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1200 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219

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 > Getting Ready to Retire
 > Applying for Retirement

Applying for Retirement

Retirement is effective on the first of the month. Your monthly benefit will begin following a bona fide break in service of at least one full calendar month from your retirement date over a period you normally would work.

To begin receiving your benefit payments in a timely manner, submit your application and all required documents to your employer at least 60 days, but not more than four months (120 days), before you want to retire. Example: If you wish to retire on July 1, submit your application by May 1. You will receive your first benefit payment on August 1 for the month of July.

When you apply for retirement, you will elect a benefit payout option. Your election is irrevocable, meaning you cannot change it once you retire, with the exception of the Survivor Option under some circumstances.

If you need assistance applying for retirement, your human resource office, a family member or an individual authorized to act on your behalf, such as an agent named under a power of attorney or a legal guardian, may be able to assist you. For more information, call VRS toll-free at 1-888-VARETIR (1-888-827-3847). Read more about authorizing others to access your VRS accounts.

Once your retirement application has been processed, you will receive a retirement certificate and the Retiree Handbook. The retirement certificate outlines your benefit payment information as well as your life insurance information, if applicable. Keep your certificate and handbook for future reference.

Select from the following links for what your retirement application must include:

Required Forms and Documents

Your application must include the following forms and documents. Read the directions on all forms carefully and provide all signatures and required documents. An incomplete or incorrect application will delay the processing of your retirement.

If you are a state employee, you also must submit the State Health Benefits Enrollment Form for Retirees, Survivors and VSDP/LTD Participants with your retirement application or within 31 days of your retirement date, whether you are electing or waiving coverage. Note: If you defer retirement, you will not be eligible to enroll in the program; if you waive coverage, you will not be able to enroll at a later date. For more information, visit the Department of Human Resource Management website.

If you are an employee of a school division or a political subdivision, contact your human resource office about retiree health insurance your employer may offer. Some employers have arranged with VRS to deduct the premiums from the monthly benefit payment.

Other Forms and Documents

Employer Certification

Submit your completed application and all required documents to your human resource office. Your employer will review your application, complete the employer certification section and submit your application to VRS. If you apply for retirement after 12 months from leaving employment or if you are retiring after being on long-term disability through the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) or the Virginia Local Disability Program (VLDP), submit your application to VRS.

Retirement Certificate

Once your application has been processed, you will receive a retirement certificate and the Retiree Handbook. The retirement certificate outlines your benefit payment information as well as your life insurance information, if applicable. Keep your certificate and your handbook for future reference.

Retirement Readiness Checklist

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