What You Should Know About Retiring
When it comes to retirement, there is so much to know! Read through this page very carefully, watch all the video tutorials/webcasts and let us help you Navigate Your Future through the long and winding road called retirement.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Don't wait until the last minute to start the retirement process. While the calculation is fairly simple, the decision to retire can be stressful. Let us help you with a timeline and checklist to make the retirement process as painless and stress free as possible.
Eligibility and Salary Calculations
There are rules for retirement eligibility and how salaries are used in the calculations. Click the button to learn more.Review Eligibility
The Basic Calculation
While there is a lot to learn, the ASRS is a defined benefit plan which means that most of the work has already been done for you. The formula to calculate your retirement is quite simple.
Total Service Credit * Graded Multiplier * Average Monthly Salary (AMS) = Monthly Benefit
That's it. The graded multiplier determines the percentage of your AMS you will receive for each year of service credited to your account. Learn more about the formula and create personalized benefit estimates on the “Estimate Your Benefits” page by clicking this button.
The basic monthly benefit is something called a Straight Life Annuity (SLA). The SLA is the most money you can receive per month, but it does not guarantee any benefits to your survivors after your death.
There are 6 additional options to choose from when you apply for your pension. All the options will pay you (the retiree) a monthly benefit for life. If you want to leave benefits to your spouse or anyone else after your death, you might want to choose one of the other options. Watch this video to learn the difference between the various benefit options.
Of course, while the formula is simple, there are other things to consider when you're thinking about retirement.
- Partial Lump Sum (PLS): You are allowed to take a lump sum advance on some of your retirement funds in exchange for a lower monthly benefit. Log in to estimate your benefits, and click 'customize' to experiment with different PLS options.
- Early Retirement: You can retire with a reduced lifetime benefit as early as 50 years old with 5+ years of service. Experimenting with different retirement dates in the 'Retirement' link under 'Your Benefit Estimates' on the secure site will show you how the reductions are applied. You still might decide that the extra years of benefits will offset the lifetime reduction.
- Health Insurance: When you retire, you will need health coverage and you may be eligible for a subsidy called a 'premium benefit'. Look at our Health Insurance section of the website for more details.
- Name your beneficiary(ies): Designating your beneficiary(ies) is very important, and makes survivor benefit processing that much faster. Read more on our beneficiaries page, including the need to designate your spouse as primary beneficiary or obtaining spousal consent to designate otherwise.
- Service Purchase: If you are in the process of purchasing service, or you have a Payroll Deduction Agreement in progress, read through the Service Purchase page including the Frequently Asked Questions before filing for retirement.
- Additional Information: The ASRS is a retirement system after all with benefits other than retirement, such as survivor benefits and a Long Term Disability plan. Read over the entire website for all of the benefits you have, and the details about those benefits. When you log in to the secure site, we will show you YOUR customized estimates of each type of benefit.
Log in to Estimate Benefits and File for Retirement
By logging in, you can see a customized benefit estimate just for you. You can run different customized scenarios, such as the various annuity options, PLS options and health insurance premium benefits.
When you are ready to retire, we encourage you to use our online retirement application to file for retirement. Using our online application is virtually error free and we take you through all the various options to make sure you haven’t missed anything to avoid delay in processing your benefits.
Watch a video, participate in a live webinar or attend a group member meeting. See all of our offerings, no matter where you are on the road to retirement.