How to Retire

When your retirement date is approaching, we can help make sure your benefits will be ready for you on that big day.  If you have a benefit estimate that has been completed within the last year (12 months), there is no need to request an updated one.  If your benefit estimate is older than one year (12 months) or you do not have one on file, please submit your benefit estimate request no later than 90 days before your anticipated retirement date.

Sixty Days:  Please contact us at least sixty days before your proposed retirement date to schedule a retirement appointment.

Thirty Days Your retirement appointment must be at least thirty days* before your planned retirement date.  At your appointment, you will:  choose a benefit option; decide if you want the death benefit, if eligible; choose or update your beneficiaries; receive information about health plan options; and file your retirement application.

If you are eligible and interested in enrolling in a retiree medical plan, this is done through Seattle Department of Human Resources (SDHR) Benefits Unit.  The SDHR Benefits Unit requires that you enroll at least thirty days before your retirement date.  At the retirement appointment, you will receive benefits enrollment information.  It is important that you check the dates and contact the SDHR Benefits Unit earlier than that if necessary.  If you or your spouse are sixty-five or over, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B through the Social Security Administration prior to enrolling in a retiree medical plan.  You can reach the SDHR Benefits Unit at 206-615-1340 or email benefits.unit@seattle.gov.

Two Weeks:  It is your responsibility to notify your department at least two weeks before retiring.

*Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 4.36.600 requires that members complete such application at least 30 days prior to date of retirement

Eligibility

You are eligible to retire if you have reached:

  • 5 years of service and 62 years of age
  • 10 years of service and 57 years of age
  • 20 years of service and 52 years of age
  • 30 years of service and any age

*Please note that members enrolled in SCERS Plan 2 have different minimum retirement ages.

Request a benefit estimate

Please complete a Benefit Estimate Request Form.  Once completed, email the form to retirecity@seattle.gov or fax to 206-386-1506. Members planning to retire should have an estimate completed within a year of their expected retirement date.  At the latest, you should request an estimate at least three months before your target retirement date.

Know your options

Before you retire, you will need to decide how your retirement money will be paid out.  All options provide a monthly benefit to the retiree for life.  Most options also provide for a beneficiary.  To review the options, see the Retirement Options Overview document below.  Your Benefit Estimate will tell you what your benefit will be for each option.

Retirement Options Overview PDF

Make an appointment for your retirement consultation

Call our office to schedule an in-person retirement meeting to complete your retirement application. Be sure to schedule this meeting for at least thirty days before your date of retirement.*

At this meeting, the retirement specialist will review your benefit options and answer your questions. If you are ready to select your options, you will fill out, sign, and file your application for voluntary retirement. If you have a spouse or registered domestic partner, that person should attend the meeting as well. If that is not possible, your spouse or registered domestic partner can sign the form separately if the signature is notarized.

You can still change your retirement date after you have had your retirement meeting and submitted your application.  Please contact the retirement office to do so.

If you decide to delay your retirement it is your responsibility to ensure that your employment is extended with your work unit.

You can use the table in the document below  to determine when your first benefit check will arrive: