Retirement-WA State Department of Retirement Systems

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As a public employee, you are eligible for retirement benefits administered by the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS).  
A retirement plan is a required part of the benefits package for your Washington public service. Both Plan 2 and Plan 3 offer a lifetime pension benefit. The pension amount depends on how long you work in public service and your salary.

Department of Retirement Systems
PO Box 48380
Olympia, Washington 98504-8380
(360) 664-7000 or toll-free (outside the Olympia area) 1-800-547-6657

Retirement Outlook Member Newsletter
As a retirement plan member, you can get up-to-date information at the Department of Retirement website.  

New to Washington State Retirement and need to make a plan choice?  Plan 2 or 3? You have 90 days to make a plan choice. 
Plan Choice Booklet

Click on the following links to learn how to choose a plan. 
DRS video - How to choose your plan.   
DRS Plan Choice Calculator

Will you be ready for Retirement?  Whether you're retiring in five years or thirty years, it's never too early to start planning for retirement.
Retirement Toolkit
Retirement Planning Notebook

DRS retirement planning seminars provide information you need as you near retirement.
Seminars are held from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays throughout the state.  Click the following link for the current Seminar and registration schedule:
DRS Seminar Schedule and Registration

Want to discover your bottom line for a secure retirement?

Explore what you need to save with calculators that you can plug your real-time numbers into. Simply sign into your online retirement account and look for the My Account in the left-hand menu. Use the IRS Withholding calculator to try different withholding amounts and see the effects on your net retirement benefit. If you decide to make a withholding change, submit the request with just one click. There’s no need to complete a form! You will receive an email confirmation and in most cases, your change will be effective the next month.
Members nearing retirement:
Once you've signed into your online retirement account, look for Withholding Calculator in the left-hand menu. From there you can run different scenarios to help you meet your retirement goals.

Those without an online account:

We also have a withholding calculator available if you don’t have an online account. You might want to speak with your tax adviser or the IRS if you have questions about your tax withholding.

Service credit restoration or public education experience purchases:

Use the Buy Back calculator to see an estimate of your cost to:

  • Restore withdrawn service credit past the deadline;
  • Purchase optional service credit past the deadline; and
  • Purchase public education experience service credit (for Plan 2 and Plan 3 members of Teachers' Retirement System).

Plan 2/3 Teachers and School Employees ask: What's the best retirement month for me?


When it comes to retirement planning, teachers and school employees in Plans 2 and 3 often ask whether it’s better to retire in July (when you stop working) or in September (when your contract ends).

There are several factors to weigh in choosing your retirement month, including what’s gained from an earlier start to benefits and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) compared to what’s earned from two extra months of service. And, starting this year, there’s a new consideration: the impact of an earlier retirement on your health care costs.

This additional consideration relates to the recent launch of the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) program, which offers employer-supported health insurance options for teachers and school employees. While SEBB provides enrollment for working employees, it does not offer coverage for retirees.

These two scenarios illustrate how these various factors come into play:

July retirement scenario (resign your position effective June 30 to retire starting in July 2023):

  • You’ll receive your pension benefit plus your salary for July and August.
  • Your COLA will start in July of the following year (July 1, 2024).
  • You won’t receive service credit for July and August.
  • Your health care coverage via SEBB will be discontinued after June 30.

September retirement scenario (resign your position effective Aug. 31 to retire starting in September 2023):

  • You’ll receive your pension benefit starting in September.
  • Your COLA won’t go into effect until July 2025.
  • You’ll earn service credit for July and August.
  • You’ll continue to receive SEBB health care coverage in July and August.

In both scenarios, eligible individuals can purchase retiree health insurance through the Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB) program once their SEBB coverage ends. Both programs are administered by the state Health Care Authority (HCA), which provides online information on SEBB plan costs and PEBB retiree plan costs.