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Retirement FAQs

What types of retirement plans are available?

Teachers' Retirement Plan:

Note: Eligible employees are automatically enrolled in this plan and cannot elect to opt in or out (see details below). Employees participating in this plan may also enroll in the 403(b) and/or 457 plans (optional).

Eligibility: All Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) members and Council of School Officers (CSO) members in ET-classified positions automatically participate in the Teachers’ Retirement Plan upon entry into DCPS.

How the plan works:

  • If hired before 11/1/1996, employees will contribute 7% of pre-tax income into the plan.
  • If hired on or after 11/1/1996, employees will contribute 8% of pre-tax income into the plan.

Vesting:

N/A. Employees have access to the plan balance upon retirement or separation from DCPS.

Civil Service Retirement Plan:

Note: Eligible employees are automatically enrolled in this plan and cannot elect to opt-in or out (see details below). Employees participating in this plan may also enroll in the 403(b) and/or 457 plans (optional).

Eligibility: All non-Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) members and non-Council of School Officers (CSO) members who are in ET-classified positions and are hired on or before 9/30/1987 automatically participate in the Civil Service Retirement Plan upon entry into DCPS.

How the plan works: Eligible employees will contribute 7% of pre-tax income into the plan.

Vesting: N/A. Employees have access to the plan balance upon retirement or separation from DCPS.

401(a) Defined Contribution Plan:

Note: Eligible employees are automatically enrolled in this employer-funded plan after one (1) year of service, and cannot elect to opt-in or out (see details below). Employees participating in this plan may also enroll in the 403(b) and/or 457 plans (optional).

Eligibility: All benefits-eligible non-Washington Teachers’ Union and non-Council of School Officers Union members in ET-classified positions participate in this plan. After one (1) year of service, DC Government will contribute five percent of gross salary earnings into the employee’s 401(a) retirement account.

How the plan works: The plan is 100% employer-funded, which means that employees will not receive a payroll deduction to fund this retirement account (employee contributions are not permitted into the 401(a) plan). Instead, the plan is 100% funded by DC Government. Employees who wish to contribute a portion of their income toward a retirement plan may participate in the 403(b) and/or 457 plans in conjunction with the 401(a).

Vesting: Employees are vested (acquire ownership of their retirement balance) on a graded vesting schedule, as shown below.

Years of Creditable Service Vested Percentage
Less Than 2 0%
2

20%

3 40%
4 60%
5 or more 100%

403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity:

Note: The 403(b) plan is an optional retirement account that employees can use to supplement their current retirement plan contributions.

Eligibility: All employees are eligible to participate in a 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity Plan provided by an approved 403(b) vendor.

How the plan works: The 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity Plan is an optional retirement savings program that employees can utilize to make pre-tax contributions. Employees may defer up to $18,500 annually for the year 2018. Employees must first set up the account with an approved 403(b) vendor in order to participate.

Note: For the year 2018 the catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over is $6,000.

Vesting: The plan will remain 100% vested with the employee’s contributions. Employees have access to the retirement plan balance as permitted by the plan rules (contact the plan vendor for details).

457 Deferred Compensation Plan:

Note: The 457(b) plan is an optional retirement account that employees can use to supplement their current retirement plan contributions.

Eligibility: All employees are eligible to participate in the 457(b) Deferred Compensation plan provided by ICMA-RC.

How the plan works: The 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan is an optional retirement savings program that employees can utilize to make pre-tax contributions. Employees must first set up the account with the approved vendor, ICMA-RC, in order to participate.

Note: Employees may be eligible for increased annual contributions under a special 457 catch-up provision during the three years prior to the year an employee reaches normal retirement age or, if the employee reaches age 50 or older before the end of the calendar year.

Vesting: The plan will remain 100% vested with the employee’s contributions. Employees have access to the retirement plan balance as permitted by the plan rules (contact ICMA-RC at (800) 669-7400 for details).

How can I increase, decrease, or cancel the amount I am contributing to my retirement plan?

Teacher’s Retirement Plan: Not applicable. Employees participating in this plan have pre-set, mandatory payroll deductions to this retirement account.

Civil Service Retirement Plan: N/A. Employees participating in this plan have pre-set, mandatory payroll deductions to this retirement account.

401(a) Defined Contribution Plan: N/A. This is an employer-funded account, and no employee payroll deductions occur.

403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity: Complete the Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) form to change the current biweekly amount of your 403(b) contributions OR to cancel future contributions. Please refer to your vendor to inform them of your planned action so that they can advise you further. You may send your completed and signed form to the Retirement team via fax to (202) 535-2112 or email to [email protected].

457 Deferred Compensation Plan: Contact ICMA-RC at (800) 669-7400 for specific details.

What is the retirement process?

If you participate in the Teachers’ Retirement Plan or Civil Service Retirement Plan, completing the DCPS Retirement Computation Form is the first step in determining eligibility for retirement from DC Public Schools. The purpose of the form is to provide you with an estimated computation of your retirement benefits. Please note that submission of the retirement computation form is not an official intent to retire and will not be considered as such.

To request a computation, please log into Quickbase at https://octo.quickbase.com and click on the link ‘DCPS Resignations and Retirement Application’ icon. Then click on ‘Retirement Computations.’ Once you have completed the computation form, hit ‘Save’ and then ‘Submit.’ Note that requests for a retirement computation that are submitted outside of Quickbase will not be honored.

Your retirement computation request will be reviewed by the Retirement team based on your proposed retirement date. You will receive notification from Quickbase via email that your retirement computation is ready for viewing in Quickbase. If you wish to discuss your computation with the Retirement team, you may call (202) 442-4090 or email [email protected] to schedule a telephone consultation (not mandatory, however helpful if you have questions).

Once you review your retirement computation, in the Employee Acknowledgement and Validation section of your computation, select a computation decision and then enter your name and date to acknowledge your elected decision.

Computation decision options:

  • If you select “I would like to stop…” the retirement process will be stopped and your computation results will be kept on file for any future inquires.
  • If you select  “I am satisfied with the computation…” a personalized retirement application will be generated for you. You are required to download each of the supporting application documents found in the Personalized Application section (e.g., direct deposit, W-4 federal tax form, state withholding form, application for regular or disability annuity, DC TR-11 (Designation of Beneficiary form). Once you have completed all applicable forms, you will need to upload each to the respective upload destination.

Once complete, please call (202) 442-4090 or email [email protected] to schedule your mandatory 45 minute in person retirement consultation.

Am I eligible to retire?

Retirement eligibility is based on retirement plan type, years of service, and age. Please refer to your retirement plan type (below) for guidelines.

Employees that meet the following criteria may be eligible for retirement. Note that at least five years of service must be with DC Public Schools:

Civil Service Retirement Plan (CSRS)

  • 55 years with 30 years of service
  • 60 years with 20 years of service
  • 62 years with 5 years of service

Teachers’ Retirement Plan

  • 55 years with 30 years of service
  • 60 years with 20 years of service
  • 62 years with 5 years of service

DC 401(a) Retirement Plan

The 401(a) plan is solely funded by employer (DC Government) contributions instead of deductions from the employee’s salary. Employees who become fully vested in this plan after five years of creditable service may request a lump sum disbursement or rollover, or may schedule installments after departure from DC Government. However, employees may be eligible for retirement under the following circumstances:

  • They received a Social Security Award letter: and
  • They have a minimum of ten years of service.

403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity:

Not applicable for retirement. Employees cannot receive retirement benefits as a participant of the 403(b) Plan. Employees have access to the retirement plan balance as permitted by the plan rules. Please refer to your 403(b) vendor for plan rules and forms.

457 Deferred Compensation Plan:

Not applicable for retirement through DCPS. Employees cannot receive retirement benefits as a participant of the 457(b) plan. Employees have access to the retirement plan balance as permitted by the plan rules. Contact ICMA-RC at (800) 669-7400 for details.

What is my retirement plan balance?

Please contact the retirement plan administrator to confirm your account balance.

Plan Type

Administrator

Contact Information

Civil Service Retirement

Office of Personnel Management

(202) 606-1800

Teacher’s Retirement

DC Retirement Board

(202) 343-3272

401(a) Retirement Plan

 

ICMA-RC (800) 669-7400
403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity Contact your 403(b) vendor

Approved 403(b) vendor  

457 Deferred Compensation
ICMA-RC
(800) 669-7400

How can I rollover or withdraw from my retirement plan? (Current employees)

Individuals who have a 403(b) and/or 457(b) plan may be able to request a loan or other type of disbursement.

If you are an active employee under the age of 59 ½ enrolled in a 403(b) plan, you must use Retirement Manager to manage your withdraw request. Retirement Manager must also be used to request a rollover to alternative DCPS 403(b) plans.

If you are interested in a rollover to a non-DCPS 403(b) plan or a non- 403(b) plan, contact your 403(b) vendor to obtain the appropriate forms. 

If you are interested in a 457(b) plan withdraw or roll over, contact the plan administrator (ICMA-RC (800) 669-7400) to obtain the appropriate request forms.

The following accounts are only accessible after departure from DCPS:

  • Teachers' Retirement Plan
  • Civil Service Retirement Plan
  • 401(a) Retirement Plan

As a former employee, how can I withdraw from a retirement plan?

Submit your completed application as noted on the application for processing.

403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity Plan and 457 Deferred Compensation Plans

Contact your plan vendor to request the appropriate disbursement/rollover forms. Your vendor will need to provide you with their company’s request form to initiate the process.

In case a “plan administrator” or “employer” signature is needed, please forward your application to Employee Services at [email protected] or fax to (202) 535-2112 to obtain a plan administrator signature. Once signed (within 2-3 business days), we will forward your application to the vendor directly for processing.

How can I sign-up for a 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity?

To enroll in the 403(b) plan, you must first sign up for an account with an approved 403(b) vendor. The vendor will communicate your plan startup information to Employee Services, and your authorized payroll contributions will begin as you have elected.
*Please do not sign-up for this option in PeopleSoft.

How can I sign-up for a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan?

To get started, you must sign up for an account with ICMA-RC (800-669-7400). Your authorized payroll contributions will be processed in their administrative office and your deductions will begin as you have elected.
*Please do not sign-up for this option in PeopleSoft.

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