Purchase of Prior Service

If you have eligible prior service, you may be able to purchase this service before you leave employment or retire under WTA. You must be an active member to purchase prior service.

Already Purchasing Service?

If you are purchasing prior service through a salary-reduction agreement, your agreement will end when you leave employment or retire under WTA:

  • If you are purchasing service through after-tax payroll deduction, you may purchase any remaining service on your agreement in a lump sum.
  • If you are purchasing service through pretax salary reduction, your agreement will cease when you leave employment or retire under WTA. You may purchase any service remaining on your agreement by claiming a hardship as provided in the Internal Revenue Code. The hardship provision allows you to purchase your remaining service in a lump sum with after-tax funds or to suspend your agreement if you plan to return to a VRS-covered position.
  • To claim a hardship:
    • Write a letter to VRS indicating your intent to purchase your remaining service in a lump sum or requesting that your agreement be suspended.
    • Enclose a copy of a completed Employer Certification of Involuntary Separation Under Workforce Transition Act (VRS-11) or a letter from your employer certifying your involuntary separation under WTA.
    • Send the letter with the enclosure to VRS at P.O. Box 2500, Richmond, VA 23218-2500. You will receive a letter at your mailing address verifying your election.

Health Insurance

If you are eligible for the WTA cash severance benefit, see DHRM for more information about the continuation of your health insurance coverage. To apply, submit the State Health Benefits Enrollment Form for Retirees, Survivors and VSDP/LTD Participants with your retirement application.

Retiree Health Insurance Credit

If you retire under WTA with at least 15 years of service credit , you may be eligible for the health insurance credit. The WTA retirement credit that is applied toward service credit can count toward service needed to qualify for the health insurance credit.

Group Life Insurance

WTA Cash Severance Benefit – No Retirement

Coverage under the Basic Group Life Insurance Program continues for 12 months following your layoff date. If you are enrolled in the Optional Group Life Insurance Program, your coverage ends when you leave covered employment . If you die within 31 days of the last day of the month in which you leave covered employment, your beneficiary will receive your optional life insurance natural death benefit. Learn more about Group Life Insurance coverage.

If you are not eligible for a retirement benefit when you leave covered employment, you may convert your basic group life insurance coverage to an individual whole-life policy.

If you are covered under optional group life insurance, you may convert your coverage whether or not you are eligible for a retirement benefit.

To convert life insurance coverage, submit the Conversion of Group Life Insurance Enrollment (VRS-35E) within 31 days of the last day of the month in which you leave covered employment. This option is not available after 31 days.

Retirement under WTA

Your basic group life insurance coverage will continue into retirement. If you are covered under optional group life insurance, you may continue a portion of your coverage into retirement provided you, your spouse and/or your dependent children were covered during the 60 months preceding your retirement date. Learn more about Basic Group Life Insurance, Optional Group Life Insurance and Insurance in Retirement.

Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP)

Short-Term Disability

If you participate in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) and are involuntarily separated from employment while you are on short-term disability, you are eligible for WTA transitional severance benefits. These benefits are not available to VSDP participants on long-term disability.

Long-Term Care

If you participate in VSDP, you are covered under the VSDP Long-Term Care Plan at no cost to you while you are actively employed. Your coverage will end after the 12-month severance period if you have elected the severance payments, or when you retire if you have elected the retirement credits in lieu of the severance payments under WTA. You may elect to continue your coverage. You will be responsible for paying the premiums. You have 60 days from the end of your severance period or retirement date to make this election. This option is not available after 60 days.

For more information, contact the Long-Term Care Group, Inc. at 1-800-761-4057.

457 Deferred Compensation and 401(a) Cash Match Plans

If you participate in the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation and Virginia Cash Match Plans, you have the following options at the time of layoff:

  • You may keep your funds in the Commonwealth's 457 Plan and Cash Match Plan. You continue to manage your investments. You cannot contribute to your plan unless you return to salaried or wage employment with an employer that offers the plan.
  • You may request a rollover of your Commonwealth 457 Plan funds to the Virginia Cash Match Plan, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or other qualified retirement or tax-deferred savings plan.
  • You may request your funds in a lump sum or as a periodic payment. You will be required to pay federal income taxes and state income taxes if you live in a state that taxes income.
  • If you receive a payment before age 59½, there is no penalty for early withdrawal of funds from the Commonwealth's 457 Plan. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may impose an additional 10% federal tax penalty for early withdrawal of funds from the cash match plan.

Note: If you are electing the WTA cash severance benefit, you may not roll over your severance to the Commonwealth's 457 Plan.

If you are a Hybrid Retirement Plan member and separate from employment, you can take a refund of your defined benefit member contribution account and/or take a distribution from the defined contribution component . You may also choose to leave your retirement funds in the Hybrid Retirement Plan. For more information, see your human resource office.