How Much Refund Will I Receive?

If you request a refund and are vested or involuntarily separated from employment for causes other than job performance or misconduct, you will be eligible for a full refund of your member contribution account balance. If you are not vested, you will be eligible for a refund of the balance, excluding any member contributions made by your employer to your account after July 1, 2010 and the interest on these contributions. Look up your member contribution account balance in myVRS.

  • Taking a refund cancels your membership and eligibility for any future benefits.
  • If you leave employment, take a refund, and return to a VRS-covered position, you will be rehired under the currently applicable retirement plan for that position.

Requesting a Refund

To request a refund, log into your myVRS account and submit an online request for a refund. If you do not have a myVRS account, you will need to register.

Refunds are processed after:

  • You have taken a bona fide break in service. A bona fide break in service is a break of at least one full calendar month from your last day of employment that occurs during a period you normally would work. Leave with or without pay, summer breaks, intersession periods, educational leave and sabbaticals do not count toward satisfying this break in service.
    • You are leaving your job as an administrative assistant at the Virginia Department of Taxation effective June 12 and have requested a refund. The earliest VRS can process your refund is August.
    • You are a teacher in a 10-month contract for the period of August 1 to May 31. You plan to leave your position at the end of your contract and have requested a refund. The earliest VRS can process your refund is September.
  • You have left all covered full-time and any part-time employment with the same VRS-participating employer. The Commonwealth of Virginia, including all state agencies and public colleges and universities, is considered one employer.

Taxes on Refunds

If you have your refund paid directly to you, VRS will withhold federal taxes of 20% and, if you live in Virginia, state taxes of 4%. Any after-tax member contributions in your refund will not be taxed again. If you receive your refund before age 59½, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may impose an additional 10% tax penalty for early withdrawal of member contributions; there are exceptions to this rule. You can defer taxes by rolling over your refund to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another qualified plan that accepts rollovers. For more information, read the IRS 402(f) - Special Tax Notice - VRS Defined Benefit Plans. You also can contact a tax advisor, call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) toll-free at 1-800-829-1040 or visit the IRS website.