you do not wish to involve your employer, you may deal directly with PERF. You do not have to present any retirement paperwork to your employer. Starting the process will not inform your employer of your retirement plans before you are ready. You may, however, want to include your employer in making your decisions about the best day to retire.
If you have any questions, please contact PERF immediately.