DRS shares 2019 Retirement Planning Seminar Schedule

Open notebook with words "My Plan" at the top and person preparing to write with a penThe 2019 Retirement Planning Seminar Schedule is available from the Department of Retirement Systems. If you are a member of the Washington State Retirement Systems (LEOFF, PERS, PSERS, SERS, TRS, WSPRS) and within five years of retirement, we encourage you to review the seminar information overview, and register online at your convenience. Other options for registering are:

If you do not find a seminar near your location or on a date that is convenient for you, you may be interested in viewing our seminar videos online.

The Education page provides useful information to help you with your retirement planning regardless of how close or far away it is. You can also sign up for online account access. This access will allow you to review your service credit, contributions, beneficiary information and much more. You can also create a benefit estimate that is based on the data in your account, and when you’re ready, retire online.

Please note:  Due to space limitations, registration for DRS seminars is limited to members of the Washington State Retirement Systems. We are not able to accommodate reservation requests for members of other retirement systems.

OEA Tuition Reimbursement

If you are an OEA member and would like to take advantage of Tuition Reimbursement, you can convert your staff development days and the day prior to the beginning of school to Tuition Reimbursement.

You will need to contact the payroll department to begin this process. Send an email to help-payroll@osd.wednet.edu.

The OEA contract language outlines the tuition/registration process as follows:

E. Compensation Options

Compensation for staff development days and the day prior to the beginning of school may be received either as:

  1. Income,
  2. Tuition expense paid directly to the college or university of the employee’s choice,
  3. Tuition for approved educational conferences or conventions (paid directly to the
    conference or convention) or,
  4. Tuition payment requests must be submitted by June 30th of the school year following the year in which it is earned. Tuition payments will be processed by calling the Payroll Office. All banked compensation set aside for tuition that is not used shall be paid to the employee and taxed at the usual rate at the end of the period specified above.

Tuition must be paid directly to vendor. EXPENSES CANNOT be reimbursed, so be sure sure to contact Payroll to get specific details on how to proceed.

Is retirement a long way off? Learn about your future at a free DRS benefits summit

Open notebook with words "My Plan" at the top and person preparing to write with a penIs retirement a long way off? Attend a free Department of Retirement System’s Benefits Summit to learn more about your future plans.

Although DRS Benefits Summits are open to all employees, they are designed to encourage retirement planning for employees who are in the early- to middle-stages of their careers.

For more information and to register, see the attached flier or visit the Benefits Summits page of the DRS website. Employees may also access the Benefits Summits page of the DRS website.  Location information will be provided at the time of registration.

If you have questions about registration or need to cancel a reservation, please email register@drs.wa.gov.

American Fidelity launches enhanced member portal on November 12

American Fidelity is launching an enhanced member portal on November 12 for employees’ Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

Note: The American Fidelity HSA online portal will be unavailable from November 8 through November 11 to allow for system upgrades.  Please review the following message from American Fidelity for further details:

What This Means for Your Employees:

  • To allow for system upgrades, your employees will be unable to use their Benefits Debit Cards or access their HSA online account November 8 through November 11.
  • Your employees will receive a new red Benefits Debit Card, and should discard all current debit cards.
  • If you offer Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Accounts (LPFSA), your employees will be able to use their new red card for both their LPFSA and HSA accounts. Note: Eligible vision and dental expenses will be taken from the LPFSA first.

Visit americanfidelity.com/hsaportal for additional resources.

Are you within 5 years of retirement? Planning seminar on December 1 in Centralia

Open notebook with words "My Plan" at the top and person preparing to write with a penAre you within 5 years of retirement? Are you wondering what you should be doing to prepare?

Consider signing up for a Department of Retirement Systems Planning Seminar from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 1 in Centralia.

For information about DRS seminars and how to register, visit the DRS website.  Specific location information will provided within two weeks of the event.  If you have questions about registration or if you would like to cancel a reservation, please email register@drs.wa.gov.

Basic retirement plan information will not be covered at the seminar, but it’s important that you understand how your plan works prior to attending. To brush up on your state retirement plan, please review your plan handbook which can be found by selecting the Members tab on the DRS website at www.drs.wa.gov.  You may also watch a video, or attend a live webinar.