ERS Handbook
Old Plan, New Plan, GSEPS

Post

Updated 10/08/2020

1. Introduction

This Handbook summarizes the main provisions of laws that provide benefits to certain State of Georgia employees. Unless otherwise specifically indicated, the Handbook describes these laws as in effect on July 1, 2019.

It is important to remember that this Handbook is only a summary of the law, and therefore provides only general information. A summary cannot deal with every possible set of circumstances. Also, from time to time, the laws will be amended, and while we make every effort to update this Handbook in a timely fashion, there may be a period of time during which the Handbook does not reflect recent changes in the law. If something is not covered in detail in this summary, or if this summary can be read to be inconsistent with the governing laws, the law will control.

It is important that you read the entire Handbook. Reading only portions can be confusing and misleading.

1.1 About the Benefits Described in this Handbook

The Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) was established and began administering retirement benefits for certain State of Georgia employees on January 1, 1950, as provided by laws enacted through the Georgia General Assembly.

Laws governing ERS provide for service retirements, death and disability benefits, or refunds of contributions and interest to members who leave State employment. Employee and Employer Contributions are paid into the retirement fund for the welfare of members and their beneficiaries. All benefits are paid from this fund. Benefit plans have changed over time, and this Handbook will describe the differences between each. However, any benefit provisions which no longer apply to any active member or apply only to a small population may not be covered in detail.

An independent actuarial firm specializing in pension and retirement plans examines the fund every year. The actuarial firm prepares an annual valuation on the ability of the fund to meet future obligations, and every five years performs an actuarial experience study. The System is also examined annually by an independent accounting firm.

A Board of Trustees is responsible for the administration of ERS. Daily operations are under the direct administration of the ERSGA Director and staff. For more information about the Board of Trustees, please visit our website.

1.2 Contacting ERSGA

Through this website, you can:

  • View this Handbook and pamphlets,
  • Download forms
  • Review frequently asked questions
  • Obtain information about legislation under consideration by the Georgia General Assembly
  • Link to other websites
  • Get information about and register for WRAPs, webinars, and other presentations

Log in to your account (using the Log In button at the top of the page) to:

  • See your personal account information
  • Conduct transactions such as designating a beneficiary and estimating your retirement benefits
  • Terminated members with less than 10 years of Creditable Service can request a refund of contributions
  • Retiring members can Apply for Retirement online

Inquiries related to retirement or general inquiries about ERS can be emailed to: ers.contacts@ers.ga.gov.

Mailing address:

Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia
Two Northside 75, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA  30318

Phone numbers:

General Number:  404.350.6300
Toll free: 1.800.805.4609 (outside metro Atlanta area)
Fax:  404.350.6310

Hours of Operation:  8:00 am to 4:30 pm ET

To contact Peach State Reserves, call toll free: 1.866.694.2777

2. Membership

Generally, membership in ERS is a condition of employment for any person employed by a participating department or agency on a full-time basis.  

2.1 Membership Eligibility

For purposes of determining membership eligibility, full-time status requires employment with the department or agency that:

  • Is a person’s primary occupation
  • Is full-time (requiring employee to work at least 35 hours per week for a minimum of 9 months per year)

Note: Special provisions apply to Court of Appeals Judges and Supreme Court Justices. See Appendix A for details.

A person who meets the requirements is considered an Employee.  However, you are not considered an Employee if you are classified by an employer as an independent contractor or a leased employee within the meaning of Section 414(n) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, even if you are later reclassified as a common law employee by the Internal Revenue Service. 

Employees become ERS Members on the first day of their full-time employment with an Employer.  This Handbook will refer to Employees who are Members as Members. 

A list of departments and agencies participating in ERS as of July 1, 2018 is provided in Appendix D.  These participating departments and agencies are called Employers in this Handbook.

2.2 Special Membership Eligibility Rules

  • An Employee first hired at age 60 or later may elect not to become a Member of ERS. The election must be submitted in writing to ERSGA within 30 days of the date of becoming an Employee. The election to not become a Member is irrevocable.  
    Note: If an Employee declines ERS membership, they will not be eligible to participate in the Peach State Reserves 401(k) Plan and will not be entitled to Employer contributions under that Plan. Unless the Employer is not covered by the GDCP plan, declining ERS membership will also result in mandatory enrollment and employee contributions into the Georgia Defined Contribution Plan (GDCP). Employment for GDCP Members is NOT covered under Social Security. 
  • Any vested member of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) who becomes an Employee of an Employer may elect to remain a Member of TRS instead of becoming a member of ERS.  The election to opt out of ERS membership by remaining a Member of TRS must be made in writing to ERSGA and TRS within 60 days of the date hired by the Employer. 
  • A vested ERS Member who accepts a position covered by TRS can opt out of TRS membership and remain an ERS Member by following the same procedure.
  • Employees of a county official (tax commissioner, tax collector, or tax receiver) who were hired prior to July 1, 2012 have the option to elect to become a Member of ERS. The election must be made in writing within 180 days of employment.
  • Employees of a county official (tax commissioner, tax collector, or tax receiver) who are hired on or after July 1, 2012 will become a Member of ERS if (a) the county has provided a resolution to offer such membership and assume responsibility for all associated Employer Contributions, and (b) the employee is not covered under a local retirement plan for the same period of employment.
  • ERS Members employed on or before June 30, 2020 as Legislative Counsel of the General Assembly are eligible for ERS, so long as such members did not elect to transfer their ERS service to JRS before June 30, 2021.

Please note:  A final conviction of certain crimes can affect a person’s ERS status, as well as the claim to any benefits earned through ERS.  Please contact ERSGA directly with questions regarding the right to benefits under these circumstances.

2.3 Membership: Old Plan, New Plan, and GSEPS

When becoming a Member of ERS, a Member is covered by the benefit plan in effect at the time of membership. There are three primary defined benefit plans in ERS, which include:

  • Old Plan
  • New Plan
  • Georgia State Employees’ Pension and Savings Plan (GSEPS)
Old Plan Membership
  • Current Members continuously employed on a full-time basis since before July 1, 1982
  • Members originally employed before July 1, 1982 who are re-employed on or after July 1, 1982 without having received a refund of their annuity savings fund account, retiring, or rendering less than one year of service within a period of five consecutive years as a Member
New Plan Membership
  • Employees first or again becoming ERS Members on or after July 1, 1982 and before January 1, 2009 as a result of: 
    • Their initial employment, or 
    • Their rehire before January 1, 2009 after receiving a refund of their annuity savings fund account or rendering less than one year of service within a period of five consecutive years as a Member
  • Employees who were ERS Members on June 30, 1982 who chose to become a New Plan Member
  • Employees first or again becoming ERS Members on or after July 1, 1982 who are re-employed on or after January 1, 2009 without having received a refund of their annuity savings fund account, retiring, or rendering less than one year of service within a period of five consecutive years as a Member 
GSEPS Membership
  • Employees first or again becoming ERS Members on or after January 1, 2009 as a result of:
    • Their initial employment
    • Their rehire on or after January 1, 2009 after receiving a refund of their annuity savings fund account or rendering less than one year of service within a period of five consecutive years as a Member
  • Employees who were ERS Members on December 31, 2008 who chose to become a GSEPS Member

Note: Members who participate in GSEPS are automatically enrolled in the Peach State Reserves (PSR) 401(k) Plan. Please see the PSR 401(k) Plan Handbook for more information regarding participation in the 401(k) Plan.

3. Contributions

The benefits paid from this plan are funded through Employee Contributions and Employer Contributions.  This section of the Handbook describes the contributions made on behalf of each participating Member.

3.1 Employee Contributions

Old Plan
  • A total of 6.5% of a Member’s Earnable Compensation less $7 is contributed on a Member’s behalf each payroll period. While all of these contributions are considered Employee Contributions, the Member’s employer actually pays a portion of the contributions on the Member’s behalf.  These employer paid contributions are called “pick up contributions.”
    ​Pick up contributions are not made on behalf of tax officials and their employees, or State court employees. These employees pay the full contribution amount.
  • Employee Contributions are made through payroll deductions in the amount of 1.5% of the Member’s Earnable Compensation. Of the 1.5%:
    • 1.25% is put into the Member’s annuity savings fund account
    • .25% goes towards the Member’s GTLI premiums
  • Pick Up Contributions make up the remainder of the per payroll contributions as follows:
    • 4.75% less $7 of the Member’s Earnable Compensation, which is put into the Member’s annuity savings fund account, and
    • .25% of the Member’s Earnable Compensation, which goes towards the Member’s GTLI premiums.
New Plan
  • A total of 1.5% of a Member’s Earnable Compensation is contributed to ERS through payroll deductions each payroll period. Of the 1.5%:
    • 1.25% is put into the Member’s annuity savings fund account
    • .25% goes towards the Member’s GTLI premiums
GSEPS
  • A total of 1.25% of a Member’s Earnable Compensation is contributed to ERS through payroll deductions each payroll period.  The entire amount is put into the Member’s annuity savings fund account.  There is no GTLI coverage for GSEPS members.

The Employee Contributions put into the Member’s annuity savings fund account start earning 4% interest (compounded annually) after being in the account for one year. Earned interest is posted on June 30 of each year to annuity savings fund accounts belonging to Members who are employed at that time. Interest is not posted to any annuity savings fund account belonging to a Member who has terminated employment.

Members who have attained age 65 may elect to stop contributing to ERS by providing their Employer with a signed Discontinuation of Contributions Form.  If you stop contributing, you will stop accruing Creditable Service.  See the Handbook section titled Creditable Service for more information.

3.2 Employer Contributions

In addition to the Employee Contributions made to ERS on a Member’s behalf, the Member’s Employer makes additional contributions in order to fund the benefits payable under ERS.  The Employer Contribution amount is an actuarially determined percentage of a Member’s Earnable Compensation.  It is not applied to the Member’s annuity savings fund account, and it is not refundable to the Member.

3.3 Peach State Reserves 401(k) Plan Contributions for GSEPS Members

GSEPS Members who contribute a portion of their compensation to the 401(k) Plan are eligible to receive an employer-funded matching contribution.  For more information about the 401(k) Plan, please see the Peach State Reserves 401(k) Plan Handbook.

4. Earnable Compensation

Earnable Compensation generally means the full rate of regular compensation payable to a Member for their full normal working time.

4.1 Earnable Compensation Overview

Earnable Compensation is the full rate of regular compensation a Member receives for their normal working time.  

Examples of items contained in Earnable Compensation include:

  • Regular pay for normal working hours
  • Vacation pay
  • Shift differentials
  • Certain bonuses
  • Contributions to a qualified transportation plan (effective July 1, 2003)
  • Contributions to a cafeteria plan (effective July 1, 2003)
  • Employee contributions to the Peach State Reserves 401(k) plan (effective July 1, 2003)

Examples of items not included:

  • Overtime pay
  • Expense reimbursements
  • Supplements from local funds

​If a Member is subject to any furlough period(s), the Plan will treat the member as though they were working during the furlough(s).  This means that the Member will receive Earnable Compensation and Creditable Service for the furlough time.  This also means that the Member is responsible for Employee Contributions based on the pay the Member would have received had they not been on furlough.

For Members hired on or after July 1, 2009, any increases in Earnable Compensation above 5% paid in the 12 months before retirement will not be included in the calculation of your benefit.

For Members hired on or after January 1, 1996, Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(17) limits the compensation that can be used in a pension plan.  For 2019, the limit is $280,000.  This limit is applied to both Contributions to ERS and benefits paid from ERS.

Your Employee Contributions made to ERS under the Old Plan, the New Plan, or GSEPS are based upon your Earnable Compensation.  Please see the Handbook section titled Contributions for further information.

5. Creditable Service

Creditable Service is used to determine a Member’s benefits under the Plan.

5.1 Creditable Service Overview

Creditable Service is used to determine:

  • Whether a Member has earned a right to a retirement benefit (vesting)
  • A Member’s eligibility for certain Plan benefits
  • The amount of benefits payable upon a Member’s retirement

Creditable Service is made up of Prior Service plus service for which a Member is credited while they are a Member.  It can be earned, transferred into ERS, or, in some cases, purchased.

A Member earns Creditable Service for each month of active ERS membership for which Employee Contributions are deducted. If a Member contributes for only part of a month, the Member will receive a pro rata portion of that month toward Creditable Service. When a Member has partial months of service during a year, the total months credited for the year are rounded to the nearest number of months.

For more information about how retirement benefits are calculated, please see the Handbook section titled Service Retirement

5.2 Prior Service

If a Member was employed by an Employer (including the Georgia National Guard or Georgia State Guard) as a temporary full-time employee prior to becoming an ERS Member, they may be able to receive Creditable Service for prior employment.  A Member must:

  • Become an ERS Member by beginning full-time, permanent employment with an Employer
  • Apply in writing requesting Creditable Service for the period of prior employment within 24 months after becoming an ERS member
  • Have the former employer certify the prior employment with ERS
  • Pay all Employee Contributions and Employer Contributions, with interest, pertaining to the period of prior employment

Members under the New Plan and GSEPS may acquire no more than 12 months of Creditable Service in this manner.  

If a Member has previously worked for the State, they may contact ERSGA to determine eligibility to receive Creditable Service for your prior employment.

5.3 Forfeited Leave Service

Forfeited leave time consists of the following:

  • Forfeited annual leave
  • Forfeited sick leave
  • Accrued sick leave

Forfeited leave time may be converted to Creditable Service at retirement if a Member has accrued a total of at least 960 hours. 

  • 160 hours of forfeited leave = one month of Creditable Service
  • To receive credit for forfeited leave, it must certified by your last Employer
  • Forfeited leave service cannot be counted toward the 10 years of Creditable Service needed for vesting in an ERS retirement benefit
  • Forfeited leave service cannot be counted for the 18 years of Creditable Service needed to retain GTLI coverage (if applicable) after termination but before retirement
     

5.4 Job Related Temporary Disability / Leave Without Pay

If you return to work after taking a Leave Without Pay (LWOP) due to certain temporary disabilities, you may be eligible to receive Creditable Service for some or all of the time you missed work. You must:

  • Take a LWOP due to either a mental or physical issue caused by a job-related disease or accident
  • Return to work and apply for the service credit in writing
  • Pay ERS an amount equal to the applicable Employee Contributions, plus 4% interest, and
  • Make the payment within six months after returning to work

5.5 Refund Buyback

A Member who terminates employment but has not yet retired (or is not eligible to retire) has the option to receive a refund of Contributions plus Interest (also referred to as the annuity savings fund account).  If a Member receives such a refund, they forfeit all Creditable Service for the period of employment covered by the refund.

With a return to active Membership, a former Member can re-establish previously forfeited Creditable Service.  To do so, the Member must:

  • Be employed for two additional years, and 
  • Pay ERS a lump sum equal to the refund amount originally received, plus 4.25% interest (compounded annually from the refund date to the buyback date).

5.6 Military Service

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides Members with certain rights regarding employment and retirement benefits if qualified military service is performed.  Upon return to employment after a military leave, Creditable Service may be received for the period of leave with the following conditions:

  • Application to ERS in writing to establish the service
  • Pay ERS an amount equal to the applicable Employee Contributions for the period of service, and
  • Payment must be made within a period up to three times the length of the military service, or five years, whichever is less
     

Example: If you were deployed for 1 year, you have up to 3 years after returning to work to pay your Employee Contributions.  If you were deployed for 3 years, you have up to 5 years after returning to work to pay your Employee Contributions.

If a Member is actively employed and called to active duty in the National Guard or Reserves, the Member may make Employee Contributions during the active duty period.  The Member must provide ERS with a copy of the orders as soon as you they are received.

Note: If a Member left State employment to perform military service prior to October 13, 1994, please contact ERS for information about the rights to establish Creditable Service.

5.7 Air Time

Active members may also increase their retirement benefit when submitting a retirement application by directly purchasing up to three additional years of Creditable Service.  This is commonly known as purchasing Air Time.  If a Member wishes to purchase Air Time, they must pay the full cost of the additional service (not just the Employee Contribution amount), as calculated by the Plan’s actuary.

Air Time cannot be counted toward the 10 years of Creditable Service needed to become Vested in an ERS monthly retirement benefit.

5.8 Transferring Service from TRS

If a Member worked in a position covered by the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) of Georgia and later takes a position covered by ERS, the Member may have theirTRS Creditable Service and TRS annuity savings fund account transferred to ERS as well.  The Member will need to submit a transfer request to ERSGA in writing.

If a Member was previously a TRS member and received a refund of  TRS contributions, the Member may buyback their TRS refund with ERS after two years of active ERS Membership.  The member will need to submit a request to ERSGA in writing.

5.9 Prior Law Enforcement Service

If a Member was employed as a full-time law enforcement officer with a local government prior to becoming an ERS Member, and is not eligible to receive a benefit from a pension or retirement plan for such service (excluding Peace Officers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund), the Member may be eligible to purchase up to five years Creditable Service for prior employment with the following requirements:

  • 10 years of Creditable Service in ERS
  • Currently be in a law enforcement position
  • Former employer must certify prior employment
  • Provide P.O.S.T. certification records for requested service period, and
  • Pay the full actuarial cost of the additional service as calculated by the Plan’s actuary
     

A Member who has worked as a law enforcement officer prior to State service should contact ERS to determine eligibility to purchase additional Creditable Service.

5.10 Prior GDCP Service

For Members with prior Georgia Defined Contribution Plan (GDCP) service, you may be eligible to transfer and purchase such service towards your ERS benefit. To qualify, your GDCP service must have been “immediately prior” to, or within 31 days of your ERS membership start date. If you have multiple periods of GDCP service with different employers, only the most recent service with a single employer will be considered for eligibility. Within that employment, only contributing months of GDCP employment will count towards the service eligible for transfer to ERS.

In order to apply, you must have at least 5 years of ERS service and submit a request to purchase such service with ERS, after which ERS will notify you of your eligible service and the cost associated with purchasing. This GDCP service will be valued at full actuarial cost to members’ ERS benefit, which can be higher than the contributions to GDCP. Any moneys in your GDCP Employee Contribution Account will be transferred to ERS and you will be responsible to pay the difference to receive the full credit. If you have refunded your GDCP Employee Contribution Account, you will be responsible for the full cost. Service will be credited to your account once the amount has been paid in full.

For more information regarding eligibility and cost to purchase this service please contact ERSGA.

6. Benefits Eligibility

This section details the types of benefits ERS Members may be entitled to, and how a Member becomes eligible for these benefits.

6.1 Benefits Eligibility Overview

The retirement benefits available to a Member under ERS are based upon a Benefit Formula and are funded through both Employee Contributions and Employer Contributions.  Members always have a nonforfeitable right to Employee Contributions.  However, a Member must earn a right to receive other benefits.  This right is referred to as a vested right.

Once a Member earns 10 years of Creditable Service, they have a vested right to a service retirement at age 60, even if the Member terminates employment before reaching age 60.

When a Member terminates employment, the Member may be eligible for one of the following types of benefits from the plan:

  • Normal Retirement Benefit
  • Early Retirement Benefit
  • Terminated Vested Retirement Benefit
  • Refund of your Contributions and Interest
  • Disability Benefit
  • Death Benefit

A Member’s benefit may be forfeited under two situations:

  • Conviction of a state or federal crime 
  • A withdrawal of contributions and interest

The rules governing benefit eligibility and the benefit formula used to compute the benefit depend on which of the three plans (Old Plan, New Plan, or GSEPS) the Member participates in.

7. Service Retirement

There are three different types of Service Retirement you can apply for in this Plan:  Normal Retirement, Early Retirement, and Terminated Vested Retirement.

7.1 Normal Retirement

Under the Old Plan, the New Plan, and GSEPS, once you have reached Normal Retirement Age, you can retire and begin receiving monthly benefits.  Normal Retirement Age is defined as the earlier of:

  • the attainment of age 60 and 10 years of Creditable Service, or
  • the attainment of 30 years of Creditable Service

Certain Law Enforcement Members reach Normal Retirement at Age 55 with 10 years of Creditable Service. See Appendix B for details.

7.2 Early Retirement

Under the Old Plan, the New Plan, and GSEPS, you can commence Early Retirement benefits at any age before your Normal Retirement Age once you have attained 25 years of Creditable Service.  The benefit payable at Early Retirement will be an amount equal to your Normal Retirement benefit earned at that time, reduced by either 7% for each year you are commencing benefits prior to age 60, or 7% for each year under 30 years of Creditable Service you have earned, whichever reduction is less.  The reduction cannot exceed 35%.

7.3 Terminated Vested Retirement

If you terminate employment after attaining 10 years of service, but prior to age 60, you will be eligible to start drawing a retirement benefit once you reach age 60. You should contact ERS within 90 days prior to your 60th birthday.

Your effective retirement date will be the first day of the month in which your retirement application is received at ERS, or if later, the first of the month following your final month of employment.
 

If you withdraw your contributions and interest at any time, you will automatically forfeit the monthly benefit payable at age 60.

8. Service Retirement Benefit Formulas

This section details the formulas used to calculate Service Retirement benefits for Members of ERS Old Plan, New Plan, and GSEPS.

8.1 Service Retirement Benefit Formulas Overview

The benefit formula used to calculate Normal Retirement benefits under each of the three plans (Old Plan, New Plan, and GSEPS) is: 

Formula
Salary
x Benefit Formula 
Factor
x Creditable 
Service
= Maximum Plan 
Benefit

As shown above, the benefit formula calculates the amount payable at Normal Retirement Age under the Maximum Plan Benefit.  

Maximum Plan Benefit is the highest monthly benefit available. It does not provide a monthly benefit to a beneficiary.

Formula Salary is the average of the highest 24 consecutive calendar months of Earnable Compensation while an ERS Member. For this purpose, Earnable Compensation will always be calculated as if you had worked full time for the entire month, There are differences in Formula Salary between the plans, which are highlighted below.

The Benefit Formula Factors used in the above benefit formula differ for each of the three plans.

Creditable Service is generally determined the same way for all three benefit plans. The exception is for Old Plan Members who retire under age 65 with 34 or more years of Creditable Service.

The following provides specific details about how benefits are calculated for each benefit plan.

Benefits may be reduced if applying for an Early Retirement Benefit or if selecting an Optional Form which provides for a survivor benefit to the beneficiary upon the Member’s death.

8.2 Old Plan

Formula Salary is the average of the highest 24 consecutive calendar months of Earnable Compensation while an ERS Member.  Any Pick-Up Contributions paid on the Member’s behalf are added to actual compensation to calculate retirement benefits.

For more information about Pick-Up Contributions, please see the section of this Handbook titled Contributions.

The Benefit Formula Factor is determined by how many years of Creditable Service you have attained.

Benefit Formula Factors:

Years of Creditable Service Benefit Formula Factor
10-28 .0200
29 .0202
30 .0205
31 .0208
32 .0211
33 .0214
34 .0217
35 or more .0220

Under the Old Plan, if you retire after attaining 34 years of Creditable Service, your benefit will be calculated as if your service with your Employer continued until you would have attained age 65 and as if your compensation remained unchanged until then.

Normal Retirement Calculation Example

You choose to commence benefits at age 65 and have elected benefit payment Option 3, which provides for a monthly payment for your lifetime.  Upon your death, your beneficiary(ies) will receive a monthly benefit for their lifetime equal to 50% of the monthly benefit you were receiving.

Age at Commencement 
of Benefits
Beneficiary’s Age Years of Service Formula Salary
65 60 20 $2,088.00
Step 1: Calculate the Normal Retirement Benefit

Formula Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Creditable Service 
$2,088.00 x .02 x 20 years = $835.20 per month (Maximum Plan Benefit)

Step 2: Calculate the Option 3 Benefit

Maximum Plan Benefit x Option 3 Factor
$835.20 x .9087* = $758.95, monthly benefit payable to you 

$758.95 x 50% = $379.48, monthly benefit payable to your beneficiary(ies)

*The Option 3 factor is dependent on your age and the age of your beneficiary(ies) as of your retirement effective date.

Certain limitations on retirement benefits may apply. Refer to Limitation on Benefits section of this Handbook for more information.

Early Retirement Calculation Example

You choose to commence benefits at age 57 under the Maximum Plan Benefit.  Upon your death, no further benefits are payable.

Age at Commencement 
of Benefits
Years of Service Formula Salary
57 25 $2,088.00
Step 1: Calculate the Normal Retirement Benefit

Formula Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Creditable Service 
$2,088.00 x .02 x 25 years = $1,044.00 per month (Maximum Plan Benefit)

Step 2: Calculate the Early Retirement Benefit

Maximum Plan Benefit x Early Reduction Factor 
$1,044.00 x .21* = $219.24, reduction for early retirement
$1,044.00 – $219.24 = $824.76, monthly benefit payable to you at age 57 

*7% reduction for each year the Member is commencing benefits before age 60

34 Year Retirement Calculation Example:

Age at Commencement 
of Benefits
Years of Service Formula Salary
59 34 $2,088.00

Formula Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Creditable Service
$2,088.00 x .0220 x 40** years = $1,837.44, monthly benefit payable to you


*Formula Salary is determined as if you continued working until age 65 without any change in compensation.  
**Creditable Service is determined as if you continued working until age 65. You get credit for 6 additional years of Creditable Service.

8.3 New Plan

Under the New Plan, Formula Salary is the average of the highest 24 consecutive calendar months of Earnable Compensation while an ERS Member, and the Benefit Formula Factor always equals .02, making the benefit formula:  

Formula Salary x .02 x Creditable Service = Maximum Plan Benefit

Normal Retirement Calculation Example

You choose to commence benefits at age 65 and have elected benefit payment Option 3, which provides for a monthly payment for your lifetime.  Upon your death, your beneficiary(ies) will receive a monthly benefit for their lifetime equal to 50% of the monthly benefit you were receiving.

Age at Commencement 
of Benefits
Beneficiary’s Age Years of Service Formula Salary
65 60 20 $2,000.00
Step 1: Calculate the Normal Retirement Benefit

Formula Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Creditable Service 
$2,000.00 x .02 x 20 years = $800.00 per month (Maximum Plan Benefit)

Step 2: Calculate the Option 3 Benefit

Maximum Plan Benefit x Option 3 Factor
$800.00 x .9087* = $726.96, monthly benefit payable to you 

$726.96 x 50% = $363.48, monthly benefit payable to your beneficiary(ies)

*The Option 3 factor is dependent on your age and the age of your beneficiary(ies) as of your retirement effective date.

Early Retirement Calculation Example

You choose to commence benefits at age 57 under the Maximum Plan Benefit.  Upon your death, no further benefits are payable.

Age at Commencement 
of Benefits
Years of Service Formula Salary
57 25 $2,000.00
Step 1: Calculate the Normal Retirement Benefit

Formula Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Creditable Service 
$2,000.00 x .02 x 25 years = $1,000.00 per month (Maximum Plan Benefit)

Step 2: Calculate the Early Retirement Benefit

Maximum Plan Benefit x Early Reduction Factor 
$1,000.00 x .21* = $210.00, reduction for early retirement
$1,000.00 – $210.00 = $790.00, monthly benefit payable to you at age 57 

*7% reduction for each year the Member is commencing benefits before age 60

8.4 GSEPS

Under GSEPS, Formula Salary is the average of the highest 24 consecutive calendar months of Earnable Compensation while an ERS Member.  However, for Members employed on or after July 1, 2009, no salary increase occurring during the last 12 months of membership will be taken into consideration when determining the Member’s Formula Salary to the extent the increase is more than 5%.  

The Benefit Formula Factor always equals .01, making the benefit formula:  

Formula Salary x .01 x Creditable Service = Maximum Plan Benefit

Normal Retirement Calculation Example

You choose to commence benefits at age 65 and have elected benefit payment Option 3, which provides for a monthly payment for your lifetime.  Upon your death, your beneficiary(ies) will receive a monthly benefit for their lifetime equal to 50% of the monthly benefit you were receiving.

Age at Commencement 
of Benefits
Beneficiary’s Age Years of Service Formula Salary
65 60 20 $2,000.00
Step 1: Calculate the Normal Retirement Benefit

Formula Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Creditable Service 
$2,000.00 x .01 x 20 years = $400.00 per month (Maximum Plan Benefit)

Step 2: Calculate the Option 3 Benefit

Maximum Plan Benefit x Option 3 Factor
$400.00 x .9087* = $363.48, monthly benefit payable to you

$363.48 x 50% = $181.74, monthly benefit payable to your beneficiary

*The Option 3 factor is dependent on your age and the age of your beneficiary(ies) as of your retirement effective date.

Early Retirement Calculation Example

You choose to commence benefits at age 57 under the Maximum Plan Benefit.  Upon your death, no further benefits are payable.

Age at Commencement 
of Benefits
Years of Service Formula Salary
57 25 $2,000.00
Step 1: Calculate the Normal Retirement Benefit

Formula Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Creditable Service 
$2,000.00 x .01 x 25 years = $500.00 per month (Maximum Plan Benefit)

Step 2: Calculate the Early Retirement Benefit

Maximum Plan Benefit x Early Reduction Factor 
$500.00 x .21* = $105.00, reduction for early retirement
$500.00 – $105.00 = $395.00, monthly benefit payable to you at age 57

*7% reduction for each year the Member is commencing benefits before age 60

As a Member under the GSEPS plan, you should also consider the value of your Peach State Reserves account. If you have contributed to your PSR account and received employer matching contributions, this account in addition to your benefit payable from ERS constitutes your total retirement benefit.

9. Limitations on Benefits

There are Plan limits, as well as federal tax law limits on the amount of benefits you can receive from ERS.

9.1 Plan Limit

The monthly Service or Disability Retirement benefit you receive from ERS cannot exceed 90% of the highest monthly salary you received as a State employee.  If the calculated benefit exceeds 90% of your highest monthly salary, you should consider receiving the excess benefit as either a partial lump sum under the PLOP option or as an additional benefit to a named beneficiary under Option 4.

9.2 Federal Tax Limit

Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code limits the amount of benefits you can receive from ERS. You will be notified if the benefit you would otherwise be eligible to receive under ERS exceeds this limit. 

For Members hired on or after January 1, 1996, Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(17) limits the compensation that can be used in a pension plan.  For 2019, the limit is $280,000.  This limit is applied to both Contributions to ERS and benefits paid from ERS.

10. Disability Retirement

It may be necessary for a Member to apply for a Disability Retirement at some point in their career. This section explains the requirements and process for Disability Retirement.

10.1 Disability Retirement Overview

A Member may receive a Disability Retirement benefit if they:

  • Are an active ERS Member when applying for Disability Retirement
  • Are unable to perform their job or any offered alternative position (see requirements below) due to a permanent medical condition(s)
  • Have attained the minimum years of service, as follows:
    • For Old Plan and New Plan Members: at least 13 years and 4 months of Creditable Service
    • For GSEPS Members: at least 15 years of Creditable Service

Note: Certain Law Enforcement Members are eligible for a special Injury in the Line of Duty benefit.  See Appendix B for details.

Once the Disability Retirement application has been submitted, the Member’s Employer must offer an alternative position, if available.  The requirements for an alternative position are: 

  • The physical requirements are compatible with the Member’s physical limitations
  • The annual compensation and possibility for future advancement are the same or greater than the Member’s current position
  • The duties are reasonably compatible with the Member’s experience and educational qualifications
  • The position is covered under ERS
  • The position is available and offered to the Member in writing no later than 45 days after the disability application is submitted

Note: If an alternative position is offered, the Member must, within 30 days of the offer, accept the offer or dispute in writing the ability to perform in the alternate position by submitting a written appeal to both ERS and the Employer.

The ERS Medical Board evaluates Disability Retirement applications to determine whether an applicant is eligible for Disability Retirement based upon the inability to perform the duties of the original position and, if applicable, an alternate position.  If the Medical Board determines that the applicant is capable of performing the duties of either position, the Disability Retirement application will be denied. 

If you are age 60 or have 30 years of service, you should apply for a Service Retirement versus a Disability Retirement.

Effective Retirement Dates

All retirement dates are effective on the first day of the month, upon approval of permanent disability by the ERS Medical Board and after your date of termination (or separation) upon meeting the service and/or age qualifications. Your effective retirement date must be at least 30 days after the completed application is received by our office. The first monthly retirement allowance is paid on either the last working day of the month in which your retirement effective date occurs or the next available payroll month.

Medical Re-examination Information

If a Member retires under Disability Retirement, they are subject to medical re-examination annually for the first five years following retirement and every three years thereafter until they reach the age of 60.  Refusal to submit to the medical re-examination may result in a discontinuation of benefits until the re-examination occurs.  If the refusal continues for one year, all rights to a Disability Retirement benefit under ERS may be revoked by the ERS Board of Trustees.  

10.2 Returning to Gainful Occupation

If a Member is receiving a Disability Retirement benefit, the amount of the Disability benefit may be limited or reduced if the Member works or is able to work in a gainful occupation. The Disability benefit received plus wages cannot be greater than Earnable Compensation used to calculate the Disability Benefit. 

If the Member returns to State employment, the Disability Retirement benefit will cease and they will again become a contributing Member of ERS.  Service prior to Disability Retirement will be restored and, upon subsequent retirement, the Member will be credited with all service as a Member.

Example of a Disability Retirement Benefit Adjustment

The Earnable Compensation used to calculate a Disability Retirement benefit is $3,500.00. The monthly retirement benefit received by the Member is $3,000.00. If this Member earns or is able to earn more than $500.00 per month from gainful employment, the Member’s monthly Disability Retirement benefit will be reduced by the amount of earnings over $500.00.

Whenever a Member’s earnings capacity changes, the amount of the Member’s Disability Retirement benefit will change. Therefore, a Member’s Disability Retirement benefit amount can change multiple times, depending upon a Member’s ability to engage in gainful occupation. 

10.3 How a Disability Benefit is Calculated

The date when a Member started contributing to ERS determines how the Disability benefit is calculated. The same formula used for Service Retirement is used for Disability calculations, except that the Member may receive additional Creditable Service as a result of being disabled. A Member can Log In to their online account to find their Membership Date.

If Membership Date is Before July 1, 2007
The minimum service requirement for Disability Retirement is 13 years and 4 months; however, the amount of the benefit may vary based on the Member’s Creditable Service. The following chart explains how benefits are determined.

Disability Benefit Calculation Chart
 A Member with Creditable Service equal to: Receives the Following:
13 years, 4 months to
18 years, 0 months
  • Additional Creditable Service that would be earned had the Member worked until age 60
  • 75% of the Normal Retirement Benefit payable at age 60 based upon the projected years of Creditable Service
18 years, 1 month
to 22 years, 9 months
  • Additional Creditable Service that would be earned had the Member worked until age 60
  • The Normal Retirement Benefit payable at age 60 based upon the projected years of Creditable Service
22 years, 10 months to 27 years, 6 months
  • Additional Creditable Service that would be earned had the Member worked until age 65
  • 75% of the Normal Retirement Benefit payable at age 65 based upon the projected years of Creditable Service
27 years, 7 months
or more
  • Additional Creditable Service that would be earned had the Member worked until age 65
  • The Normal Retirement Benefit payable at age 65 based upon the projected years of Creditable Service

​When determining a Member’s disability benefits, the Formula Salary is determined as if the Member remained employed until the projected age and the Member’s compensation remained unchanged through that time.  

Disability Calculation Example 1
Age at Commencement 
of Benefits
Years of Service Formula Salary
50 15 $2,088.00
Step 1: Calculate the Years of Creditable Service that will be used to Determine the Member’s Disability Retirement Benefit

 15 years Creditable Service actually earned
 + 10 years Creditable Service (determined by projecting the Member’s service to age 60)
  = 25 years Total Creditable Service

Step 2: Calculate the Disability Retirement Benefit

Formula Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Creditable Service x 75% 
$2,088.00 x .02 X 25 years x 75% = $783.00 per month (Maximum Plan Benefit)

If Membership Date is On or After July 1, 2007 but Before January 1, 2009
The minimum service requirement for Disability Retirement is 13 years and 4 months. Disability benefits are calculated in the same manner as a Service Retirement under the New Plan, except that there will be no reduction for Early Retirement.

Disability Calculation Example 2
Age at Commencement 
of Benefits
Years of Service Formula Salary
50 14 $2,000.00

Formula Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Creditable Service 
$2,000.00 x .02 x 14 years = $560.00  per month (Maximum Plan Benefit)

If Membership Date is on or after January 1, 2009
The minimum service requirement for Disability Retirement is 15 years.  Disability benefits are calculated in the same manner as a Service Retirement under GSEPS, except that there will be no reduction for Early Retirement.

Disability Calculation Example 3
Age at Commencement 
of Benefits
Years of Service Formula Salary
50 15 $2,000.00

Formula Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Creditable Service 
$2,000.00 x .01 x 15 years = $300.00 per month (Maximum Plan Benefit)

11. Death Benefits

The benefits payable to a Member’s beneficiary(ies) upon their death are dependent upon employment / retirement status, age, and Creditable Service at the time of death.

Monthly benefits cannot be paid to an estate or an organization.  If you do not name a living person(s) as your beneficiary(ies), then the only death benefit payable is a refund of your annuity savings fund account, regardless of your age or years of Creditable Service.

11.1 Actively Employed, Death Before Age 60

Members under the Old Plan or New Plan must have at least 13 years and 4 months of Creditable Service in order for their surviving beneficiary(ies) to receive a monthly lifetime benefit. GSEPS members must have at least 15 years of Creditable Service for their beneficiary(ies) to receive a monthly lifetime benefit.  The amount of the monthly benefit is equal to an Option 2 benefit calculated in the same manner as a Disability Retirement benefit.  Please see the Handbook section titled Optional Forms of Payment and the section titled Disability Retirement for further information.

If a Member has fewer than the required number of years of Creditable Service, their beneficiary(ies) will receive a refund of the Member’s annuity savings fund account in a single payment.

11.2 Actively Employed, Death On or After Age 60

A member must have at least 10 years of Creditable Service in order for their surviving beneficiary(ies) to receive a monthly lifetime benefit. The amount of the monthly benefit is equal to an Option 2 benefit calculated in the same manner as a service retirement benefit. Please see the Handbook section titled Optional Forms of Payment and the section titled Service Retirement for further information.

If a Member has fewer than 10 years of Creditable Service, their beneficiary(ies) will receive a refund of the Member’s annuity savings fund account in a single payment.

11.3 Not Actively Employed, Death while Receiving Benefits

If a Member is receiving a monthly retirement benefit at the time of death, the benefits payable to their beneficiary(ies), if any, will be based on the optional form of payment chosen at the time of retirement.  Please see the Handbook section titled Optional Forms of Payment for more information.

11.4 Not Actively Employed, Death Prior to Receiving Benefits

If a Member terminates employment and dies prior to beginning to receive a monthly retirement benefit, their beneficiary(ies) will receive a refund of the Member’s annuity savings fund account in a single payment.

11.5 Group Term Life Insurance

Please see the Handbook section titled Group Term Life Insurance for information regarding this benefit.

12. Refund of Contributions and Interest

A Member may decide to take a refund of their contributions and interest after terminating employment. 

12.1 Refund of C&I Overview

Member of ERS are required to make Employee Contributions into the System.  Members are always 100% vested in Employee Contributions and any interest earned in their annuity savings fund account.

For more information about Employee Contributions, please see the Handbook section titled Contributions.

When terminating State employment, regardless of age or years of Creditable Service, a Member is immediately entitled to receive a refund of their annuity savings fund account in a lump sum payment.  

Taking a refund, however, has several consequences:

  • The member waives all other benefit rights in the ERS plan. 
  • No other benefits will be payable to the Member or to any beneficiary(ies). 
  • If a Member has 10 or more years of Creditable Service and is vested and eligible for a monthly benefit, taking a refund cancels the right to receive a monthly benefit in the future.
  • If covered under GTLI, such coverage is waived when receiving a refund. Employer Contributions and contributions made for GTLI premiums are not refundable to you.
  • Plan membership is terminated. If the Member is later rehired, they will become a Member under the terms of the plan in effect at the rehire date.  This is true even if the Member later buys back their refunded Creditable Service.

To access your account and apply for a refund, use the Log In button at the top of the page.

For more information about buying back Creditable Service after taking a refund, please see the Handbook section titled Creditable Service, subsection Refund Buyback.

13. Optional Forms of Payment

When retiring, a Member has several ways in which to receive benefit payments. Every payment option provides a monthly benefit for the Member’s lifetime, and many of the options provide a benefit to one or more beneficiaries after a Member’s death.

13.1 Optional Forms of Payment Overview

The Maximum Plan Benefit provides the highest monthly benefit available because it does not provide a monthly benefit to a beneficiary after the Member’s death.  Other benefit options pay a reduced monthly benefit to the Member, in order to provide for certain specified beneficiary payments.  Ongoing monthly benefits will also be reduced if a Partial Lump Sum Option Payment (PLOP) is chosen at the time of retirement. Detailed descriptions of the various options are shown in the table below.

Actuarial tables are used to determine the amount of the reduction of benefits if one of the optional benefits and / or the PLOP is chosen. Tables used to determine the benefit payable under Options 2, 3, 5A, 5B, and the PLOP are provided in Appendix C to this Handbook.  Please contact ERSGA for further information about the actuarial tables.

It is important to think carefully before making a payment option selection.  In most cases, the payment option cannot be changed after receiving the first monthly benefit payment.  Before making the decision, an estimate calculation of the amounts payable under the various payment options should be obtained.

Please see the section of this Handbook titled Designating a Beneficiary for more information regarding how to designate a beneficiary.

13.2 Unmarried at Retirement

If a Member is unmarried at retirement, and later marries, the Member may elect a new reduced Option with their new spouse designated as the primary beneficiary. The new spouse would then be entitled to a lifetime benefit after the Member’s death, as follows:

  • If the Member retired under the Maximum Plan, the Member must submit a written election to ERSGA for the new Option within six months of marriage.
  • If the Member retired under an Optional Allowance, any time after the marriage, the Member must revoke the original Optional Allowance and submit a written election to ERSGA for the new Option.

13.3 Divorce after Retirement

If a Member selects an Optional Form of Payment at retirement with their spouse as their sole primary beneficiary to receive a lifetime monthly benefit after the Member’s death, and the Member and spouse divorce after retirement:

  • The Member may keep the Optional Form chosen at retirement.
  • The Member may change their benefit payment to the Maximum Plan Benefit amount. The benefit will remain at this new amount for their lifetime, and no further benefits will be payable upon death.
  • If the Member remarries and wants to provide a lifetime benefit to their new spouse, they must first change their benefit payment to the Maximum Plan Benefit and one year after remarriage, or upon the birth of a child, the Member may reelect the original option with their new spouse as their sole primary beneficiary.

13.4 Benefit Payment Options

Maximum Plan Benefit 
(Life Annuity)

Payable to the Member:  The highest monthly benefit available, payable for the Member’s lifetime.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  No monthly benefit is payable after death.  If the Member dies before receiving total payments which at least equal the annuity savings fund account balance, the Member’s beneficiary(ies) will receive the difference in a single payment.

Who May Be a Beneficiary:  An estate, a charity, a trust, or a living person(s).

Changing a Beneficiary:  This may be done at any time.

Option 1
(Reduced Life Annuity)

Payable to the Member:  A reduced monthly benefit, payable for the Member’s lifetime.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  No monthly benefit is payable after death.  The Member’s beneficiary(ies) will receive any funds remaining in the annuity savings fund account.

Who May Be a Beneficiary:  An estate, a charity, a trust, or a living person(s).

Changing a Beneficiary:  This may be done at any time.

Option 2
(100% Survivor Benefit)

Payable to the Member:  A reduced monthly benefit, payable for the Member’s lifetime.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  A monthly benefit equal to 100% of the monthly benefit received during the Member’s lifetime, payable for the lifetime of the beneficiary(ies).

Who May Be a Beneficiary:  A living person(s).  If multiple beneficiaries are named, each beneficiary will receive a partial amount based on their respective ages. This Option may not be available with a non-spouse beneficiary more than 10 years younger than the Member.

Changing a Beneficiary:  Generally, beneficiary(ies) may not be changed after the Member receives the first monthly benefit payment.
 

Upon the Death of the Beneficiary: If the beneficiary dies before the Member, there is no change to the Member’s benefit and no further benefits will be payable upon the Member’s death. If the Member elects multiple beneficiaries at retirement and one of those beneficiaries die before the Member, there is no change to the Member’s benefit and no change to the benefits payable to the surviving beneficiaries upon the Member’s death.
 

NOTE:  If a spouse or dependent child (as defined by the Internal Revenue Code) is named as sole primary beneficiary, and the beneficiary dies before the Member, the Member may elect to begin receiving an actuarially reduced benefit with a new spouse or current spouse, respectively, after one year of marriage.
 

NOTE:  If a spouse is named as sole primary beneficiary, and divorce occurs after retirement, the Member may elect to receive the Maximum Plan benefit.  After one year of remarriage or birth of a child of that marriage, whichever is earlier, the Member may again choose Option 2 and name the new spouse as the sole, primary beneficiary with an actuarially recalculated benefit.

Option 3
(50% Survivor Benefit)

Payable to the Member:  A reduced monthly benefit, payable for the Member’s lifetime.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  A monthly benefit equal to 50% of the monthly benefit received during the Member’s lifetime, payable for the lifetime of the beneficiary(ies).

Who May Be a Beneficiary:  A living person(s).  If multiple beneficiaries are named, each beneficiary will receive a partial amount based on their respective ages.

Changing a Beneficiary:  Generally, beneficiary(ies) may not be changed after the Member receives the first monthly benefit payment.

Upon the Death of the Beneficiary: If the beneficiary dies before the Member, there is no change to the Member’s benefit and no further benefits will be payable upon the Member’s death. If the Member elects multiple beneficiaries at retirement and one of those beneficiaries die before the Member, there is no change to the Member’s benefit and no change to the benefits payable to the surviving beneficiaries upon the Member’s death.
 

NOTE:  If a spouse or dependent child (as defined by the Internal Revenue Code) is named as sole primary beneficiary, and the beneficiary dies before the Member, the Member may elect to begin receiving an actuarially reduced benefit with a new spouse or current spouse, respectively, after one year of marriage.
 

NOTE:  If a spouse is named as sole primary beneficiary, and divorce occurs after retirement, the Member may elect to receive the Maximum Plan benefit.  After one year of remarriage or birth of a child of that marriage, whichever is earlier, the Member may again choose Option 3 and name the new spouse as the sole, primary beneficiary with actuarially recalculated benefit.

Option 4
Provides several choices

Flat Amount to Beneficiary

Payable to the Member:  A reduced monthly benefit, payable for the Member’s lifetime.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  A monthly benefit equal to the amount chosen at the time of retirement, payable for the lifetime of the beneficiary (ies).

Who May Be a Beneficiary:  A living person(s).  If multiple beneficiaries are named, each beneficiary will receive a partial amount based on their respective ages.

Changing a Beneficiary:  Generally, beneficiary(ies) may not be changed after the Member receives the first monthly benefit payment.

Upon the Death of the Beneficiary: If the beneficiary dies before the Member, there is no change to the Member’s benefit and no further benefits will be payable upon the Member’s death. If the Member elects multiple beneficiaries at retirement and one of those beneficiaries die before the Member, there is no change to the Member’s benefit and no change to the benefits payable to the surviving beneficiaries upon the Member’s death.
 

NOTE:  If a spouse or dependent child (as defined by the Internal Revenue Code) is named as sole primary beneficiary, and the beneficiary dies before the Member, the Member may elect to begin receiving an actuarially reduced benefit with a new spouse or current spouse, respectively, after one year of marriage.
 

NOTE:  If a spouse is named as sole primary beneficiary, and divorce occurs after retirement, the Member may elect to receive the Maximum Plan benefit.  After one year of remarriage or birth of a child of that marriage, whichever is earlier, the Member may again choose Option 4 – Flat Amount to Beneficiary and name the new spouse as the sole, primary beneficiary with an actuarially recalculated benefit.

 

90% to Retiree with Remainder to Beneficiary

Payable to the Member:  The highest monthly benefit available, payable for the Member’s lifetime.  This amount cannot exceed 90% of the highest monthly salary received as a State employee.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  A monthly benefit equal to the value of the “excess” (over 90%) amount of the Member’s calculated benefit, payable for the lifetime of the beneficiary(ies).

Who May Be a Beneficiary:  A living person(s).  If multiple beneficiaries are named, each beneficiary will receive a partial amount based on their respective ages.

Changing a Beneficiary: Generally, beneficiary(ies) may not be changed after the Member receives the first monthly benefit payment.

Upon the Death of the Beneficiary: If the beneficiary dies before the Member, there is no change to the Member’s benefit and no further benefits will be payable upon the Member’s death. If the Member elects multiple beneficiaries at retirement and one of those beneficiaries die before the Member, there is no change to the Member’s benefit and no change to the benefits payable to the surviving beneficiaries upon the Member’s death.
 

NOTE: This option is only available to certain Old Plan Members with at least 34 years of Creditable Service and New Plan Members with at least 45 years of Creditable Service.
 

NOTE:  If a spouse or dependent child (as defined by the Internal Revenue Code) is named as sole primary beneficiary, and the beneficiary dies before the Member, the Member may elect to begin receiving an actuarially reduced benefit with a new spouse or current spouse, respectively, after one year of marriage.
 

NOTE:  If a spouse is named as sole primary beneficiary, and divorce occurs after retirement, the Member may elect to receive the Maximum Plan benefit.  After one year of remarriage or birth of a child of that marriage, whichever is earlier, the Member may again choose Option 4 – Flat Amount to Beneficiary and name the new spouse as the sole, primary beneficiary with an actuarially recalculated benefit.

 

Period Certain

Payable to the Member:  A reduced monthly benefit, payable for the Member’s lifetime.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  A monthly benefit is guaranteed to be paid for a period of time selected at retirement (5, 10, 15, or 20 years).  If the Member lives longer than the guarantee period, there is no benefit payable to the beneficiary(ies).  If the Member dies before the end of the guarantee period, the beneficiary(ies) will receive the balance of the guaranteed payments, payable in a single lump sum payment.

Who May Be a Beneficiary:  An estate, a charity, a trust, or a living person(s).

Changing a Beneficiary: This may be done at any time.

Accelerated Benefit

Payable to the Member:  A monthly benefit equal to 135% of the Maximum Plan Benefit, payable for the first five continuous years of retirement.  After five years, the Member’s monthly benefit will be actuarially reduced, and the reduced benefit will be paid for their lifetime.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  No monthly benefit is payable after the Member’s death.  If the Member dies before receiving total payments which at least equal the annuity savings fund account, the Member’s beneficiary(ies) will receive the difference in a single payment.

Who May Be a Beneficiary:  An estate, a charity, a trust, or a living person(s).

Changing a Beneficiary:  This may be done at any time.

Maximum Beneficiary Amount

Payable to the Member:  A reduced monthly benefit, payable for the Member’s lifetime.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  A monthly benefit equal to the maximum amount allowed by the IRS for a non-spouse beneficiary, as calculated at the retirement date.  The benefit is payable for the lifetime of the beneficiary(ies).

Who May Be a Beneficiary:  A living person(s).  If multiple beneficiaries are named, each beneficiary will receive a partial amount based on their respective ages.

Changing a Beneficiary:  Generally, beneficiaries may not be changed after the Member receives the first monthly benefit payment.

Upon the Death of the Beneficiary: If the beneficiary dies before the Member, there is no change to the Member’s benefit and no further benefits will be payable upon the Member’s death. If the Member elects multiple beneficiaries at retirement and one of those beneficiaries die before the Member, there is no change to the Member’s benefit and no change to the benefits payable to the surviving beneficiaries upon the Member’s death.

Option 5
(Survivor Benefits)

Payable to the Member:  A reduced monthly benefit, payable for the Member’s lifetime.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  A monthly benefit equal to 100% (option 5A) or 50% (option 5B) of the monthly benefit received during the Member’s lifetime, payable for the lifetime of the beneficiary.

Who May Be a Beneficiary:  Either a spouse or dependent child (as defined by the Internal Revenue Code).  Only one beneficiary may be named. Option 5A may not be available with a dependent child more than 10 years younger than the Member.

Changing a Beneficiary:  The beneficiary may not be changed after the Member receives the first monthly payment unless the beneficiary predeceases the Member, or if the beneficiary is a spouse and divorce occurs.

If a Spouse Beneficiary Predeceases the Member:

  1. The benefit will change to the Maximum Plan Benefit amount, effective the month following the death. The benefit will remain at this new amount for the Member’s lifetime, and no further benefits will be payable upon death.
  2. If the Member remarries and wants to provide a lifetime benefit to their new spouse, they must wait until one year of marriage, or the birth of a child of that marriage if earlier.  At that point, the Member may reelect the original option (5A or 5B, as applicable) with their new spouse as the sole primary beneficiary.

If a Dependent Child Beneficiary Predeceases the Member:

  1. The benefit will change to the Maximum Plan Benefit amount, effective the month following the death. The benefit will remain at this new amount for the Member’s lifetime, and no further benefits will be payable upon death.
  2. If the Member is married or remarries and wants to provide a lifetime benefit to their spouse, they must wait until one year of marriage, or the birth of a child of that marriage if earlier.  At that point, the Member may reelect the original option (5A or 5B, as applicable) with the spouse as the sole primary beneficiary.

If Divorce Occurs with a Spouse Beneficiary:

  1. The Member may elect to continue the optional allowance with the former spouse designated to receive the monthly benefit after the Member’s death.
  2. The Member may elect to change to the Maximum Plan Benefit amount.  The benefit will remain at this new amount for the Member’s lifetime, and no further benefits will be payable upon death. If the Member remarries and wants to provide a lifetime benefit to their new spouse, they must wait until one year of marriage, or the birth of a child of that marriage if earlier.  At that point, the Member may reelect the original option (5A or 5B, as applicable) with their new spouse as the sole primary beneficiary.

13.5 Partial Lump Sum Option Payment (PLOP)

Payable to the Member:  A one-time lump sum payment of a portion of the Member’s retirement benefit, plus a reduced monthly benefit payable for their lifetime.  The amount of the reduction will be based on the amount of the partial lump sum, the Member’s age at retirement, and the payment option chosen for the remaining monthly benefit.

The Member may choose the lump sum in multiples of $1,000. The lump sum cannot be less than 1 times the monthly benefit calculated under the Maximum Plan Option, and not more than 36 times the monthly benefit calculated under the Maximum Plan Option.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  The monthly benefit payable after the Member’s death is dependent on the payment option selected at retirement.  Just as the Member’s monthly benefit will be reduced when taking a Partial Lump Sum, the beneficiary’s benefit will also be reduced accordingly.

  • A Partial Lump Sum is only available for a Service Retirement (not Disability Retirement).
  • The Member must have at least 30 years of Creditable Service, or be at least age 60 with 10 years of Creditable Service, to receive a Partial Lump Sum.
  • More information about the Partial Lump Sum Option Payment is available in the Partial Lump Sum Option Payment (PLOP) FAQ.

Note: Certain Law Enforcement Members retiring on or after age 55 with at least 10 years of Creditable Service, are also eligible to receive a Partial Lump Sum Option Payment, See Appendix B for details.

13.6 Escalating Benefit Option

Payable to the Member:  A reduced monthly benefit, payable for the Member’s lifetime, with a guaranteed annual increase of 2 percent.  This option is available for the Maximum Plan, Option 2, Option 3, Option 4 Period Certain (5, 10, 15 and 20 years), Option 4 Max Amount to Beneficiary, Option 5A and Option 5B.  On the anniversary date of the retirement, the monthly benefit will be increased by 2%.  This will occur every year for the lifetime of the Member.  If a Member is eligible for a PLOP, a PLOP can also be elected in addition to the Escalating Benefit Option.

Payable to the Beneficiary:  The monthly benefit payable after the Member’s death is dependent on the payment option selected at retirement.  For Options 2, 3, 4 Max Amount to Beneficiary, 5A or 5B, the beneficiary(ies) will receive a monthly benefit after the member’s death, based on the option selected.  Just as the Member’s monthly benefit will be reduced when taking an Escalating Benefit Option, the beneficiary’s benefit will also be reduced accordingly.  In addition, the beneficiary’s benefit will also be eligible for the guaranteed annual increase of 2 percent.

For the Maximum Plan and Option 4 Period Certain (5, 10, 15 and 20 years) please refer to Section 13.4 for further information on what is payable to the beneficiary. 

Changing a Beneficiary:  Please refer to the Changing a Beneficiary for each applicable option listed in Section 13.4.

14. Group Term Life Insurance

Old Plan and New Plan Members are covered under Group Term Life Insurance (GTLI).

14.1 GTLI Overview

Participation in GTLI is mandatory and a condition of employment for all ERS Members covered under the Old or New Plans. Employees under GSEPS do not have GTLI coverage.  GTLI provides a lump sum death benefit in the event of your death while active or as a retiree.

While actively employed, premiums equal to ¼% of Earnable Compensation are deducted from the Member’s pay. Premiums for GTLI are not refundable at any time.

The base GTLI benefit is 18 times of monthly eligible compensation. However, this base benefit is reduced with age.  At age 60, eligible compensation is frozen and coverage begins reducing by ½% per month until age 65.  

At retirement, GTLI coverage continues; however, there are no premiums and the amount of coverage, regardless of age, is reduced to 70% of the benefit payable at the date of retirement or age 60, whichever was earlier.

Disability retirees retain full coverage until age 60, when coverage reduces to 70%.

If a Member has earned service prior to April 1, 1964, special rules apply to the calculation of this benefit. Please contact ERSGA if in this category. 

If you retired before 7/1/1998, please contact ERSGA to determine how your benefit may have been calculated, as rules have changed over time.

14.2 Coverage While on Leave Without Pay (LWOP)

GTLI coverage while on LWOP may be retained by Members with at least one year of service if a written request is made to ERSGA to continue this coverage. This coverage may be kept for a maximum of four years. Coverage terminates if a written request to continue is not filed with ERSGA. 

GTLI Leave Without Pay Continuation Form

Anyone accepting employment outside of State government while on LWOP (other than military service) is not eligible to retain this coverage. Premiums in the amount of 1% of final monthly salary accumulate each month while on LWOP and are due at the time of retirement or refund of annuity savings fund account.

14.3 GTLI after Termination

If terminating employment with at least 18 years of Creditable Service (excluding forfeited leave), GTLI coverage is automatically retained.  Premiums in the amount of 1% of the final monthly salary accumulate each month and are due at retirement, refund of annuity savings fund account, or death. This coverage can be discontinued only by a written request to ERSGA, and premiums will continue to accrue until this request is received by our office.

GTLI coverage is revoked when a Member takes a refund of their ERS annuity savings fund account.

15. Post-Retirement Benefit Adjustment

Each year, the Board of Trustees may consider the grant of a Post-Retirement Benefit Adjustment for retirees.

15.1 Post-Retirement Benefit Adjustment Overview

The decision to grant a Post-Retirement Benefit Adjustment will be based on the long-term financial soundness of the pension system.  Post-Retirement Benefit Adjustments are not guaranteed and financial decisions should not be based on the possibility of an increase until a Post-Retirement Benefit Adjustment has been announced.

When a Post-Retirement Benefit Adjustment is approved, it is granted to retirees and beneficiaries:

  • Who are at least 45 years old (disability retirees have no age limit), and
  • Who have been receiving retirement benefits for at least seven months

Early Retirement Exception: If retiring under the Early Retirement provision, a Member will be eligible to begin receiving Post-Retirement Benefit Adjustments at age 60 or when they would have obtained 30 years of Creditable Service had the Member continued to work, whichever is earlier.

Note: Cost of living provisions do not apply to Court of Appeals Judges and Supreme Court Justices. See Appendix A for details.

Employees who first or again become Members of ERS on or after July 1, 2009 are not entitled to any Post-Retirement Benefit Adjustment after retirement.

16. Benefit Payment Details

Benefit payments are made the last working day of each month. Before the payments can begin, a Member must complete the retirement process and leave State employment.

16.1 Protection of Benefits

Benefits from ERS are not subject to execution, garnishment, attachment, writ of sequestration, or any other process or claim, except with regard to an IRS levy, court-ordered child support, or court-ordered sanctions due to conviction of certain criminal acts. Benefits are not assignable even with a Domestic Relations Order (DRO).

16.2 Correcting a Benefit Error

The Board of Trustees of ERS is in charge of all records of the retirement system. If a Member receives more or less than the benefit to which they are entitled due to an error, the error will be corrected upon discovery and the benefit will be adjusted accordingly. With errors, there is a potential for underpayments or overpayments. Underpayments will be made as soon as possible. For any overpayments, repayment is required and repayment options will be discussed with the Member.

16.3 Deductions

The ERS retirement benefit is generally not assignable.  This means that only limited deductions may be made from retirement payments,  such as:

  • Federal income tax 
  • Georgia state income tax 
  • Health insurance premiums 
  • Dental insurance premiums 
  • GTLI premiums (if applicable) 
  • Some Credit Unions

16.4 Taxes

Employee Contributions made by a Member are contributed to ERS on an after-tax basis, and the portion of the retirement benefit which is attributable to these Employee Contributions is determined on a pro-rated basis using tables found in the Internal Revenue Code to provide a partial tax exemption each calendar year.  

However, Employee Contributions only provide a small portion of each monthly payment.  The majority of the monthly payment is taxable to the retiree and/or beneficiary(ies).  When the Employee Contributions are exhausted, the total benefit payment is taxable.  Each year a 1099-R is issued to every retiree and beneficiary receiving benefits to identify taxable retirement benefits when filing for income taxes.

Withholding elections (forms W-4P for federal and G-4P for Georgia state taxes) are completed at retirement. Retirees can change their tax withholding and direct deposit elections at any time by using the Log In button above, or by contacting ERSGA.

17. Returning to State Employment

17.1 Re-employment after Commencement of Retirement Benefits

A retiree who returns to work for any ERS Employer, even as an independent contractor, will have their ERS benefit suspended upon reaching 1,040 hours during any calendar year.

For purposes of this provision, an ERS Employer is a State department or agency participating in ERS, as well as (in some cases) the Board of Regents. A list of departments and agencies participating in ERS as of July 1, 2018 is provided in Appendix D. There are no restrictions on re-employment with an employer not participating in ERS.

If retiring under ERS’s Early Retirement provisions, a Member must not return to work with any State department or agency, even as an independent contractor, during the two months following their retirement date. Prior to receipt of Early Retirement benefits, the Member’s Employer must certify that no agreement exists for the Member to return to employment after retirement. In other words, there must be a true intent on the Member’s part to stop working for the State at the time of Early Retirement.

If retiring under any of ERS’s provisions other than Early Retirement, a Member must not return to work with an Employer, even as an independent contractor, during the first month following retirement.

Before considering returning to work after retirement, discuss the matter with an ERS representative and/or your HR department.

17.2 Re-employment before Receiving a Refund of your Annuity Savings Fund Account

When a Member terminates employment and leaves their annuity savings fund account with ERS, the Member has the opportunity to retain their membership rights under ERS in the event they decide to return to work for an Employer.

  • If the Member has at least ten years of Creditable Service, they will retain all of their rights as a Member upon returning to work, regardless of how long of they are gone.  
  • If returning to work for an Employer within four years of initial separation from service, the Member will retain all membership rights, regardless of their years of Creditable Service.  
  • If the Member has less than ten years of Creditable Service and returns after a four-year break in employment, their previous service is re-established after earning a year of Creditable Service following their most recent hire date; however, they will become a Member of ERS under the plan in place for new Members (currently GSEPS).

17.3 Re-employment after Receiving a Refund of the Annuity Savings Fund Account

When a Member receives a refund of their annuity savings fund account, they forfeit any Creditable Service attributable to that same period of employment.  

When returning to work, the Member receives a new ERS membership date that disregards any prior membership under ERS.  Benefits will be based on the benefit plan (Old Plan, New Plan, and GSEPS) in place for new hires at the time of re-employment.

The Member may re-establish any prior Creditable Service after completing two additional years of ERS membership and making a lump sum payment to ERS in an amount equal to the refund  originally received, plus 4.25% interest compounded annually from the date of the refund.

Even if the Member establishes prior Creditable Service by paying back their refund, their membership date will not be adjusted back to the original membership date, and benefits will be based on the benefit plan in effect for new hires at the time of re-employment (currently GSEPS).

A prior member of TRS who received a refund under that plan can also establish Creditable Service under ERS after completing two years of ERS membership. 

Please see the Handbook Section entitled Creditable Service for more information.

18. Designating a Beneficiary

18.1 Actively Employed

All active ERS Members are strongly encouraged to designate one or more beneficiaries to receive the ERS benefit which may be payable at the Member’s death.  Old Plan and New Plan Members should also designate a beneficiary(ies) to receive the Group Term Life Insurance (GTLI) benefit.

Failure to designate a beneficiary(ies) will result in any applicable death benefits for an active Member being paid to the Member’s estate.  In certain circumstances, the death benefit payable to a living person beneficiary is larger than the death benefit which may be paid to an estate.  Please see the Handbook section titled Death Benefits for more information.

The Member will be asked to designate a primary beneficiary and a contingent (also known as a secondary) beneficiary(ies) for both the retirement plan and the GTLI benefit (if applicable).  The Member may designate one or more primary and one or more contingent beneficiaries for each benefit.  If the Member designates their Estate as their primary beneficiary, they do not need a contingent beneficiary.

A primary and a contingent beneficiary do not share benefits.  A contingent beneficiary(ies) will only receive a benefit if there is no surviving primary beneficiary(ies) at the time the death benefit is to be paid, or if the primary beneficiary (ies) does not survive the Member by at least 32 days.

Retirement plan and GTLI (if applicable) beneficiary(ies) may be designated online or by contacting ERSGA directly.  All GSEPS Members, and any Member who has contributed to the 401(k) or 457 plans, should also designate beneficiaries through Peach State Reserves at gabreeze.ga.gov.

The same beneficiary(ies) do not have to be designated for all benefits (retirement plan, GTLI, 401(k), and/or 457).  Note that under the 401(k) plan, if married, a Member’s spouse must be designated as the sole primary beneficiary unless the spouse signs a waiver agreeing to a different beneficiary.

18.2 At Retirement

At retirement, a Member will be asked to choose the form of the benefit they wish to receive and designate the applicable beneficiary(ies).  Please see the Handbook section titled Optional Forms of Payment for more information.

19. Appendix A – Court of Appeals Judges and Supreme Court Justices

Special Provisions for Court of Appeals Judges and Supreme Court Justices (ACJ)

This Appendix summarizes the special provisions of the ERS as they relate to Appellate Court Judges and Supreme Court Justices.  This Appendix must be read in conjunction with the ERS Handbook.

19.1 Introduction

In 1971, special benefits were offered for Supreme Court Justices and Court of Appeals Judges (ACJ) under the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS).  Since 1981, membership is available to those newly assuming office by written election within the first 60 days only.

Laws governing ACJ Members provide for retirement benefits, death and disability benefits, or refunds of contributions and interest to Members who leave State employment. Employee and Employer Contributions are paid into the retirement fund for the welfare of Members and their beneficiaries. All benefits are paid from this fund. Benefit provisions may have changed over time, and any benefit provisions which no longer apply to any active member or apply only to a small population may not be covered in detail in this Appendix. 

19.2 Eligibility

The following individuals are eligible for the special ACJ provisions:

  • Court of Appeals Judges  
  • Supreme Court Justices

Eligible Members must elect in writing to participate in these special benefits within 6o days of appointment and must agree to resign their office on or before attaining age 75 or, if later, the last day of the term during which their 70th birthday occurs. Failure to resign by this date will result in forfeiture of all benefits under the plan, including member contributions. Also, if a Member elected to become covered for these special benefits after April 1, 1964 they will not be eligible for appointment to any emeritus position. The election to participate in the special ACJ provisions is irrevocable.

If a Member did not elect ACJ benefits in writing within the first 60 days of assuming office, their ERS membership will be under the regular ERS plan provisions and all benefits will be determined under the provisions of that plan.

19.3 – Contributions

The ACJ benefits are funded through Employee and Employer contributions. 

Employee Contributions 

A total of 8.5% of a Member’s monthly salary is contributed on a Member’s behalf each payroll period. While all of these contributions are considered Employee Contributions, the Member’s employer actually pays a portion of the contributions. These employer paid contributions are called pick up contributions. 

In addition, Members joining ERS before July 1, 2009, are covered for Group Term Life Insurance (GTLI)  and pay an additional 0.25% of monthly salary toward the GTLI benefit. Member’s joining ERS on or after July 1, 2009, are not eligible for the GTLI benefit.

Employee Contributions are made through payroll deductions in the amount of 3.75% of the Member’s Earnable Compensation plus $7 each month, and deposited into the Member’s annuity savings fund account. For Members joining ERS before July 1, 2009, an additional .25% of Earnable Compensation is deducted and goes towards the GTLI premiums.

Employer pick up contributions are 4.75% less $7 each month and are also deposited into the Member’s annuity savings fund account.   

Employee Contributions start earning 4% interest (compounded annually) after being in the annuity savings fund account for one year.  Earned interest is posted on June 30th of each year to annuity savings fund accounts belonging to Members who are employed at that time.  Interest is not posted to any account belonging to a Member who has terminated employment. 

Employer Contributions 

In addition to the Employee Contributions made on a Member’s behalf, the State also makes additional contributions in order to provide for the Member’s ACJ benefit. The Employer Contribution amount is an actuarially determined amount that is approved by the Board. It is not applied to the Members’ annuity savings fund accounts, and it is not refundable to any Member. 

19.4 Creditable Service

A Member earns Creditable Service for each month of active ERS membership for which Employee Contributions are deducted. If a Member contributes for only part of a month, the Member will receive a pro rata portion of that month toward Creditable Service. When a Member has partial months of service during a year, the total months credited for the year are rounded to the nearest number of months.

Other ERS Service
ACJ Members may have service in ERS from before they elected ACJ benefits. This ERS Service may be converted to ACJ-eligible Service on a two-for-one basis. 

19.5 Benefits Eligibility

Normal Retirement

A Member who has reached Normal Retirement Age can retire and begin receiving monthly benefits.  

Normal Retirement Age is defined as the attainment of age 65 and 10 years of Creditable Service. Retirement must be before age 75 or, if later, the last day of the term in which the Member turns age 70. If the Member retires after that date no benefits are payable from the plan.

Terminated Vested Retirement

If a Member terminates employment after earning 10 years of Creditable Service, but prior to age 65, they will be eligible to start drawing a retirement benefit once they reach age 65.

19.6 Service Retirement

ACJ retirement benefits are available to Members with 10 or more years of Creditable Service. The benefits are 75% of the Salary of an Appellate Court Judge serving in the office from which the Member retired or terminated. 

The above benefit is payable monthly for the life of the Member. Upon the death of the Member, 50% of the monthly benefit is payable to the Member’s surviving spouse, if designated. If a Member elects a beneficiary(ies) other than a spouse, upon the death of the Member, the non-spouse beneficiary will receive an actuarially reduced monthly benefit based upon the age of the beneficiary(ies).  The reduced benefit cannot exceed 50% of the Member’s benefit.

Calculation example

Montlhy salary of
current sitting judge
  Benefit Factor   Monthly Benefit
$15,321 x .75 = $11,490

19.7 Disability Benefits

An Active Member who becomes incapable of performing the duties of  the job due to mental or physical disability, may be eligible for a Disability Retirement benefit

Calculation of Disability Benefits

For Members with 10 or more years of Creditable Service, the disability retirement benefit is calculated in the same manner as a service retirement benefit.  For Members with less than 10 years of Creditable Service, the disability retirement benefit is prorated on the basis of 10% of the full 10 year retirement benefit for each completed year of Creditable Service.

The disability retirement benefit is payable monthly for the life of the Member. Upon the death of the Member, 50% of the benefit is payable to the Member’s surviving spouse, if designated. A Member may elect a beneficiary(ies) who is not a spouse who will receive an actuarially reduced monthly benefit based upon the age of the beneficiary(ies). The reduced benefit cannot exceed 50% of the member’s benefit.

Disability Calculation Example 

Calculation of the Disability Retirement Benefit with 8 years of Creditable Service

Monthly Pay of Current Sitting Judge Benefit Factor Formula Salary
$15,321 75% x .80 $9,192

19.8 Death before Retirement, Monthly Death Benefit 

If a Member is actively contributing to ACJ at the time of death, the surviving spouse, who has been designated as beneficiary, will be eligible to receive a monthly death benefit payable for life equal to 50% of the amount the Member would have received if they had retired on a Disability retirement.

If a terminated Member with 10 or more years of Creditable Service dies before retirement, the surviving spouse, who has been designated as beneficiary, will be eligible to receive a monthly death benefit payable for life equal to 50% of the amount the Member would have received if they had been eligible to retire.

If a Member has named a non-spouse beneficiary, the benefit will be an actuarially reduced amount based on the age of the beneficiary. The amount cannot exceed the amount which would have been payable to a spouse beneficiary.  

Calculation example

Death of a Member after attaining 8 years of Creditable Service.

Montlhy salary of
current sitting judge
  Benefit
Factor
 

Monthly 
Benefit

  Spousal 
Benefit*
  Monthly
Benefit
$15,321 x .75 x 8 / 10 = $9,192   $4,596 = $4,596.00

*The benefit for a non-spouse will be an actuarial reduction not to exceed the spousal benefit.

19.9 Death before Retirement, Refund of Annuity Savings Fund Account 

If a Member is actively contributing to ACJ at the time of death but does not have a living designated beneficiary, their death benefit will be a lump sum payment of the Member’s annuity savings fund account balance, payable to their designated beneficiary(ies) or estate.

If a Member is not actively contributing to ACJ and has less than 10 years of Creditable Service at the time of death, their death benefit will be a lump sum payment of the Member’s annuity savings fund account balance, payable to their designated beneficiary(ies). If a beneficiary(ies) has not been named, or no living beneficiary(ies) have survived the Member, the lump sum will be payable to the Member’s estate. 

If a Member is not actively contributing to ACJ and has less than 10 years of Creditable Service at the time of death, the death benefit will be a lump sum payment of the Member’s annuity savings fund account balance, payable to the named beneficiary(ies). If a beneficiary(ies) has not been named, or no living beneficiary(ies) have survived the Member, the lump sum will be payable to the Member’s estate.

19.10 Death while Receiving Benefits 

If a Member dies while receiving a monthly benefit, their designated surviving spouse will receive 50% of their benefit for the beneficiary’s lifetime.  A Member may elect a beneficiary(ies) other than a spouse to receive an actuarially reduced monthly benefit based upon the age of the beneficiary(ies).  The reduced benefit cannot exceed 50% of the Member’s benefit.

19.11 Post-Retirement Benefit Adjustments

ACJ retirees do not receive Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA’s) that may be granted by the ERS Board of Trustees.  Rather, whenever an increase in salary is effective for sitting Appellate Court Judges or Supreme Court Justices, all ACJ retirees receive a corresponding increase in their retirement benefits.

    20. Appendix B – Law Enforcement Special Provisions

    There are special retirement provisions for certain law enforcement personnel.

    20.1 Retirement at Age 55

    Law Enforcement Service Retirement – Age 55:

    Some enforcement personnel are eligible for retirement at age 55 with at least 10 years of Creditable Service. They can receive the regular service benefit with no age reduction.  

    Eligible Contribution Groups  

    • Uniform Division of the Department of Public Safety: officer, noncommissioned officer, or trooper
    • Georgia Bureau of Investigation: officer or agent
    • Department of Natural Resources: conservation ranger
    • Department of Revenue:  alcohol and tobacco officer or agent
    • Department of Revenue Special Investigations Unit: officer or agent

    Members who are unsure of their eligibility for the Law Enforcement Service Retirement benefit, should contact their Human Resources department or ERSGA. 

    Retirement Benefit

    Eligible Members may retire at age 55 with 10 years of Creditable Service. The Member will receive the Service Retirement allowance without reduction for Early Retirement.

    20.2 Injury in the Line of Duty

    Some enforcement personnel may become eligible for an Injury in the Line of Duty retirement.  This is an alternative to the regular Disability Retirement benefit and may or may not result in a higher benefit.

    Eligible Members

    Injury in the Line of Duty provisions cover Members in the following positions:

    • Uniform Division the Department of Public Safety,
    • Natural Resources Conservation Rangers,
    • Natural Resources Deputy Conservation Rangers,
    • Georgia Bureau of Investigation Officers/Agents,
    • Department of Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco Officers/Agents,
    • Department of Corrections Probation Officers,
    • State Board of Pardons and Paroles Parole Officers, and
    • Department of Community Supervision Community Supervision Officers.

    Department of Revenue Special Investigators are not covered under Injury in the Line of Duty provisions.

    Criteria

    To qualify for an Injury in the Line of Duty retirement, an eligible member must:

    • Be an active ERS member at the time you apply for retirement,
    • Have sustained a permanent disability resulting from an act of external violence or injury incurred in the line of duty. and
    • Be unable to perform your job or any offered alternative position (See Disability Retirement).

    There is no minimum service requirement for an Injury in the Line of Duty retirement.

    If you meet the above criteria, you must complete a Disability Retirement Application and indicate that you are applying for an Injury in the Line of Duty retirement.  The ERS Medical Board will review your application and make a decision as to whether or not you are approved for an Injury in the Line of Duty retirement.

    Benefit Amount

    The Injury in the Line of Duty retirement benefit is payable only as a Maximum Plan benefit.  This means the benefit is payable for your lifetime and no monthly benefit is payable after your death.  Optional forms of payment are not available for Injury in the Line of Duty.

    The Injury in the Line of Duty retirement benefit is equal to the greater of the following:

    1. 80% of the benefit calculated based on 30 years’ service, plus $150.00. The formula is:

    Salary* x Benefit Formula 
    Factor %**
    x 30 Years x 80% + $150.00

    OR

    2. The benefit calculated as if service in ERS had continued to age 55. The formula is:

    Salary* x Benefit Formula 
    Factor %**
    x Creditable 
    Service at Age 55

    * The monthly earnable compensation for the month in which the injury was incurred.

    ** The Benefit Formula Factor for New Plan members is 2%.  The Benefit Formula Factor for GSEPS members is 1%.

    Example 

    An eligible New Plan Member, age 40 with 10 years of Creditable Service, is approved for an Injury in the Line of Duty retirement.  Monthly salary at the time of the injury was $4,000.

    Age at Commencement 
    of Benefits
    Years of Service  Salary Plan
    40 10 $4,000 New Plan
    Step 1: Calculate the the benefit based on 30 years of service

    (Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x 30) x 80% + $150

    ($4,000 x .02 x 30) x 80% + $150 = $2,400 x 80% + $150  =  $2.070 per month for life

    Step 2: Calculate the benefit based on service to age 55

    Salary x Benefit Formula Factor x Service to Age 55

    $4,000 x .02 x (10 years + 15 years)  =  $4,000 x .02 x 25 years = $2,000 per month for life

    Step 3: Injury in the Line of Duty Benefit

    Greater of Step 1 and Step 2
    $2,070 per month for life

    21. Optional Form Factors

    This section contains sample factors for the Optional Forms of Payment.

    21.1 Overview

    The percentages in the following tables show the proportion of the Maximum Plan Benefit payable to you when choosing a survivor benefit. To calculate Options 2, 3, 5A & 5B, find the percentage relating to the Member’s age and the beneficiary’s age as of the retirement date and multiply the Maximum Plan Benefit amount by that factor.  For multiple beneficiaries or Member/beneficiary ages not listed in the table, contact the ERS office.

    Because of certain limitations under the federal Internal Revenue Code, the 100% Survivor Benefit might not be available under Options 2, 4, or 5A with a non-spouse beneficiary who is more than 10 years younger than the Member.  Estimates prepared online or by ERSGA identify the maximum permissible amount which can be allocated to a non-spouse beneficiary.

    21.2 Option 2:  100% Survivor Benefit

    The following table shows the percentage of the monthly Maximum Plan Benefit as a result of receiving a monthly benefit in the form of Option 2, effective July 1, 2019.

    Option 2 Factors
    Beneficiary Age Retiring Member’s Age
      60 61 62 63 64 65
    55
    56
    57
    58
    59
    60
    61
    62
    63
    64
    65
    66
    67
    68
    69
    70
    86.62%
    87.09%
    87.57%
    88.06%
    88.56%
    89.05%
    89.55%
    90.05%
    90.54%
    91.03%
    91.52%
    91.99%
    92.47%
    92.93%
    93.38%
    93.82%
    85.49%
    85.98%
    86.48%
    87.00%
    87.52%
    88.04%
    88.57%
    89.09%
    89.62%
    90.15%
    90.67%
    91.18%
    91.69%
    92.19%
    92.68%
    93.16%
    84.29%
    84.80%
    85.33%
    85.87%
    86.41%
    86.96%
    87.52%
    88.08%
    88.64%
    89.19%
    89.75%
    90.30%
    90.85%
    91.39%
    91.92%
    92.44%
    83.02%
    83.56%
    84.10%
    84.66%
    85.23%
    85.81%
    86.39%
    86.98%
    87.57%
    88.17%
    88.76%
    89.35%
    89.94%
    90.52%
    91.09%
    91.65%
    81.69%
    82.24%
    82.80%
    83.38%
    83.97%
    84.58%
    85.19%
    85.81%
    86.43%
    87.06%
    87.69%
    88.32%
    88.94%
    89.57%
    90.18%
    90.78%
    80.28%
    80.84%
    81.43%
    82.02%
    82.64%
    83.27%
    83.91%
    84.55%
    85.21%
    85.87%
    86.54%
    87.20%
    87.87%
    88.54%
    89.19%
    89.84%

    21.3 Option 3:  50% Survivor Benefit

    The following table shows the percentage of the monthly Maximum Plan Benefit as a result of receiving a monthly benefit in the form of Option 3, effective July 1, 2019.

    Option 3 Factors
    Beneficiary Age Retiring Member’s Age
      60 61 62 63 64 65
    55
    56
    57
    58
    59
    60
    61
    62
    63
    64
    65
    66
    67
    68
    69
    70
    92.83%
    93.10%
    93.38%
    93.65%
    93.93%
    94.21%
    94.49%
    94.76%
    95.04%
    95.30%
    95.57%
    95.83%
    96.09%
    96.33%
    96.58%
    96.81%
    92.17%
    92.46%
    92.75%
    93.05%
    93.34%
    93.64%
    93.94%
    94.23%
    94.53%
    94.82%
    95.10%
    95.39%
    95.66%
    95.94%
    96.20%
    96.46%
    91.48%
    91.78%
    92.08%
    92.40%
    92.71%
    93.03%
    93.34%
    93.66%
    93.98%
    94.29%
    94.60%
    94.90%
    95.21%
    95.50%
    95.79%
    96.07%
    90.72%
    91.04%
    91.36%
    91.69%
    92.03%
    92.36%
    92.70%
    93.04%
    93.37%
    93.71%
    94.04%
    94.37%
    94.70%
    95.02%
    95.34%
    95.64%
    89.92%
    90.25%
    90.59%
    90.94%
    91.29%
    91.64%
    92.00%
    92.36%
    92.72%
    93.08%
    93.44%
    93.80%
    94.15%
    94.50%
    94.84%
    95.17%
    89.06%
    89.41%
    89.76%
    90.12%
    90.49%
    90.87%
    91.25%
    91.63%
    92.01%
    92.40%
    92.78%
    93.16%
    93.54%
    93.92%
    94.29%
    94.65%

    21.4 Option 5A:  100% Survivor Benefit

    The following table shows the percentage of the monthly Maximum Plan Benefit as a result of receiving a monthly benefit in the form of Option 5A, effective July 1, 2019.

    Option 5A Factors
    Beneficiary Age Retiring Member’s Age
      60 61 62 63 64 65
    55
    56
    57
    58
    59
    60
    61
    62
    63
    64
    65
    66
    67
    68
    69
    70
    85.74%
    86.16%
    86.58%
    87.00%
    87.42%
    87.85%
    88.28%
    88.71%
    89.13%
    89.56%
    89.98%
    90.39%
    90.80%
    91.21%
    91.60%
    91.99%
    84.59%
    85.02%
    85.46%
    85.90%
    86.35%
    86.80%
    87.25%
    87.70%
    88.15%
    88.60%
    89.05%
    89.50%
    89.94%
    90.37%
    90.80%
    91.22%
    83.38%
    83.83%
    84.28%
    84.74%
    85.21%
    85.68%
    86.16%
    86.63%
    87.11%
    87.59%
    88.07%
    88.54%
    89.01%
    89.48%
    89.94%
    90.39%
    82.10%
    82.56%
    83.03%
    83.51%
    84.00%
    84.49%
    84.99%
    85.49%
    86.00%
    86.50%
    87.01%
    87.52%
    88.02%
    88.52%
    89.01%
    89.49%
    80.75%
    81.23%
    81.71%
    82.21%
    82.72%
    83.23%
    83.75%
    84.28%
    84.81%
    85.34%
    85.88%
    86.41%
    86.95%
    87.48%
    88.00%
    88.52%
    79.34%
    79.83%
    80.33%
    80.84%
    81.37%
    81.90%
    82.44%
    82.99%
    83.55%
    84.11%
    84.67%
    85.24%
    85.80%
    86.37%
    86.93%
    87.48%

    21.5 Option 5B:  50% Survivor Benefit

    The following table shows the percentage of the monthly Maximum Plan Benefit as a result of receiving a monthly benefit in the form of Option 5B, effective July 1, 2019.

    Option 5B Factors
    Beneficiary Age Retiring Member’s Age
      60 61 62 63 64 65
    55
    56
    57
    58
    59
    60
    61
    62
    63
    64
    65
    66
    67
    68
    69
    70
    92.33%
    92.56%
    92.80%
    93.05%
    93.29%
    93.53%
    93.77%
    94.01%
    94.25%
    94.49%
    94.72%
    94.95%
    95.18%
    95.40%
    95.62%
    95.83%
    91.65%
    91.90%
    92.16%
    92.42%
    92.67%
    92.93%
    93.19%
    93.45%
    93.70%
    93.96%
    94.21%
    94.46%
    94.70%
    94.94%
    95.18%
    95.41%
    90.94%
    91.20%
    91.47%
    91.74%
    92.01%
    92.29%
    92.56%
    92.84%
    93.11%
    93.39%
    93.66%
    93.92%
    94.19%
    94.45%
    94.70%
    94.95%
    90.17%
    90.45%
    90.73%
    91.02%
    91.30%
    91.59%
    91.89%
    92.18%
    92.47%
    92.76%
    93.05%
    93.34%
    93.63%
    93.91%
    94.18%
    94.46%
    89.35%
    89.64%
    89.94%
    90.24%
    90.54%
    90.85%
    91.16%
    91.47%
    91.78%
    92.09%
    92.40%
    92.71%
    93.02%
    93.32%
    93.62%
    93.91%
    88.48%
    88.78%
    89.09%
    89.41%
    89.73%
    90.05%
    90.38%
    90.70%
    91.04%
    91.37%
    91.70%
    92.03%
    92.36%
    92.68%
    93.01%
    93.32%

    21.6 Partial Lump Sum Optional Payment (PLOP) Factors

    The following table shows the reduction of the monthly Maximum Plan Benefit for each $1,000 taken as a partial lump sum, determined by a Member’s age at retirement.  If a Member elects to provide a survivor benefit for a beneficiary, further reductions to the benefit will occur for that purpose. These factors are effective July 1, 2019.

    Age Cost per $1000
    50
    51
    52
    53
    54
    55
    56
    57
    58
    59
    60
    61
    62
    63
    64
    65
    66
    67
    68
    69
    70
    $6.75 
    $6.82 
    $6.88 
    $6.95 
    $7.03 
    $7.11 
    $7.20 
    $7.29 
    $7.39 
    $7.50 
    $7.62 
    $7.74 
    $7.88 
    $8.02 
    $8.17 
    $8.34 
    $8.52 
    $8.71 
    $8.92 
    $9.14 
    $9.38 

    22. Appendix D

    Departments and Agencies Participating in ERS as of July 1, 2020

    22.1 Employers always participating in ERS

    As a condition of law, the following groups are always considered ERS employers:

    • State Agencies, Authorities, Commissions, and Departments
    • State Courts and Judicial Circuits
    • Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS)
    • Heath Departments
    • Mental Health Centers

    State Agencies, Authorities, Commissions, and Departments

    402

    403

    404

    405

    406

    407

    408

    409

    410

    411

    414

    415

    416

    418

    419

    420

    422

    427

    428

    429

    430

    432

    436

    438

    440

    441

    442

    444

    461

    462

    465

    466

    467

    469

    470

    471

    474

    475

    476

    477

    478

    482

    484

    488

    489

    490

    492

    910-0910

    913-0913

    921

    922

    926-0926

    927

    928-0928

    936-0936

    955-0955

    972-0972

    980

    996

    GA Dept. of Agriculture

    GA Dept. of Administrative Services

    GA Dept. of Audits

    GA Dept. of Public Health

    GA Dept. of Banking and Finance

    State Accounting Office

    Office of Commissioner of Insurance

    GA State Financing & Investment Commission

    State Properties Commission

    GA Dept. of Defense

    GA Dept. of Education

    Technical College System of Georgia

    Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia

    Prosecuting Attorneys Council

    GA Dept. of Community Health

    GA Forestry Commission

    Office of Planning and Budget

    GA Dept. of Human Services

    GA Dept. of Community Affairs

    GA Dept. of Economic Development

    Administrative Office of the Courts

    GA Court of Appeals

    Superior Courts of Georgia

    Supreme Court of Georgia

    GA Dept. of Labor

    GA Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities 

    GA Dept. of Law

    General Assembly of Georgia

    GA Dept. of Juvenile Justice

    GA Dept. of Natural Resources

    State Board of Pardons and Paroles

    GA Dept. of Public Safety

    GA Dept. of Corrections

    GA Dept. of Early Care and Learning

    GA Public Service Commission

    GA Bureau of Investigation

    GA Dept. of Revenue

    GA Dept. of Driver Services

    GA Student Finance Commission

    GA Dept. of Community Supervision

    Secretary of State

    Teachers Retirement System of Georgia

    GA Dept. of Transportation

    GA Department of Veterans Service

    Subsequent Injury Trust Fund 

    State Board of Workers Compensation

    GA Public Defender Standards Council

    Jekyll Island State Park Authority

    Lake Lanier Island Dev. Authority

    GA Correctional Industries

    Georgia World Congress Center Authority

    GA Agricultural Exposition Authority

    State Road and Tollway Authority

    GA Environmental Finance Authority

    Agricultural Commodity Commission – Peanuts

    GA Superior Court Clerks Coop

    GA Federal-State Inspection

    GA Technology Authority

    Atlanta-Region Transit Link “ATL” Authority

    State Courts and Judicial Circuits

    51-0217

    51-0237

    51-0248

    237-0237

    DeKalb County State Court

    Bibb County State Court

    Chatham County State Court

    DA-Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit

    Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS)

    127-001

    127-002

    127-003

    127-004

    127-005

    127-006

    127-007

    127-008

    127-009

    127-010

    127-011

    127-012

    127-013

    127-014

    127-015

    127-016

    127-017

    127-018

    127-019

    127-020

    127-021

    127-022

    127-023

    127-024

    127-025

    127-026

    127-027

    127-028

    127-029

    127-030

    127-031

    127-032

    127-033

    127-034

    127-035

    127-036

    127-037

    127-038

    127-039

    127-040

    127-041

    127-042

    127-043

    127-044

    127-045

    127-046

    127-047

    127-048

    127-049

    127-050

    127-051

    127-052

    127-053

    127-054

    127-055

    127-056

    127-057

    127-058

    127-059

    127-060

    127-061

    127-062

    127-063

    127-064

    127-065

    127-066

    127-067

    127-068

    127-069

    127-070

    127-071

    127-072

    127-073

    127-074

    127-075

    127-076

    127-077

    127-078

    127-079

    127-080

    127-081

    127-082

    127-083

    127-084

    127-085

    127-086

    127-087

    127-088

    127-089

    127-090

    127-091

    127-092

    127-093

    127-094

    127-095

    127-096

    127-097

    127-098

    127-099

    127-100

    127-101

    127-102

    127-103

    127-104

    127-105

    127-106

    127-107

    127-108

    127-109

    127-110

    127-111

    127-112

    127-113

    127-114

    127-115

    127-116

    127-117

    127-118

    127-119

    127-120

    127-121

    127-122

    127-123

    127-124

    127-125

    127-126

    127-127

    127-128

    127-129

    127-130

    127-131

    127-132

    127-133

    127-134

    127-135

    127-136

    127-137

    127-138

    127-139

    127-140

    127-141

    127-142

    127-143

    127-144

    127-145

    127-146

    127-147

    127-148

    127-149

    127-150

    127-151

    127-152

    127-153

    127-154

    127-155

    127-156

    127-157

    127-158

    127-159

    Appling County DFCS

    Atkinson County DFCS

    Bacon County DFCS

    Baker County DFCS

    Baldwin County DFCS

    Banks County DFCS

    Barrow County DFCS

    Bartow County DFCS

    Ben Hill County DFCS

    Berrien County DFCS

    Bibb County DFCS

    Bleckley County DFCS

    Brantley County DFCS

    Brooks County DFCS

    Bryan County DFCS

    Bulloch County DFCS

    Burke County DFCS

    Butts County DFCS

    Calhoun County DFCS

    Camden County DFCS

    Candler County DFCS

    Carroll County DFCS

    Catoosa County DFCS

    Charlton County DFCS

    Chatham County DFCS

    Chattahoochee County DFCS

    Chattooga County DFCS

    Cherokee County DFCS

    Clarke County DFCS

    Clay County DFCS

    Clayton County DFCS

    Clinch County DFCS

    Cobb County DFCS

    Coffee County DFCS

    Colquitt County DFCS

    Columbia County DFCS

    Cook County DFCS

    Coweta County DFCS

    Crawford County DFCS

    Crisp County DFCS

    Dade County DFCS

    Dawson County DFCS

    Decatur County DFCS

    DeKalb County DFCS

    Dodge County DFCS

    Dooly County DFCS

    Dougherty County DFCS

    Douglas County DFCS

    Early County DFCS

    Echols County DFCS

    Effingham County DFCS

    Elbert County DFCS

    Emanuel County DFCS

    Evans County DFCS

    Fannin County DFCS

    Fayette County DFCS

    Floyd County DFCS

    Forsyth County DFCS

    Franklin County DFCS

    Fulton County DFCS

    Gilmer County DFCS

    Glascock County DFCS

    Glynn County DFCS

    Gordon County DFCS

    Grady County DFCS

    Greene County DFCS

    Gwinnett County DFCS

    Habersham County DFCS

    Hall County DFCS

    Hancock County DFCS

    Haralson County DFCS

    Harris County DFCS

    Hart County DFCS

    Heard County DFCS

    Henry County DFCS

    Houston County DFCS

    Irwin County DFCS

    Jackson County DFCS

    Jasper County DFCS

    Jeff Davis County DFCS

    Jefferson County DFCS

    Jenkins County DFCS

    Johnson County DFCS

    Jones County DFCS

    Lamar County DFCS

    Lanier County DFCS

    Laurens County DFCS

    Lee County DFCS

    Liberty County DFCS

    Lincoln County DFCS

    Long County DFCS

    Lowndes County DFCS

    Lumpkin County DFCS

    Macon County DFCS

    Madison County DFCS

    Marion County DFCS

    McDuffie County DFCS

    McIntosh County DFCS

    Meriwether County DFCS

    Miller County DFCS

    Mitchell County DFCS

    Monroe County DFCS

    Montgomery County DFCS

    Morgan County DFCS

    Murray County DFCS

    Muscogee County DFCS

    Newton County DFCS

    Oconee County DFCS

    Oglethorpe County DFCS

    Paulding County DFCS

    Peach County DFCS

    Pickens County DFCS

    Pierce County DFCS

    Pike County DFCS

    Polk County DFCS

    Pulaski County DFCS

    Putnam County DFCS

    Quitman County DFCS

    Rabun County DFCS

    Randolph County DFCS

    Richmond County DFCS

    Rockdale County DFCS

    Schley County DFCS

    Screven County DFCS

    Seminole County DFCS

    Spalding County DFCS

    Stephens County DFCS

    Stewart County DFCS

    Sumter County DFCS

    Talbot County DFCS

    Taliaferro County DFCS

    Tattnall County DFCS

    Taylor County DFCS

    Telfair County DFCS

    Terrell County DFCS

    Thomas County DFCS

    Tift County DFCS

    Toombs County DFCS

    Towns County DFCS

    Treutlen County DFCS

    Troup County DFCS

    Turner County DFCS

    Twiggs County DFCS

    Union County DFCS

    Upson County DFCS

    Walker County DFCS

    Walton County DFCS

    Ware County DFCS

    Warren County DFCS

    Washington County DFCS

    Wayne County DFCS

    Webster County DFCS

    Wheeler County DFCS

    White County DFCS

    Whitfield County DFCS

    Wilcox County DFCS

    Wilkes County DFCS

    Wilkinson County DFCS

    Worth County DFCS

    Health Departments

    128-001

    128-002

    128-003

    128-004

    128-005

    128-006

    128-007

    128-008

    128-009

    128-010

    128-011

    128-012

    128-013

    128-014

    128-015

    128-016

    128-017

    128-018

    128-019

    128-020

    128-021

    128-022

    128-023

    128-024

    128-025

    128-026

    128-027

    128-028

    128-029

    128-030

    128-031

    128-032

    128-033

    128-034

    128-035

    128-036

    128-037

    128-038

    128-039

    128-040

    128-041

    128-042

    128-043

    128-044

    128-045

    128-046

    128-047

    128-047B

    128-048

    128-049

    128-050

    128-051

    128-052

    128-053

    128-054

    128-055

    128-056

    128-057

    128-058

    128-059

    128-061

    128-062

    128-063

    128-064

    128-065

    128-066

    128-067

    128-068

    128-069

    128-070

    128-071

    128-072

    128-073

    128-074

    128-075

    128-076

    128-077

    128-078

    128-079

    128-080

    128-081

    128-082

    128-083

    128-084

    128-085

    128-086

    128-087

    128-088

    128-089

    128-090

    128-091

    128-092

    128-093

    128-094

    128-095

    128-096

    128-097

    128-098

    128-099

    128-100

    128-101

    128-102

    128-103

    128-104

    128-105

    128-106

    128-107

    128-108

    128-109

    128-110

    128-111

    128-112

    128-113

    128-114

    128-115

    128-116

    128-117

    128-118

    128-119

    128-120

    128-121

    128-122

    128-123

    128-124

    128-125

    128-126

    128-127

    128-128

    128-129

    128-130

    128-131

    128-132

    128-133

    128-134

    128-135

    128-136

    128-137

    128-138

    128-139

    128-140

    128-141

    128-142

    128-143

    128-144

    128-145

    128-146

    128-147

    128-148

    128-149

    128-150

    128-151

    128-151B

    128-152

    128-153

    128-154

    128-155

    128-156

    128-157

    128-158

    128-159

    Appling County Health Dept.

    Atkinson County Health Dept.

    Bacon County Health Dept.

    Baker County Health Dept.

    Baldwin County Health Dept.

    Banks County Health Dept.

    Barrow County Public Health

    Bartow County Health Dept.

    Ben Hill County Health Dept.

    Berrien County Health Dept.

    Bibb County Health Dept.

    Bleckley Co. Health Dept.

    Brantley County Health Dept.

    Brooks County Health Dept.

    Bryan County Health Dept.

    Bulloch County Physical Health

    Burke County Health Dept.

    Butts County Health Dept.

    Calhoun County Health Dept.

    Camden County Health Dept.

    Candler County Health Dept.

    Carroll County Health Dept.

    Catoosa County Health Dept.

    Charlton County Health Dept.

    Chatham County Health Dept.

    Chattahoochee County Health Dept.

    Chattooga County Health Dept.

    Cherokee County Health Dept.

    Clarke County Health Dept.

    Clay County Health Dept.

    Clayton County Health Dept.

    Clinch County Health Dept.

    Cobb County Health Dept.

    Coffee County Health Dept.

    Colquitt County Health Dept.

    Columbia County Health Dept.

    Cook County Health Dept.

    Coweta County Health Dept.

    Crawford County Health Dept.

    Crisp County Health Dept.

    Dade County Health Dept.

    Dawson County Health Dept.

    Decatur County Health Dept.

    DeKalb County Health Dept.

    Dodge County Health Dept.

    Dooly County Health Dept.

    Dougherty County Health Dept.

    Southwest Health District

    Douglas County Health Dept.

    Early County Health Dept.

    Echols County Health Dept.

    Effingham County Health Dept.

    Elbert County Health Dept.

    Emanuel County Health Dept.

    Evans County Health Dept.

    Fannin County Health Dept.

    Fayette County Health Dept.

    Floyd County Health Dept.

    Forsyth County Health Dept.

    Franklin County Health Dept.

    Gilmer County Health Dept.

    Glascock County Health Dept.

    Glynn County Health Dept.

    Gordon County Health Dept.

    Grady County Health Dept.

    Greene County Health Dept.

    Gwinnett County Health Dept.

    Habersham County Health Dept.

    Hall County Health Dept.

    Hancock County Health Dept.

    Haralson County Health Dept.

    Harris County Health Dept.

    Hart County Health Dept.

    Heard County Health Dept.

    Henry County Health Dept.

    Houston County Health Dept.

    Irwin County Health Dept.

    Jackson County Health Dept.

    Jasper County Health Dept.

    Jeff Davis County Health Dept.

    Jefferson County Health Dept.

    Jenkins County Health Dept.

    Johnson County Health Dept.

    Jones County Health Dept.

    Lamar County Health Dept.

    Lanier County Health Dept.

    Laurens County Health Dept.

    Lee County Health Dept.

    Liberty County Health Dept.

    Lincoln County Health Dept.

    Long County Health Dept.

    Lowndes County Health Dept.

    Lumpkin County Health Dept.

    Macon County Health Dept.

    Madison County Health Dept.

    Marion County Health Dept.

    McDuffie County Health Dept.

    McIntosh County Health Dept.

    Meriwether County Health Dept.

    Miller County Health Dept.

    Mitchell County Health Dept.

    Monroe County Health Dept.

    Montgomery County Health Dept.

    Morgan County Health Dept.

    Murray County Health Dept.

    Muscogee County Health Dept.

    Newton County Health Dept.

    Oconee County Health Dept.

    Oglethorpe County Health Dept.

    Paulding County Health Dept.

    Peach County Health Dept.

    Pickens County Health Dept.

    Pierce County Health Dept.

    Pike County Health Dept.

    Polk County Health Dept.

    Pulaski County Health Dept.

    Putnam County Health Dept.

    Quitman County Health Dept.

    Rabun County Health Dept.

    Randolph County Health Dept.

    Richmond County Health Dept.

    Rockdale County Health Dept.

    Schley County Health Dept.

    Screven County Health Dept.

    Seminole County Health Dept.

    Spalding County Health Dept.

    Stephens County Health Dept.

    Stewart County Health Dept.

    Sumter County Health Dept.

    Talbot County Health Dept.

    Taliaferro County Health Dept.

    Tattnall County Health Dept.

    Taylor County Health Dept.

    Telfair County Health Dept.

    Terrell County Health Dept.

    Thomas County Health Dept.

    Tift County Health Dept.

    Toombs County Health Dept.

    Towns County Health Dept.

    Treutlen County Health Dept.

    Troup County Health Dept.

    Turner County Health Dept.

    Twiggs County Health Dept.

    Union County Health Dept.

    Upson County Health Dept.

    Walker County Health Dept.

    Walton County Health Dept.

    Ware County Health Dept.

    Warren County Health Dept.

    Washington County Health Dept.

    Wayne County Health Dept.

    Wayne County Home Health

    Webster County Health Dept.

    Wheeler County Health Dept.

    White County Health Dept.

    Whitfield County Health Dept.

    Wilcox County Health Dept.

    Wilkes County Health Dept.

    Wilkinson County Health Dept.

    Worth County Health Dept.

    Mental Health Centers

    129-008

    129-009

    129-022

    129-035

    129-071

    129-101

    129-136

    129-137

    Woodright Industries

    Jessamine Place

    Carroll County MR Services

    Green Oaks Service Center

    Haralson County Center (MH/MR/SA)

    Mitchell-Baker Service Center

    Thomas/Grady Service Center

    Tift County – Diversified Enterprises

    22.2 Employers with choice of Retirement Plan

    Employees of Technical Colleges within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) have the option of participating in either ERS or the Teachers Retirement System (TRS). The following lists out the current TCSG Colleges reporting to ERS.

    Technical Colleges

    817

    818

    820

    822

    823

    824

    826

    827

    828

    829

    830

    831

    832

    834

    835

    837

    838

    841

    842

    843

    844

    848

    Oconee Fall Line Technical College

    Coastal Pines Technical College

    Albany Technical College

    Athens Technical College

    Atlanta Technical College

    Augusta Technical College

    West Georgia Technical College

    Chattahoochee Tech College

    Columbus Technical College

    Georgia Northwestern Technical College

    Georgia Piedmont Technical College

    Southern Crescent Technical College

    Gwinnett Technical College

    Lanier Technical College

    Central Georgia Technical College

    Southern Regional Technical College

    North Georgia Technical College

    Savannah Technical College

    South Georgia Technical College

    Southeastern Technical College

    Ogeechee Technical College

    Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    22.3 Employers with choice of Retirement Plan (Vested ERS Member)

    Any vested ERS member who accepts a position covered by TRS can opt out of TRS membership and remain an ERS Member. Employers who fall into this category include:

    • Public Schools
    • Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs)
    • Board of Regents
    • Colleges and Universities

    Due to the inconsistent nature of membership eligibility and requirements to report to ERS, this list of employers may change frequently.

    22.4 Tax Offices and Community Service Boards

    Tax Offices

    On and after July 1, 2012, a Tax Office may adopt a resolution so that its commissioner and employees will be eligible for ERS membership, so long as they are not covered or become covered by any other public or county retirement or pension system, other than social security.

    Members who transfer, without a break in service (within 31 days), to an ERS-reporting Tax Office will be eligible to retain their ERS membership. Once a Tax Office no longer has any active ERS members and they have not adopted any resolutions to the contrary, such entity will no longer be considered an ERS Employer.

    Community Service Boards

    ERS members transferring to a CSB on or after July 1, 1994, without a break in service, from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities or from another CSB are eligible to retain their ERS membership, so long as they were ERS members prior to July 1994 and have maintained continuous ERS membership. When a CSB no longer has any active ERS members employed, they will no longer be considered an ERS Employer.

    22.5 Reporting Employers Not Eligible for New ERS Membership

    There are a few ERS employers who were once eligible for ERS Membership and still currently have active, contributing members to ERS, but whose new employees are not eligible to participate in ERS. This ERS Membership exclusion also applied to any ERS member, vested or not, transferring to such entities.

    973-0973

    977

    Georgia Lottery Corporation

    Georgia Public Broadcasting