PSERS 2 Retirement Plan

April 9, 2024 – House Bill 1055 expanded membership of PSERS 2 to include public safety telecommunicators at the University of Washington beginning June 1, 2024.

Prior to June 1, 2024 these University of Washington public safety telecommunicators were eligible for PERS 2 or PERS 3.

  • For those hired into an eligible full time public safety telecommunicator position on or after June 1, 2024, you will be mandated into PSERS 2 enrollment as required by state regulation.
  • For those hired into eligible full time public safety telecommunicator positions prior to June 1, 2024 who are members of either PERS 2 or PERS 3, you will be provided a one time Irrevocable Election to remain in your current PERS 2/PERS 3 membership or to begin your PSERS 2 membership. Once a choice is made it cannot be undone. The choice window for this election is June 1 – September 30, 2024.
    • There are many resources available to assist you in making your choice, including the Department of Retirement Systems letter to newly eligible PSERS 2 members which includes links to educational webinars. Additional resources can be found on the PERS/PSERS Dual Membership handout and PSERS 2 transition FAQ.

Available to full time public safety telecommunicators, the Public Safety Employee’s Retirement System Plan 2 (PSERS 2) retirement plan is a traditional, defined-benefit pension plan — when you meet plan requirements and retire, you’re guaranteed a monthly income benefit for the rest of your life.

Both you and the UW contribute money to PSERS 2. However, these contributions don’t determine your retirement benefit. Instead, the income you receive from PSERS 2 during retirement depends on both your salary and your years of service while a member of PSERS 2.

For a comprehensive summary about how your retirement plan works, see the PSERS 2 Information Webpage.

Enroll in PSERS 2

Only full-time public safety telecommunicators are eligible to participate in PSERS 2. Participation is a condition of employment and you will be automatically enrolled in the plan if you are eligible. Full time is defined as working an average of 160 hours per month for at least 12 months.

What you contribute

Currently you contribute 6.73 percent of your gross salary to PSERS 2.

The UW also contributes to PSERS 2 on your behalf. These aren’t matching funds, and you have no access to them. The rates at which both you and UW contribute are specified by the state legislature. They periodically adjust the rates to reflect the overall cost of the plan.

While these contributions help fund PSERS 2, they do not determine how much income you receive at retirement. Use the PSERS 2 formula to calculate your monthly retirement benefit.

Your retirement benefit

At retirement, the income you receive from PSERS 2 depends on two factors — how long you’ve worked and how much money you made. The formula for calculating your monthly retirement benefit is:

2% x service credit years x average final compensation

Average Final Compensation (AFC): The monthly average of your 60 consecutive highest-paid service credit months.

Service credit: Service credit is based on the number of hours you work each month and how long you have participated in the retirement plan. The UW reports your hours and earnings to the Washington state Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) every payday.

Full Retirement

You’re vested in the plan when you have five years of service credit. And once you’re vested, you’re eligible to retire with a full benefit at age 65. You are also eligible to retire at age 60 with 10 years of PSERS service credit with no reduced benefit.

Early Retirement

You can retire with a reduced benefit as early as age 53 if you have at least 20 service credit years.

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.