1 Retiremet System for Employees ad Teachers of the State of Marylad hadbook ed 0 vis 01 R e ly 2 Ju MARYLAND STATE RETIREMENT ad PENSION SYSTEM Beefits
2 RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR EMPLOYEES AND TEACHERS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND Beefits Hadbook Prepared by The State Retiremet Agecy 120 East Baltimore Street Baltimore, Marylad July 2010 This booklet provides a summary of the features ad beefits of your retiremet pla. Retiremet provisios outlied i this documet are set forth i the State Persoel ad Pesios Article of the Aotated Code of Marylad. If there are ay questios of iterpretatio, the provisios of the State Persoel ad Pesios Article will cotrol to resolve them.
3 Message from the Board of Trustees Welcome to the Employees ad Teachers Retiremet System, part of the State Retiremet ad Pesio System of Marylad. This hadbook will help you become acquaited with the beefits ad features of your retiremet pla. We desiged this hadbook to be easy to read, with sample calculatios ad a glossary of importat terms. I additio to beig a valuable resource for your retiremet plaig, this maual also provides detailed iformatio o beefits available to you ad your family durig your career. If you ever eed assistace, please cotact the State Retiremet Agecy. Retiremet beefits specialists ca be reached at or toll free at Useful iformatio about your retiremet beefits is also available o our Web site located at You should also be aware of other beefits, such as health isurace, which may be offered through your employer after you retire. Cotact your persoel office for more iformatio. Each of you has our very best wishes for a productive, challegig career ad a fulfillig retiremet.
4 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Membership i SRPS Participatio Three Retiremet System Plas Eligibility Takig a Active Role Beeficiary Chages Approved Leave of Absece Termiatig Membership Questios to Ask Before Leavig Membership How You Ear or Accrue Service Credit Eared Credit Claimed Credit Service Eared i Aother State System Military Service Purchased Credit Normal Cost Full Cost Uused Sick Leave Your Beefits Survivor Beefits Disability Beefits Vestig Service Retiremet Choosig a Allowace Optio Applyig for Retiremet Fudig Your Beefits Types of Cotributios Employer Cotributios Employee Cotributios Supplemetal Cotributios System Ivestmets System Safeguards Your Board of Trustees Calculatig Your Beefits Key Elemets of the Beefit Formula Assumptios Used i Sample Calculatios Service Retiremet Early Retiremet Vested Beefit Ordiary Disability Accidetal Disability Survivor Beefits Preparig for Retiremet Primary Retiremet Forms Filig Checklist Retiremet Checklist Durig Retiremet Method of Paymet Tax Liability Cost of Livig Adjustmets Address Chages Reemploymet Garishmet of Pesio Beefits Health Isurace SRPS Resources Iformatio by Telephoe Couselig Iquiries by Letter Address Chages Newsletter Web Site Persoal Statemet of Beefits Semiars Your Retiremet Coordiator Special Commuicatios Cocers Cofidetiality Coflicts/Appeals Glossary of Terms Appedix: Pla C Beefits A1
5 1 MEMBERSHIP IN SRPS The State Retiremet ad Pesio System (SRPS) has a log, secure history of providig retiremet beefits to the employees of the Free State. Created i 1927 to provide retiremet beefits to the State s public school employees, SRPS today covers thousads of employees from teachers ad State persoel to our law makers i Aapolis. The system is admiistered by the State Retiremet Agecy of Marylad (SRA), which maages the day to day operatios of the pesio fud ad hadles all membership matters from erollmet to the paymet of beefits. The Agecy operates uder the directio of a 14 member Board of Trustees, which establishes policy, oversees ivestmets, ad represets our various employee iterests. Participatio Our membership icludes close to 200,000 State ad muicipal employees, educators, law eforcemet persoel, judges, ad legislators. Each of these employee groups is covered uder idividual employee plas, or systems. This booklet deals with the Employees ad Teachers Retiremet Systems. These systems were closed to ew members as of Jauary 1, The Retiremet System, as it is called, covers State ad participatig muicipal employees ad persoel of Marylad public schools, public libraries, ad affiliated State uiversities ad colleges who were erolled prior to Jauary 1, 1980, ad who have elected to remai a member of the Retiremet System. Three Retiremet System Plas 1 Retiremet System members participate uder oe of three optios: Pla A Member elected to pay a higher cotributio rate (geerally 7% of pay) to maitai all beefits, icludig ulimited cost of livig adjustmets. Pla B Pla C Member cotiued pre 1984 cotributio rate (geerally 5% of pay) to maitai all beefits except ulimited cost of livig. Cost of livig adjustmets are capped at 5%. Member chose a combiatio, or two part (bifurcated) beefit. The portio of the service prior to the electio is calculated at retiremet as a Retiremet System beefit; the portio of service after the electio is calculated at retiremet as a Pesio System beefit.
6 Eligibility Prior to 1980, your employer participated i the State Retiremet ad Pesio Systems. Because you were employed before Jauary 1, 1980, your membership was automatic as a permaet employee who works at least 50% of the ormal workig time. If you erolled before Jauary 1, 1974, you may participate regardless of the percetage of hours you work. Membership bega whe your employer placed you o the payroll ad submitted your completed erollmet applicatio. Takig A Active Role Throughout your career it s wise to take a active iterest i your retiremet pla. That s why we offer a umber of resources to keep you iformed of beefit matters affectig you ow ad i the future. These iclude your Persoal Statemet of Beefits, which provides a aual summary of your retiremet accout, ad our quarterly ewsletter the Metor, desiged to keep you up to date o importat beefit ews ad iformatio, as well as our Iteret Web site ad automated telephoe system. See SRPS Resources for details o these ad other SRPS member publicatios ad services. Beeficiary Chages You origially desigated your beeficiaries whe you erolled. It is importat that the beeficiary(ies) you have o file with the Retiremet Agecy be kept curret to reflect ay chages i your life. Commo reasos for chagig beeficiaries iclude a chage i marital status or the arrival of a ew family member. You may update your beeficiary desigatio at ay time by completig a ew Desigatio of Beeficiary (Form 4), available through your persoel office. Your ew desigatio goes ito effect as soo as it is received by the State Retiremet Agecy. You may desigate both primary ad cotiget beeficiaries durig your membership. Primary Beeficiary: This is your first choice for the idividual(s) who would receive survivor beefits should you die durig membership. Remember, your spouse must be your sole primary beeficiary as oe of the coditios for the mothly survivor beefit optio. See discussio o Survivor Beefits o page 11 for more iformatio. Cotiget Beeficiary: The idividual(s) whom you desigate to receive the oe time beefit i the evet that all desigated primary beeficiaries predecease you. 2 MEMBERSHIP IN SRPS
7 Approved Leave of Absece At some time i your career, you may eed to take a upaid leave of absece. You may be eligible for the followig specific types of approved leave: Persoal illess Materity/paterity Adoptio Career related study Govermet sposored or subsidized employmet Service i a professioal or employee orgaizatio The SRPS recogizes oly the types of approved leave listed here. If you take a upaid leave of absece for reasos other tha those oted, your active membership ceases durig the leave ad your accrued service credit may be affected. FILING FOR LEAVE It s extremely importat that you file for leave properly. Proper filig esures that should you die while away o a approved leave, your survivor beefit remais i effect. It also makes you eligible to purchase the leave period later o if you wish to add to your service credit. Before your leave begis you must file a Applicatio to be Placed o a Qualifyig Approved Leave of Absece (Form 46) with the Retiremet Agecy. Also, the form 46 is filed i additio to ay forms your employer requires to grat your leave request. Your employer must also certify that the leave has bee approved. PURCHASING CREDIT To actually purchase the credit, complete a Request to Purchase Previous Service (Form 26) ad attach verificatio of your employmet, idicatig your etrace ad termiatio dates. You must file a Request to Purchase Previous Service (Form 26) while a active member or withi 60 days of the ed of a leave of absece. Termiatig Membership Membership eds if the member is separated from employmet for more tha: (a) 4 years, if a member of the Employees Retiremet System; or (b) 5 years, if a member of the Teachers Retiremet System. Other circumstaces which ed membership are whe a member: (c) withdraws his or her accumulated cotributios; (d) trasfers to the Employees Pesio System or Teachers Pesio System o or before December 31, 2004; (e) becomes a retiree; or (f) dies. While we hope you remai a SRPS member for may years to come, you may leave your job before your plaed retiremet date due to a career or persoal chage. It s importat to review your SRPS beefits before leavig. If you aswer yes to ay of the followig questios, you may be eligible for beefits ow or i the future. Check with your persoel office or cotact the Retiremet Agecy before your last day of employmet. 3 MEMBERSHIP IN SRPS
8 Questios to ask yourself about your beefits before leavig membership Am I vested? (See page 17) At least 5 years of eligibility service. ( )YES ( )NO Do I qualify for ormal service retiremet? (See page 18) Age 60 regardless of service, or 30 years of service credit, regardless of age. ( )YES ( )NO Do I qualify for early retiremet? (See page 18) At least 25 years of service credit. ( )YES ( )NO Do I qualify to apply for disability? (See page 12) Geeral Qualificatios: Ordiary Disability Permaetly disabled from performig job duties, with 5 years of service credit. ( )YES ( )NO Geeral Qualificatios: Accidetal Disability Permaetly disabled by a o the job accidet. While there is o service requiremet the accidet must have occurred withi 5 years of your applicatio for disability ( )YES ( )NO Have I checked with my persoel office regardig the impact of termiatig o other beefits offered through my employer such as health isurace? ( )YES ( )NO IMPORTANT: If you feel you are eligible to apply for a disability beefit, please cotact the Retiremet Agecy immediately. 4 MEMBERSHIP IN SRPS
9 2 HOW YOU EARN OR ACCRUE SERVICE CREDIT Eared Credit As a member of the Retiremet System of the State of Marylad, you ear service credit toward your retiremet beefits for each moth your employer submits your employee cotributio. Pla C members ear service credit for their hours worked. Your employer reports your cotributio ad hours worked each pay period. The Retiremet Agecy the credits your accout with the appropriate amout of service credit. You ear a moth of credit for ay moth i which cotributios are reported. Uder Pla C if you work 500 hours, you ear credit for every hour you are paid i a fiscal year (July 1 to Jue 30). For more detailed iformatio o Pla C beefits, see the Appedix. Your service credits are used to determie both your eligibility for beefits ad to calculate the amout of your beefits. If you make a cotributio i ay moth, you will receive credit for the etire moth. Part time members receive full credit for each moth of part time service i which cotributios are received. Attetio 10 moth members: All members of the Teachers Retiremet System, whether employed 10, 11 or 12 moths, participate as 10 moth members. Each moth of service is credited as 1/10th of a year, ad a full year of service credit is eared September through Jue. This rule also applies to certai members of the Employees Retiremet System who qualify as 10 moth employees. A 10 moth employee is defied as a employee of a couty board of educatio who works o a 10 moth school year basis. Claimed Credit It s Up to You I additio to the service credit you ear through payroll reportig, you may be eligible to claim additioal credit i certai special situatios. Please ote that it is your resposibility to claim this credit by completig the required forms, available through your persoel office or the Retiremet Agecy. You must be a member to claim service. See page 3 for whe membership eds. No additioal credit ca be claimed after you have left membership or have retired. 5
10 There are two types of service for which you may claim credit: Previous service eared i aother system U. S. military service. SERVICE EARNED IN ANOTHER SRPS SYSTEM OR IN A LOCAL RETIREMENT OR PENSION SYSTEM A member may be eligible to trasfer previous service credit from a previous retiremet system to a ew retiremet system. A example would be a regular state employee, curretly a member of the state s Employees Pesio System, who accepts a positio as a state correctioal officer, which requires membership i the state s Correctioal Officers System. Aother example is a Baltimore City employee, with membership i Baltimore City s retiremet pla, who becomes a state em ployee, which requires membership i the state s Employees Pesio System. To trasfer credit, you must complete a Electio to Trasfer Service (Form 37). To qualify for the trasfer of your credit, your employmet must be cotiuous ad you must apply to trasfer the credit withi oe year of becomig a member of the ew system. MILITARY SERVICE You may receive retiremet credit for eligible military service as log as you have ot (ad will ot) receive credit for this military service uder ay other pesio system. This restrictio icludes military pesios. It does ot apply to beefits paid uder Social Security, the Natioal Railroad Retiremet Act, ay Natioal Guard or Reserve pesio or to beefits received from ay disability pesio. Review the followig sectio for eligibility requiremets ad service credit limits. Former members who have termiated membership with at least 10 years of creditable service may apply for military credit. Retired members who are receivig a mothly beefit are ot eligible to claim military credit. Military credit claimed ad applied to a memberʹs accout receives the beefit formula multiplier i effect at the time of retiremet. Oce retiremet credit has bee grated for military service, it caot be removed at a later date. Eligible Types of Military Service For SRPS purposes, eligible military service is limited to the followig: Membership i a reserve compoet of the Armed Forces of the Uited States o active duty or ordered or assiged to active duty, or o active or iactive duty for traiig that iterrupts a member s service; Elistmet or iductio ito the Armed Forces of the Uited States; Membership i the Marylad Natioal Guard; Participatio i active duty or iactive duty traiig while a member of the Natioal Guard or a reserve compoet of the Armed Forces of the Uited States; 6 HOW YOU EARN OR ACCRUE SERVICE CREDIT
11 Service i the Merchat Maries from December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946, or Active duty with the commissioed corps of the Public Health Service, the Natioal Oceaic ad Atmospheric Admiistratio or the Coast ad Geodetic Survey from: a. December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946; b. Jue 25, 1950 to Jauary 31, 1955, or c. December 22, 1961 to May 7, Active Duty Precedig Membership You may claim up to a maximum of five years of credit for active military duty precedig your membership. You must have accrued at least 10 years of creditable service to apply for credit for military service that preceded SRPS membership. Service i the Guard ad Active/Iactive Duty Traiig Precedig ad Durig Membership Special rules apply for service i the Marylad Natioal Guard ad active/iactive duty traiig i the Natioal Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves. Marylad Natioal Guard Service For service i the Marylad Natioal Guard, four moths of military credit may be credited for each year of Guard service up to a maximum of 36 moths of military credit. A member must still have 10 years of creditable service to claim this type of service. Exceptio: If you are i the Marylad Natioal Guard ad are activated, you ca claim this service immediately upo your retur to active employmet. Active Duty Traiig For active duty traiig i the Natioal Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves, oe moth of military credit may be credited for every 28 days of active duty traiig certified. No credit is grated for days less tha 28. To claim this service, a member must have 10 years of creditable service ad the active duty traiig must have occurred prior to erollmet i SRPS. Military Duty or Traiig Iterruptig Membership If you are called to active military duty or assiged active or iactive duty traiig while servig i the Natioal Guard or a reserve uit durig your membership, you should file a Applicatio to be Placed o a Qualifyig Leave of Absece (Form 46) before leavig employmet. The filig of this form serves oly to give your pesio pla otice of your absece for military service. You may claim a maximum of five years of military credit upo returig to membership provided: You retur to work with a participatig employer withi oe year of your discharge from active duty ad You do ot accept other permaet employmet betwee your date of discharge ad your retur to work. How to Apply To file for military credit, either precedig or iterruptig membership, complete a Claim of Retiremet Credit for Military Service (Form 43). Attach a copy of your military discharge papers (Form DD 214) idicatig your active duty etrace ad dis 7 HOW YOU EARN OR ACCRUE SERVICE CREDIT
12 charge dates. To claim Natioal Guard or Reserve service, iclude a retiremet credit record (Form NGB 23 or similar form). Note for bifurcated Pla C members: Effective October 1, 2006, military credit claimed ad applied to a memberʹs accout before July 1, 1998, receives the beefit formula multiplier i effect at the time of retiremet. Members retirig prior to October 1, 2006 will retai the multiplier i effect at the time the military service was claimed. Purchased Credit Purchased credit refers to service credit you may buy through direct paymet to the Retiremet Agecy for specific types of previous employmet. If you are cotemplatig a purchase of service, you may wish to speak with a retiremet beefits specialist for iformatio o how the cost is calculated. Also remember that you must purchase service prior to retiremet. Oly members who are o paid employmet or o a State Retiremet Agecy approved leave of absece may purchase service. Retiremet System costs fall ito oe of two categories: ormal cost or full cost. The type of cost is determied by the type of employmet service beig purchased. I some cases, a full cost purchase is prohibitively expesive. NORMAL COST At ay time durig membership, a Retiremet System member may purchase service credit at ormal cost for the followig types of service. Normal cost is a rate determied by the cotributios that should have bee paid for the period i questio, plus the statutory rate of iterest, curretly 4%, to the date of paymet. Retroactive/Missed Service A period of time durig full time permaet employmet whe cotributios were ot deducted, either prior to membership (retroactive) or durig membership (missed). Cost is based o salaries paid durig purchase period plus compouded iterest to the date of paymet. SRA Approved Leave of Absece Approved oly for persoal illess, study, paterity, materity (icludig adoptio), service that is govermet sposored ad/or subsidized ad service i a professioal or employee orgaizatio. Cost is based o salary at the start of leave period plus compouded iterest to the date of paymet. I order to be eligible to purchase the leave time, a member must have filed a Applicatio to be Placed o a Qualifyig Approved Leave of Absece (Form 46) before the leave bega. Redeposit Previous service credit withdraw from SRPS. Cost is based o the amout withdraw plus compouded iterest to the date of paymet. Ay period of membership i the State Police Retiremet System durig which the member s credit was ot vested. I additio, members of the Employees Retiremet System may purchase service credits for employmet: by the State or a participatig govermetal uit by the Departmet of Legislative Referece, the Office of the Attorey Geeral, or as Secretary to the Speaker of the House of Delegates or Presidet 8 HOW YOU EARN OR ACCRUE SERVICE CREDIT
13 of the Seate durig a sessio of the Geeral Assembly (a year or part of a year equals 1 year of service) by a member of the Seate or House of Delegates or the office of the Secretary of the Seate or the Chief Clerk of the House of Delegates (130 days or more equals 1 year of service). A applicatio to purchase credit at ormal cost may be made at ay time. That s because the cost is determied by the cotributios that should have bee paid for the period i questio at the statutory iterest rate, which is curretly 4%. You will eed to complete a Request to Purchase Previous Service (Form 26) ad attach verificatio of your employmet, idicatig your etrace ad termiatio dates. FULL COST I the year of retiremet, a member of the Retiremet System may purchase service credits at ʺfullʺ cost for the followig: Out of state public school teachig Public or o public school teachig Post secodary school teachig (a maximum of five years may be purchased) Federal employmet Out of state muicipal employmet I state o participatig muicipal employmet I additio, members of the Teachersʹ Retiremet System may purchase qualified approved leaves grated by Baltimore City to a teacher while a member of the Baltimore City Retiremet Pla. A applicatio to purchase service at full cost may oly be made withi the year of retiremet. The cost is determied by computig the additioal reserves eeded to fud the retiremet beefit created by the additioal purchased credit. A miimum of oe moth up to a maximum of 10 years may be purchased, uless oted. You should apply to purchase service whe you submit your Applicatio for a Estimate of Service Retiremet Allowaces (Form 9). You will eed to complete a Request to Purchase Previous Service (Form 26) ad attach verificatio of your employmet, idicatig your etrace ad termiatio dates. Uused Sick Leave You must retire withi 30 days of termiatig employmet with a participatig employer to receive additioal creditable service for your accumulated uused sick leave. Sice creditable service determies the amout of the beefit, uused sick leave, accordigly, ca icrease the amout of your beefit. It does ot, however, affect whe you are eligible to retire, or does it affect the reductio for early retiremet. Whe you file your retiremet applicatio, your employer will verify the total uused sick leave you have accumulated. You receive oe moth of additioal creditable service for each 22 days of uused sick leave reported. If, after calculatig additioal credit at the rate of 22 days per moth, there are 11 or more days remaiig, you receive a additioal moth of creditable service. The maximum umber of sick days that ca be used to calculate additioal service is 15 days for each year of your membership. 9 HOW YOU EARN OR ACCRUE SERVICE CREDIT
14 Importat Notes o Uused Sick Leave: Uused sick leave is credited oly whe calculatig the retiremet beefit. It is ot used to qualify for retiremet beefits. Uused sick leave does ot affect the reductio for early retiremet. Uused sick leave is ot used i the calculatio of a vested beefit. Sick leave for 10 moth employees such as teachers is credited accordig to the table. The followig table shows how uused sick leave may be coverted to retiremet credit. Sick Leave Coversio Schedule Sick Leave i Days 10 Moth Member 12 Moth Member YEAR YEAR YEAR 1 YEAR YEARS YEARS YEARS 2 YEARS NOTE: The Teachers Retiremet System is a 10 moth system. 10 HOW YOU EARN OR ACCRUE SERVICE CREDIT
15 3 YOUR BENEFITS It might surprise you to lear that your retiremet pla is ot oly for the future. I additio to providig icome whe you retire, your pla provides importat coverage throughout your career. Your Beefits Iclude Coverage While You Work Survivor protectio if you die before retiremet. Disability coverage i the evet that you are uable to cotiue workig due to a disablig ijury or illess. Retiremet Beefits A basic mothly retiremet allowace based o your age, service, ad salary upo retiremet. Optios for a cotiuig allowace to your survivor. Aual cost of livig adjustmets. Let s take a look at the eligibility requiremets, paymet formula, ad filig procedures for each of these beefits. Survivor Beefits ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS Our survivor protectio, also referred to as a death beefit, provides fiacial protectio to your desigated beeficiary(ies) if you die durig active membership. Coverage goes ito effect after oe year of completed service for o job related death. You are covered from your first day o the job for death i the performace of duty. Survivor protectio remais i effect as log as you are o payroll or a SRPS approved upaid leave of absece. (To secure your survivor beefit durig a leave of absece, you must have your employer s prior approval ad must file a special leave form with the Retiremet Agecy before your leave begis See sectio o Approved Leave of Absece, page 3). 11
16 SPECIAL DEATH BENEFIT Beefit for Death i the Performace of Duty If you are killed while a member ad your death arises out of or i the course of the actual performace of duty through o willful egligece o your part, the followig beefit will be paid: 1. A sigle paymet cosistig of your cotributios with iterest to your desigated beeficiary, PLUS 2. A aual beefit for your spouse (paid mothly) equal to two thirds of your Average Fial Compesatio. If you have o spouse, your childre uder 18 years of age receive this paymet util each attais age 18. Or, if you have o spouse or mior childre, this beefit is payable to your depedet paret for life. If you have o spouse, mior childre, or depedet paret, the the Ordiary Death Beefit will be paid to your desigated beeficiary. PAYMENT OF ORDINARY DEATH BENEFIT Oe time The survivor beefit is ormally a oe time paymet equal to: your aual salary at date of death, plus ay member cotributios with accumulated iterest. SPOUSE OPTION If you are married, your spouse may elect a mothly beefit istead of a oe time paymet if both of the followig coditios are met: member is eligible to retire, or at least age 55 with 15 years of creditable service upo death ad spouse is desigated as sole primary beeficiary. The mothly survivor beefit is equal to the paymet your beeficiary would receive had you retired uder Optio 2, the 100 percet survivorship optio. (See discussio o Allowace Optios, page 19, for more iformatio.) DEATH WHILE PERFORMING MILITARY SERVICE If death occurs while you are a member performig qualified military service, a survivor beefit of either the ordiary death beefit or spouse optio, if eligible, will be paid to your desigated beeficiary(ies.) Disability Beefits The State Retiremet System provides importat disability coverage i the ufortuate evet that a serious ijury or illess permaetly icapacitates you from performig your job duties. While we hope you ever have to apply for disability, a accidet, illess or ijury due to military actio ca happe at ay time. For this reaso, it is importat that you be aware of the disability provisios of your pla. Your Persoal Statemet of Beefits provides a estimate of the basic disability allowace. Additioally, you should cotact your persoel office to determie what impact a disability retiremet might have o your health isurace coverage. 12 YOUR BENEFITS
17 If you are a employee of a State agecy who takes a disability retiremet, you are automatically eligible for cotiued health isurace coverage through the State. Also, please be aware that disability retiremet etails a two step process. Step 1, applyig for disability, is described o page 14. The secod step must be carried out if you are approved for disability beefits. (See page 16). At this poit you must file a applicatio to actually retire. TYPES OF DISABILITY Ordiary versus Accidetal Disability The State of Marylad provides beefits for two types of disability: ordiary ad accidetal. Ordiary disability covers a permaetly disablig medical coditio. Accidetal disability applies to a permaetly disablig medical coditio resultig from ijuries sustaied from a accidet that occurred o the job. For either type of disability, the applicat must demostrate that he or she is completely ad permaetly uable to perform the duties of his or her job, as determied by the Retiremet Agecy s Medical Board ad approved by the Board of Trustees. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS Idividuals filig for disability must demostrate that they are completely ad permaetly uable to perform the duties of their job, as determied by the Retiremet Agecy s Medical Board ad approved by the Board of Trustees. Eligibility requiremets specific to the two types of disability follow. Two Types of Disability Ordiary Disability A miimum of five years of service. Permaet icapacity to perform oe s job duties due to medical reasos (icludes occupatioal disease). Approved by Medical Board ad Board of Trustees. Accidetal Disability There is o service requiremet for accidetal disability. Coverage is i effect immediately upo erollmet provided all of the followig requiremets are met: You are totally ad permaetly disabled as the direct result of a specific accidet(s) which occurs at a defiite time ad place. (Does ot iclude occupatioal disease.) Accidet occurs while you are performig assiged duties. You are ot resposible for the accidet through willful egligece. The disablig coditio was caused by a accidet that occurred withi five years of your applicatio for disability. Your claim is approved by the Medical Board ad Board of Trustees 13 YOUR BENEFITS
18 STEP 1: APPLYING FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS Filig Requiremets Be aware that you caot wait idefiitely to file for disability. Members of the Employees Retiremet System must apply for both ordiary ad accidetal disability beefits while still o payroll or withi four years of goig off payroll. I special cases, a 24 moth filig extesio may be grated if you ca prove you were metally or physically icapacitated from filig withi the deadlie, due to the disability itself. I this situatio, however, the requiremets are difficult to meet. Members of the Teachers Retiremet System must file for disability while still o payroll or withi 5 years of goig off payroll. A 12 moth filig extesio may be grated if you ca prove you were metally or physically icapacitated from filig withi the deadlie. How to File A Claim Filig for a disability beefit ca be a legthy process. (If your case ivolves a termial medical coditio, please cotact the Retiremet Agecy for istructios o our expedited process.) Several moths ca go by, from the time you file your claim to the poit where a decisio is made by the Medical Board ad the Board of Trustees. Oce approved by the Board of Trustees, you must the submit a applicatio to accept a disability retiremet. That s why you should t wait util the last miute to apply. If you feel you may be eligible for disability retiremet, cotact a retiremet beefits specialist immediately. Also, i the evet you are icapacitated, let your family members kow they should cotact the Retiremet Agecy to fid out what optios are available to you. Keep i mid that the medical evaluatio is based o the documetatio you provide detailig the disablig coditio, the diagosis, ad the progosis. It is i your best iterest to submit as much supportig iformatio as possible. To expedite your claim, all forms ad supportig medical iformatio should be submitted together. Disability applicats must file the followig: Statemet of Disability (Form 20): Provides iformatio o the ature ad cause of the disability. It requires your physicia s medical report, which should iclude a opiio as to whether or ot you are permaetly disabled, ad if so, why. Job descriptio: The Medical Board evaluates the medical coditio i relatio to your job duties. The job descriptio must be siged ad dated by your supervisor. All pertiet medical records: Your doctor(s) will help you submit medical iformatio i support of your claim (such as X rays, test results, ad hospital reports). The Form 20 provides a complete list of pertiet medical data. Prelimiary Applicatio for Disability Retiremet (Form 129) This form protects the disability applicat, should he or she die before submittig a applicatio to accept a disability retiremet. It authorizes the Agecy s Board of Trustees to decide whether a disability allowace may be paid. Applicatio for a Estimate of Disability Retiremet Allowaces (Form 21) This form authorizes the Agecy to provide beefit estimates uder various 14 YOUR BENEFITS
19 allowace optios. A estimate of the allowace optios checked o this form is automatically geerated if you are approved for disability beefits. Notificatio of Social Security Claim/Award I additio to the above, for accidetal disability, you must provide the followig: Accidetal Disability Documetatio: For accidetal disability claims, the employee must submit evidece to documet that the accidet was the direct cause of the disability. Employer s First Report of Ijury Copies of ay Workers Compesatio decisios, awards or pedig claims. QUESTIONS TO GUIDE YOU WHEN FILING A CLAIM FOR DISABILITY If you aswer yes to the questios that follow, you may file for disability beefits. Cotact the Retiremet Agecy immediately. Geeral Requiremets for Disability Beefits 1. Have you met filig requiremets? 2. Are you permaetly ad totally disabled from performig your job duties? Additioal Requiremets for Accidetal Disability 1. Is your disablig coditio caused by a accidet that occurred withi the last five years? (There is a five year statute of limitatios o filig for accidetal disability.) 2. Did the accidet occur while you were performig your assiged duties? 3. Was the disability directly caused by the accidet? CLAIM REVIEW/ APPROVAL Disability claims are evaluated by the Retiremet Agecy s Medical Board, which reviews cases o a weekly basis. Curretly, the physicias servig o the Board represet a rage of medical specialties. They are appoited by the System s Board of Trustees ad are ot affiliated with the State. The Medical Board s recommedatio regardig the disability claim is preseted to the Board of Trustees for fial actio. I some cases, the Medical Board will request a examiatio by a cosultig physicia at the Agecy s expese for the purpose of providig a additioal medical opiio. NOTIFICATION The claimat is otified of the claim decisio after the Board of Trustees rules o the actio recommeded by the Medical Board. 15 YOUR BENEFITS
20 The review for a accidetal disability usually takes several moths. Reviews for ordiary disability cases take approximately two to three moths. Complicated cases may take eve loger. STEP 2: IF APPROVED, FILE AN APPLICATION TO ACTUALLY RETIRE RETIREMENT DATE Complete Form 13 23, Applicatio for Service or Disability Retiremet. O the Form most retirees select the first day of the moth as their retiremet date, but it is ot madatory. Your health situatio could dictate otherwise. Please cotact a retiremet beefits specialist for further iformatio. BENEFIT AMOUNT The iformatio that follows is based o the Basic Allowace, which is the maximum mothly paymet available to the retiree, but it provides o beeficiary protectio. Other optios are available which provide a lower paymet to the retiree depedig o the degree of beeficiary protectio. See Choosig a Allowace Optio i this chapter ad Calculatig Your Beefits for more iformatio. Ordiary Disability Beefit The ordiary disability retiremet allowace is computed usig the service retiremet formula, with a miimum beefit equal to 25% of the average fial compesatio. This meas that your beefit is computed as a service retiremet beefit without reductio. If you choose oe of the optioal allowaces, the beefit will be less. Accidetal Disability Beefit The accidetal disability retiremet allowace is equal to two thirds (.6667) of your average fial compesatio (average of the three highest years of salary) plus a auity based o member cotributios with iterest. If you choose oe of the optioal allowaces, the beefit will be less. Importat Note o Workers Compesatio: It is VERY IMPORTANT that you be aware of the impact of Workers Compesatio beefits o a accidetal disability retiremet. Disability beefits are coordiated with beefits payable from Workers Compesatio. This does ot reduce or affect your rights to apply for ad receive Workers Compesatio beefits. If you apply for ad receive a Workers Compesatio award payable while retired, your accidetal disability retiremet beefit shall be reduced for a accidetal persoal ijury but ot for a occupatioal disease. Retiremet law directs us to withhold from your disability beefits a amout equivalet to the Workers Compesatio award, if the Workers Compesatio beefits ad disability are based o the same evet ad are paid over the same period of time. However, the Retiremet Agecy does ot offset your auity (portio of beefit based o your cotributios) ad must leave eough beefit to cover the cost of your health isurace premiums. If you apply for Workers Compesatio beefits, please iform us immediately. Please iclude your Workers Compesatio case umber i this otificatio. 16 YOUR BENEFITS