Your Guide to Applying for Retirement

February 2024
view of a desk from above with a phone apple, pencil, pair of eyeglasses and laptop computer along with a copy of the Getting Ready to Retire Guide from VRS.

If you plan to retire this year, take note of these key actions and deadlines related to your application.

Retire Online for Ease and Convenience

Save time and bypass paper forms with the benefit of online retirement in myVRS. This intuitive application comes with pre-retirement counseling, such as informative videos and step-by-step guidance through major decision points.

Some members may not be eligible to retire online. Exceptions include but are not limited to those retiring with:

  • Hazardous duty service.
  • Judicial service.
  • Long-term disability in their record or retiring on disability.
  • Approved Domestic Relations Orders (ADRO) on file.
  • Ongoing purchase of prior service agreements.

If you do not see the button to apply in myVRS, you will see a message that VRS cannot accept your online application at this time, and you can submit a paper application instead. Watch Applying for Retirement to learn how to complete your application.

Plan Ahead for Your Retirement Date

You must apply for retirement at least 60 days, but not more than four months (120 days), before you want to retire. Retirement is effective on the first of the month. Your monthly defined benefit will begin following a bona fide break in service of at least one full calendar month from your retirement date.

If you want to retire on July 1, apply by May 1. You will receive your first benefit payment on August 1 for the month of July.

For any VRS Defined Contribution Plans in which you participate – for example, the defined contribution component of the Hybrid Retirement Plan – you will need to submit a separate distribution request through Account Access when you are ready to withdraw funds.

Remember to review and update beneficiaries by registering or logging in to your myVRS account. If you are a hybrid plan member or participate in another DCP plan, be sure to also update beneficiary information in Account Access.

Take Advantage of VRS Counseling Resources

  • Get started: Tune into Your Next Steps (live or recorded webinar) for Plan 1 and Plan 2 members who are fewer than 12 months away from retirement. View other member education webinars on topics such as the health insurance credit.
  • Dive deeper: Visit the Getting Ready to Retire webpage for tips and details to help you prepare. The right column will direct you to topics and resources like the Getting Ready to Retire Guide, a comprehensive look at planning, applying and benefits in retirement.
  • Learn what to expect: The Living in Retirement course in myVRS Financial Wellness can provide answers to your questions on Social Security benefits, an overview of how your tax situation and health care needs may change in retirement, as well as tips on living a savvy lifestyle. Test your knowledge with no-stress quizzes throughout and develop a personalized action plan.