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Planning for Separation from County Employment

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Whether you are planning to resign from your position or planning for your retirement, there are steps that you need to take to ensure the process is complete.  This page answers questions regarding both processes, resources and what is expected of the employee to ensure a smooth transition.

 Voluntary Separation

Planning to Resign

Q.  I have made the decision to resign from my position with the County.  What do I need to do?

A.  First, you do need to notify your supervisor and provide them with a resignation letter.  The resignation letter needs to include your name, the date of the letter, a short paragraph that includes the last day you plan to work and your signature.  This letter will be given to the Human Resources Department for processing.

Q.  I was issued County property when I was hired.  Do I need to return those items back to the County?

A.  Yes.  Any County property you have obtained while employed must be returned upon your departure.  You may return the items to your supervisor within 24 to 48 hours after your departure.  County property may include, but is not limited to keys, badges, uniforms and equipment.

Q.  Do I really need to give a two weeks notice?

A.  You do not have to give a two weeks notice.  However, in order to be eligible for rehire, we do require employees to provide a two weeks notice.

Planning for Retirement

Q.  I want to know if I am on track with saving for my retirement.  Is there a way to track this information?

A.  VRS provides numerous educational information regarding financial wellness including videos, tips, courses, webinars and more.  All of these resources are free to members.  Just be sure you have created an account with VRS.  Take a moment today to register and create an account if you have not already .

Q.  How do I know when I will be qualified to retire?

A.  Qualifying for retirement can vary depending on the plan.  

VRS Plan 1 for general state employees, teachers and general political subdivision employees:

  • Unreduced retirement: Age 65 with at least five years of service credit or age 50 with at least 30 years of service credit.
  • Reduced retirement: Age 55 with at least five years of service credit or age 50 with at least 10 years of service credit.

VRS Plan 2 for general state employees, teachers and general political subdivision employees:

  • Unreduced retirement: Normal Social Security retirement age with at least five years of service credit or when age and service credit equal 90 (e.g. age 60 with 30 years of service credit).
  • Reduced retirement: Age 60 with at least five years of service credit.

Plan 1 and Plan 2 state police officers, Virginia law officers (VaLORS) and political subdivision employees eligible for enhanced hazardous duty coverage:

  • Unreduced retirement: Age 60 with at least five years of service credit or age 50 with at least 25 years of service credit.
  • Reduced retirement: Age 50 with at least five years of service credit.

Q.  Is there a mandatory retirement age and required distribution under the defined benefit plan?

 A.  There is no mandatory retirement age for members of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), members of the Virginia Law Officers’ Retirement System (VaLORS), or VRS-covered sheriffs and regional jail and jail farm superintendents. The following members are subject to a mandatory retirement age:

  • If you are a member of the State Police Officers’ Retirement System (SPORS) or a political subdivision employee eligible for enhanced hazardous duty coverage, the mandatory retirement age is 70.
  • If you are a judge (JRS), you must retire at age 73 regardless of when you were appointed or elected to an original term.

 Q.  How do I calculate my retirement benefit?

A.  The amount of the unreduced retirement benefit is based on a percentage of your average final compensation multiplied by your total years of creditable service at retirement. The percentage is called a retirement multiplier.  If you retire with a reduced benefit, VRS will apply an early retirement reduction factor to the benefit you would receive if you retired with an unreduced benefit.

 VRS offers the calculator and estimator tool.  This tool only provides an estimate and are not intended to provide exact amounts.  Remember your retirement benefit amount is based on factors such as service credit, age, average final compensation and your selected benefit payout option. Create a new benefit estimate if your circumstances change.  You can access the calculator and estimator tool at www.varetire.org/calculators/index.asp.  

Q.  Can I defer my retirement?

A.  If you are eligible for retirement and leave your position, you can defer receiving your retirement benefit until a later date. You will be considered a deferred member. You also are a deferred member if you leave employment before you are eligible to retire but do not take a refund of your member contributions and interest. If you are vested, you may be eligible for a future retirement benefit if you meet the age and service requirements for your plan. If you defer retirement, be sure to submit the Name and Address Declaration for Deferred Members (VRS-3A) to your human resource office before you leave your position.

Q.  How do I begin the retirement process?

A.  There is a process to retire.  Members of Plan 1 and Plan 2 will need to begin with the Application for Service Retirement (Form VRS-5).  The form VRS-5 needs to be completed and signed by the employee who is planning to retire.  Once completed this form is to be turned into your Human Resources Department for processing.  A representative from the Department will be happy to assist you in completing the VRS-5 form.

Q.  What are my retirement benefit payout options?

A.  When you apply for retirement, you elect how you want to receive your benefit. There are four options: the Basic Benefit, Survivor Option, Partial Lump-Sum Option Payment (PLOP) and Advance Pension Option. The option you elect is irrevocable, meaning you cannot change it once you retire with the exception of the Survivor Option under some circumstances.  For more information, see Benefit Payout Options.

Q.  After I retire will I receive a cost of living adjustment?

A.  After you retire, you will be eligible for an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and also may qualify for group life insurance coverage, retiree health insurance or the health insurance credit.  Learn more about retiree benefits and working after retirement in Your Retirement Roadmap publication.

Helpful Forms in One Place

The forms listed below are from VRS.  Many of these forms will be required to complete and return to begin the retirement process.  

Retirement Readiness Checklist

Designation of Beneficiary

Application for Service Retirement

Request for Income Tax Withholding

Request for Health Insurance Credit

Authorization for Direct Deposit of Monthly Benefit

Authorization to Discuss VRS Account Information

VRS Durable Power of Attorney

 Involuntary Separation 

Q.  It was not my choice to leave my position.  Am I still required to turn in County property I have obtained while employed?

A.  Yes.   It is your responsibility to return any County property you have obtained while employed must be returned upon your departure.  You may return the items to your supervisor within 24 to 48 hours after your departure.  County property may include, but is not limited to keys, badges, uniforms and equipment.

Contact your Human Resources representative  at (757) 787-5705 or AskHR@co.accomack.va.us.