ERS Retirement FAQ
What will I receive at retirement?
The quickest way to get a benefit estimate is to access your retirement account on the Member Self-Service Website.
Provide the information requested on our Benefits Estimate Request Form. Print a copy of this form and mail it to our office at:
Two Northside 75, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30318
Am I eligible for retirement? When can I apply for service retirement?
The minimum qualifications for service retirement with a reduction in benefits under the ERS plan are 25 years of service at any age (there will be a reduction in benefits for every year under the age of 60 or under 30 years of 7% per year calculated at 0.58% per month).
The minimum qualifications for service retirement without a reduction in benefits under the ERS plan is 60 years of age with at least 10 years of service, or 30 years of service at any age.
Can my leave time be used towards retirement?
Under ERS a member may use their leave balances towards retirement if Forfeited annual, Forfeited sick, and accumulated sick add up to at least 120 days (960 hours). However, this time is only credible to your account once certified by your department at retirement.
How long does it take to process a service retirement?
Please allow at least 30 days from the time the application is received by ERS. Applications must be received at least 30 days prior to retirement date but not more than 90 days prior to the retirement date in order to receive a check on the last working day of your retirement month. Otherwise, the check will be delayed.
Group Term Life Insurance
Do I have Group Term Life Insurance (GTLI)?
Active Members (currently employed) of ERS hired prior to January 1, 2009
Members under GSEPS are not covered with GTLI
With No Creditable State Service Prior to 4/1/64:
If you are under age 60, the amount of your GTLI coverage is 18 times your current monthly salary. If you are age 60 or above, your GTLI coverage is 18 times your age 60 monthly salary. Your coverage begins reducing at a rate of 1/2 of 1% of each month employed until you reach age 65. At age 65, the reduction stops and your coverage is 70% of the GTLI amount you had at age 60. At retirement, your GTLI coverage reduces to 70% of the age 60 coverage amount. There will be no premiums due after retirement.
With Creditable State Service Prior to 4/1/64:
If you are under age 60, your GTLI coverage is equal to 18 times your current monthly salary. If you are age 60 or above, the amount of GTLI coverage freezes at the rate calculated at age 60 and coverage remains at this level. Retirees retain full coverage held at age 60, or if you are under age 60 at the time of retirement, coverage is 18 times your final salary. Premiums of ½ of 1% of the final monthly salary are deducted from the monthly retirement benefit. (Note: If an employee terminates and receives a refund of contributions, then returns to a position covered by ERS and re-establishes their service prior to 4/1/1964, non—decreasing coverage is re-established.)
Vested Members of ERS
If you have at least 18 years of creditable service (excluding forfeited leave) and you vest your retirement (choose to not get a refund), you can keep your GTLI coverage. Monthly premiums of 1% of your final salary will accrue from the date of your termination until retirement.
If you do not wish to retain this coverage, you must write to ERS and request that your coverage be discontinued. Premiums will accrue until this notification is received in our office.
All GTLI premiums that accrued while vested will either come due at retirement, at your death, or if you decide to get a refund later, at the time of refund.
If you have enough service to vest but don’t have 18 years of creditable service, you lose your GTLI coverage upon termination of employment.
Retired Members of ERS
For information concerning GTLI coverage, write or fax your request to:
Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia
2 Northside 75, Suite 300
Atlanta, Georgia 30318
Can I borrow against my Group Term Life Insurance?
No. The Group Term Life Insurance is not transferable and is only payable to the beneficiary on record with ERS upon the death of the member or retiree.
Do I still have Group Term Life Insurance coverage for my spouse?
There is no spousal or dependent GTLI coverage provided by the retirement system. Only members or retirees are covered.
You may have spousal or dependent coverage through the Flexible Benefits division of the Georgia Merit System. Call (404) 656-2730 for any questions about insurance through Flexible Benefits.
Can I change my beneficiary?
You may change your beneficiary for your Group Term Life Insurance at any time. These changes must be submitted on a Change of Beneficiary form.
Can I keep my GTLI coverage while I am on Leave WithOut Pay (LWOP)?
Coverage on LWOP may be retained by members with 1 year of membership service. The coverage may be kept for a maximum of 4 years if a written request is made to ERS to continue this coverage. Coverage terminates if a written request is not filed with ERS. Anyone accepting employment outside of State government during a period of LWOP (excluding active military duty) is not eligible to retain this coverage. Premiums in the amount of 1% of the final monthly salary accumulate each month while on LWOP and are due at the time of refund or retirement.
When will I get my first check?
All checks are mailed from the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia office on the last working day of the month. If your application was received by or before the first of the month preceding your retirement date, your check will be mailed on the last working day of your retirement month. If your application was not received by or before the first of the month preceding your retirement date, your check will be delayed until the last working day of the following month. After your first check is mailed to you, your second payment will be directly deposited into your financial institution of choice.
How do I get paid for my unused annual leave?
Any payment for leave is made by your department, please contact them for information.
Can I draw my retirement check and work somewhere else?
It depends on where you go to work and whether you retired on disability or service.
If you were a service retiree and you accept employment or render service, including service as or for an independent contractor*, for an agency covered under ERS, you can only work 1,040 hours (roughly 6 months at full-time) during any calendar year. If you exceed that amount of hours, your ERS monthly benefit will be suspended for the rest of the calendar year. You will begin receiving your monthly benefit again in January and are allowed to work 1,040 hours before your monthly retirement benefit would again be suspended. If you go to work outside an agency covered under ERS you may work an unlimited time.
If you were a disability retiree, there are earnings limitations on your retirement. You are limited to the difference between your monthly salary used to calculate your retirement benefit and your initial gross monthly retirement benefit. Disability earnings limitations are addressed in O.C.G.A. 47-2-125.