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1. What election form did I need to complete if I wanted to participate in the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System?
The date of your service as a full-time magistrate determined whether or not you had the option to complete an election form to participate in the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System.
2. Was I required to submit an election form if I was serving as a magistrate on July 1, 2010, and decided not to elect to participate in the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System?
If you were serving as a full-time magistrate on July 1, 2010, and did not wish to participate in the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System, you did not need to do anything. Participation was optional. If you did not elect to participate in the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System, you will remain a participant in PERF.
3. When may I make the election to purchase full-time magistrate, full-time referee or full-time commissioner service for the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System?
You may elect to purchase credit for service as a full-time magistrate, full-time referee or full-time commissioner on or after Jan. 1, 2011.
4. What form do I need to complete for an election to purchase service for the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System?
The service purchase election form will be available online here by Jan. 1, 2011.
5. How do I request an estimate of the cost to purchase service?
Request an estimate by sending PERF a signed letter that includes the following:
6. May I use my PERF Annuity Savings Account (ASA) to pay for the purchase of service for the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System?
Yes, you may use your PERF ASA to purchase credit for prior service in PERF as a full-time magistrate, full-time referee or full-time commissioner.
7. Is there a minimum benefit payment for members of the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System who elect to purchase prior PERF service?
By statute, a minimum benefit applies to members who purchase credit for service as a full-time magistrate, full-time referee or full-time commissioner under PERF.
8. How do I make the payment for the amount due for the service purchase if the cost exceeds the balance of my PERF ASA?
If the cost of your service purchase exceeds the balance of your ASA, you may send a payment for the balance due to PERF. The 1985 Judges’ Retirement System will also accept a rollover distribution or a trustee-to-trustee transfer from certain plans. Please consult your tax advisor before making any payment for a service purchase.
Acceptable rollover distributions include the following:
Acceptable trustee-to-trustee transfers include the following:
9. How will my PERF retirement benefit be determined if I have PERF service remaining after purchasing service from the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System?
You must have at least 10 years of PERF creditable service remaining after purchasing service for the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System in order to qualify for a PERF retirement benefit. You will only be eligible for a pension benefit, which is computed based on service, average compensation and your age on the effective date of your retirement benefit. You would not have any ASA funds remaining. Those funds were transferred to fund the minimum benefit from the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System.
10. I want to remain vested in PERF. How do I determine the amount of service available to transfer to the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System?
Your PERF Annual Member Statement provides an estimate of your service. You may also send a request to PERF for verification of your total years of service.
11. I have PERF service remaining after my service purchase to the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System. Following my separation from employment, would I be eligible for a pension benefit from the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System and PERF?
Eligibility would be determined by the creditable service earned in each fund at the time you separate from employment. Following separation of employment and reaching the age of eligibility, you would need 10 years of PERF-covered service and eight years of service with the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System to qualify for a pension benefit from both funds. You cannot receive service credit in PERF for years of service purchased to be used in the 1985 Judges’ Retirement System.
12. How do I obtain an estimate of my PERF retirement benefit with and without the years of service I can purchase?
PERF mails a benefit estimate with your Annual Member Statement. You may also access our benefit calculator online here. If you are within one year of being eligible to receive a PERF retirement benefit, you may submit a request to PERF for a retirement benefit estimate. The form is available online at here.
If you have questions, please contact our customer service center. We can be reached Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST at (888) 526-1687, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your concerns.