Start planning now for your retirement down the road. The County provides its employees several ways to save for the future. Like other public employees around the state, County employees participate in pension plans through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems. The County also offers a Deferred Compensation Plan and an HRA VEBA account that employees can choose to participate in. And, the County employees contribute to an earn service credit in the federal Social Security system.
For many, Social Security will provide part of their retirement income.
Most County employees are eligible to participate in one of these three retirement plans through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS):
Department of Retirement (DRS)
Depending on what part of the government you work for, eligible Pierce County employees participate in one of among several retirement plans administered by the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS). Employees and the County both contribute. Most new general government employees are covered by the Public Employee's Retirement System (PERS), while law enforcement officers in the Sheriff's Department are covered by the Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters Retirement System (LEOFF) and, certain public safety employees in the Corrections Division of the Sheriff’s Department, Juvenile Court Services and Probation divisions of the Courts are part of the Public Safety Employees Retirement System (PSERS). Meanwhile, members of the judiciary are covered by a separate plan administered by the Department of Retirement Systems.
Pierce County employees who may want to save more for retirement beyond the defined benefit provided by DRS can choose to participate in a 457 deferred compensation plan--currently offered through Nationwide. Deferred compensation is a way to set aside part of today’s income pre-tax so that it can be invested. Employees can roll over existing outside accounts, consolidate investments, make lump sum contributions, and can keep their account within Pierce County’s deferred compensation plan even after they retire or leave County service. There are flexible payout options to consider when it is time to withdraw contributions.
For more information, contact Nationwide’s customer service at 1-844-547-8405 or at online.
Some Pierce County employees may vote annually within bargaining units or as part of a non-representative group to participate in VEBA (Voluntary Employee Benefit Association). They may also vote to determine the percentage of sick leave cash out at retirement that can be deposited pre-tax into a VEBA account. A VEBA account can then be used to pay certain health care costs through a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association (VEBA) plan.
For more information, see the details in the VEBA policy.