VRS Basic Group Life Insurance Minimum Increases
As a reminder, your VRS Basic Group Life Insurance coverage continues into retirement. The minimum coverage amount will increase to $9,254 starting July 1 if you have at least 30 years of service credit. This minimum is reviewed annually and is based on the VRS Plan 2 COLA calculation.
Change in HELPS Eligibility Requirement
Effective January 1, 2024, automatic deduction of health insurance premiums or long-term care insurance premiums directly from your retirement benefit is no longer required to be eligible for the federal Healthcare Enhancement for Local Public Safety (HELPS) Retiree Act.
The act allows eligible retired public safety officers to exclude a certain amount per year from retirement income used for those premiums.
Premiums covering yourself, your spouse and dependent children may be eligible for this tax exclusion. You must claim the insurance premium exclusion on your tax return. The Form 1099-R that you receive reflects total taxable income without any adjustment for this benefit. For more information, contact a tax advisor or the IRS at 800-829-1040, or visit irs.gov.
2023 Legislative Update
For an overview of new laws related to VRS, see the Legislative Summary.
DCP Participants: Self-Directed Brokerage Account Option Moving to Schwab
The TD Ameritrade self-directed brokerage account option available to members with defined contribution plan accounts record-kept by MissionSquare Retirement is transitioning to Schwab ownership in early September. Participants will need to register their accounts with Schwab. Affected participants will receive additional information from MissionSquare and Schwab.
Required Minimum Distribution Age Is Now 73
Passed late last year, the federal SECURE 2.0 Act builds on recent changes to the rules around how people can save and withdraw money from retirement accounts. If you participate in a VRS defined contribution plan, a required minimum distribution will begin if you have not arranged to receive payments from your account by April 1 following the year in which you turn age 73. This is an increase from the previously required minimum distribution age of 72.
Governor Appoints New Board Member
Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently appointed Jessica Hood to the VRS Board of Trustees. Hood is the director of outreach and public relations at the Wise County and City of Norton Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.