Financial planning for retirement is important. To complement income from your state Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) plan and from Social Security, you may also want to consider participating in the King County Employee Deferred compensation plan.
Department of Retirement Systems (DRS)
Most County employees are eligible to participate in one of these three retirement plans through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS):
Some employees are grandfathered members of the Seattle City Employees' Retirement System (SCERS).
Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS)
Phone: 800-547-6657 (customer service)
Mail: Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, P.O. Box 48380, Olympia, WA 98504-8380
Seattle City Employees' Retirement System (SCERS)
Contact DRS for the most accurate and comprehensive information about your retirement plan and for any of the following reasons:
- To confirm how many service credits you have
- To verify when you're eligible to retire
- To learn how your retirement benefit is calculated
- To request an estimate of benefits when you are two years from retirement
- To obtain information regarding a divorce
- To learn about purchasing service credit because of a temporary duty disability or authorized leave of absence
- To learn about purchasing service credit after retirement
- To discuss potential military service time
- To begin an inquiry into missing service credit.
- Attend a DRS retirement planning seminar two to five years before you retire.
- Contact DRS 60 to 90 days before you leave employment to ask for the following:
- A schedule of retirement planning seminars.
- An estimate of your retirement benefit
- An application for retirement.
King County Employee Deferred Compensation Plan
If you are eligible for benefits, you may participate in the County's voluntary 457 deferred compensation plan. The plan allows you to defer up to $18,000 a year ($24,000 if you're 50 or older) through payroll deduction to a variety of investment options before taxes are deducted. As a result, you reduce your taxable pay now and potentially increase your savings for the future.
To learn more, attend one of these quarterly seminars (25KB, PDF).
- Tax-deferred savings
- Convenient payroll deduction
- Low record-keeping fees and expense ratios
- A range of investments
- 24-hour account access
To enroll in deferred compensation, you do not have to fill out a paper form — you can enroll online. To designate beneficiaries, you will need to complete and submit a beneficiary designation form.
A board of County employee representatives oversees the plan with the assistance of an independent financial consultant. The plan administrator, T. Rowe Price, provides enrollment and record-keeping services and participant communication and education.
For many, Social Security will provide part of their retirement income. You can collect a reduced benefit beginning at age 62. The age you can collect a full benefit is determined by your year of birth. For example, if you were born in 1960 or later, you can begin receiving a full benefit at age 67. If you wait longer to begin collecting Social Security, your benefit goes up 8% a year until you reach age 70. Waiting may make a significant difference in the total you collect over your lifetime. Deciding when to begin collecting Social Security is an important decision to consider carefully.
For more information, visit the Social Security Administration website. There, you can also create an account to view your Social Security statement, which summarizes your annual contributions and provides an estimate of your monthly benefit amount.