PERS 1: Preparing to retire
You’ve worked, you’ve saved, and you’ve envisioned your life in the years to come. Now as you near retirement, it’s time to make a plan for ending your service here at UW. The more you plan the smoother your transition will go — you may even realize you can retire sooner than you thought.
If you’re a member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) 1 retirement plan, start with the resources here to begin planning your retirement from UW. You can find comprehensive information about the plan in the PERS Plan 1 handbook (PDF).
When can I retire?
You’re eligible to retire if you are:
- Any age and have 30 or more years of service credit
- Age 55 and have 25 or more years of service credit
- Age 60 and have five or more years of service credit
If you have inactive status because you stopped working before retirement, you’re eligible to retire if you are:
- Age 65 and have 5 or more years of service credit
- Age 60 or older, if you separated from service on
or after January 1, 2002, were at least age 50 at
separation, and have at least 20 years of service credit
- Age 60 or older with 5 or more years of service credit,
with a reduced benefit
If you have additional questions, the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) provides a comprehensive list of PERS Plan 1 FAQs.
Plan as you near retirement
There’s lots to consider as you approach retirement. Among other things, you’ll need to:
- Set a target date
- Estimate your retirement benefit
- Attend a UW retirement workshop
- Complete the UW Retirement Application
- Consider increasing your benefit by purchasing additional service credit
- Plan for health insurance during retirement
- Determine the impact taxes have on your income
- Estimate your Social Security using their retirement estimator
For help planning, see the DRS web resources for those nearing retirement.
It’s a good idea to create your own retirement planning calendar. It’ll help you keep track of your plan and avoid missing any steps. Starting two years before your target date, begin using the DRS retirement planning checklist. Also, during your last year of work, use the Retirement - UW Retirement Checklist (PDF) as your career here comes to an end.
For in-person guidance, the UW Benefits office organizes workshops to help you prepare for retiring.
Retirement Savings Education & Resources
The Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) offers a wide range of resources to help you understand your retirement plan and meet your retirement savings goals. Visit DRS Education to find webinars, seminars, calculators and more.