Whether going the distance - and then some, or taking the off-ramp for a different destination, APERS members have choices when it comes to when and how to take their much-deserved retirement.
APERS members who are nearing the end of a career in covered employment may decide to continue their road to retirement until they meet age and service requirements to exit with full benefits, or they can decide to cut their journey a little short and take the "early" retirement exit. Retiring early means turning off before reaching (a) the age of 65 or (b) 28 years of active service. Unless you pass one of these milestones, your benefit will be “reduced” from the maximum you could earn down the road.
Most members who drive past the early exits are looking for the “Unreduced Benefit” exit. They can take the unreduced exit if they meet one of the following conditions*:
- They are at least 65 years old with five or more actual years of service (contributory or non-contributory),
- They were hired before January 1, 1978 and are at least 60 years old with 20 or more years of contributory service, or
- They have at least 28 actual years of service (contributory or non-contributory) regardless of age.
These members can take advantage of what is sometimes referred to as “full” retirement as they enjoy the maximum benefit available for their average salary and length of service. While some members will choose their retirement exit and end their working careers as soon as they are able, others may wish to continue working a bit longer. We'll look at some different options the retirement plan offers for those who wish to keep working beyond their eligibility to retire or even after retiring.
*The provisions discussed in this post apply to typical members who are not receiving multiple service credit. Contact APERS for more information.
(This material first appeared in the fall 2013 active newsletter.)