Change Status

It's important to keep your status and information up to date with Seattle City Employees' Retirement System, even before you retire. We can help so that your benefits will be there for you and your beneficiaries throughout life's changes.

If you have a spouse or registered domestic partner, this person is automatically designated as your beneficiary in accordance with the Seattle Municipal Code. If you are not married, even if you are in a domestic partnership, you can designate and change your beneficiary at will. If you are married, your spouse will have to give signed consent, called "spousal waiver," for you to designate someone other than your spouse as your beneficiary.


If you wish to change your beneficiary, we need to receive your request in writing using the Change of Beneficiary form. You must name at least one primary beneficiary.  Please be sure to sign the form before returning it to the Retirement Office.

We will mail annual statements and other Retirement System information to the mailing address you designate in writing using the Change of Name or Contact form.  Please also use this form for phone number and email address changes.

File a Change of Name or Contact Information form with Seattle City Employees' Retirement System to change your name or contact information.  This will change the name or contact information (mailing address, phone number, and email address) where SCERS sends all retirement account information.

If you have changed your legal name for any reason, even if you have already changed your name with the City of Seattle Personnel Department, you stlil need to submit this form to SCERS. Please note that the notification must be accompanied by the court order or other legal documentation that shows your name has been changed.

Your retirement benefits are considered marital property that must be taken into account when property is divided in a marital dissolution. Our document Questions and Answers About Qualified Domestic Relations Orders explains the rules and offers sample language for these orders. Feel free to contact a Seattle City Employees' Retirement System retirement specialist for additional help.

If you are a member who is no longer employable in any City position due to a totally disabling medical condition, you may be eligible for permanent disability retirement if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are permanently and totally disabled due to an on-the-job injury, regardless of your length of service with the City, or
  • You are permanently and totally disabled due to an illness or injury, and you have at least 10 years of service with the City over a period of no more than 15 years immediately preceding retirement

More information is available at Rules and Procedures for Disability Retirement and on the Application for Disability Retirement.
 

If you are leaving City Employment and have at least five years of service credit, your contributions will automatically be left in the Retirement System unless you complete the Member Application for Withdrawal of Contributions.

Contribution accounts of members with less than five years of service credit stop receiving interest two years after the member has terminated employment with the City.

If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, you may have the option to withdraw your Retirement System contributions. Please contact us to review your options.

Withdrawing contributions has income tax implications.  For more information, see the "IRS Special Tax Notice Regarding Plan Payments (IRS Safe Harbor Notice)".

To report the death of an active member, please contact us. We are here to help ensure that beneficiaries receive their benefits. We will need a copy of a death certificate in order to process any benefits.

If an active member dies before retirement, there are different ways that contributions to the retirement fund may be handled:

  • A lump sum payment or installment payments of all employee contributions and interest made to either the member's beneficiary or estate.
  • If at the time of death the member has ten years of retirement service credit, the member's spouse or domestic partner may elect to receive the lump sum or installment payment referenced above, or one of the following:
    • A benefit equal to what the member would have received under the provisions of Retirement Option E, had the member retired on the day of death; or
    • A cash payment, not to exceed 50 percent of total employee contributions and interest, along with the monthly retirement benefit described above that is proportionately reduced by the amount of the cash payment.

A retirement specialist can walk you through these options.