Richmond VA > Retirement > Former Employees - Deferred Vested Membership

Last Updated: 2012-09-28

Deferred Vested Membership

Once a member of the Defined Benefit (DB) Plan becomes vested, meaning that they have at least five years of creditable service, they become eligible to apply for retirement in accordance with the Code of the city of Richmond and the Richmond Retirement System (RRS) handbook So You've Made the Decision to Retire…Now What?.

Vested members who leave city service prior to reaching retirement eligibility are known as Deferred Vested Members of the Richmond Retirement System.

Returning to City Service

If a deferred vested member returns to work for the city or a participating employer as a general employee, they will be enrolled in the Defined Contribution (DC) Plan. Their vested status in the DB plan translates to vested status in the DC plan, but creditable service time in the DC plan will not count towards creditable service in DB plan. (The member's previous period of creditable service shall not be reestablished.) Instead, when the member reaches retirement eligibility they will be able to apply for the Defined Benefit they earned prior to leaving city service the first time, as well as having access to their Defined Contribution Plan account.

If a deferred vested member returns to work for the city as a sworn police officer or fire fighter, they will be given the option of electing the DB plan or enrolling in the DC plan. If the member chooses the DB plan, their previous period of creditable service will be reestablished. If the member enrolls in the DC plan, their previous DB plan service will count towards vesting in the DC plan, but service in the DC plan will not count towards creditable service in DB plan (the member's previous period of creditable service shall not be reestablished). Instead when the member reaches retirement eligibility they will be able to apply for the Defined Benefit they earned prior to leaving city service the first time, as well as have access to their Defined Contribution Plan account.

If a deferred vested member (who was participating in the Defined Contribution Plan) returns to work for the city as a general employee, they will be re-enrolled in the DC plan. Their previous period of creditable service in the DC plan will be reestablished, and the city will resume making contributions into the member's DC plan account. When the member leaves city service they will have access to the city's contributions (plus or minus investment returns) in their DC plan account.

If a deferred non-vested member (who was participating in the Defined Contribution Plan) returns to work for the city as a general employee within five years of their termination date, they will be re-enrolled in the DC plan, and their previous account balance will be restored. The member’s previous period of creditable service will be reestablished, and the city will resume making contributions into their DC plan account. When the member leaves city service the second time, they will have access to the city's contributions (plus or minus investment returns) in their DC plan account, provided they are vested.

Retirement Eligibility

Type of Retirement General Employees Police Officers & Firefighters
Deferred Early Service - Reduced benefits Age 55 Age 50
Deferred Service - Unreduced benefits Age 65 Age 60

Apply to Retire

Deferred Vested Members may apply for a benefit when they become eligible. To apply for retirement benefits complete the application packet and return to the following address:

Richmond Retirement System
900 E. Broad St., Room 400
Richmond, VA 23219

The application packet consists of the following forms:

If a deferred vested member retires prior to reaching service retirement age (age 60 for police and fire employees and age 65 for general employees) retirement benefits will be reduced by five percent a year for each year the member is away from reaching eligibility for an unreduced retirement benefit (the lesser of either age 60/65 or 25/30 years of creditable service). Once a deferred vested member has reached service retirement age there is no longer any advantage, in regards to a members retirement benefit with the RRS, to postponing retirement.

Benefit Payment Options

When you elect to retire, you must determine how you would like your retirement benefit paid from the options described below. If you do not elect an optional benefit payment, your benefit will be automatically paid to you through a life annuity, i.e. the Basic Benefit.

Basic Benefit

This form of payment provides a monthly benefit to you for life. However, when you die, all benefits stop. There are no monthly payments to a beneficiary after your death.

Smooth-Out Option

This form of payment provides an increased monthly benefit prior to age 65. When you reach age 65, your retirement benefit will be reduced by the projected amount of your primary Social Security benefit. The purpose of this option is to provide for a more nearly level total retirement income before and after age 65, taking into account the federal Social Security benefits. There are no monthly payments to a beneficiary after your death. Note: This option is not available for service retirements.

Joint and Survivor Benefit Option

This form of payment provides a reduced benefit during your lifetime. Upon your death, the same amount or a designated fraction (25%, 50%, 75% or 100%), will continue to be paid to a designated beneficiary, if living. Your benefit remains reduced if your beneficiary precedes you in death.

Pop-Up Joint and Survivor Benefit Option

This form of payment provides a benefit reduced more than in the previous option, with the same amount or a designated fraction (25%, 50%, 75% or 100%), continuing after your death to your designated beneficiary. However, if the beneficiary predeceases you, the benefit is increased to the amount you would have received under the Basic Benefit, as if you had not elected an optional form of benefit.

If you elect either the Joint and Survivor Option or the Pop-Up Joint and Survivor Option at retirement, the designated beneficiary does not have to be a spouse or relative. Please be reminded, however, that once your retirement is effective, the designated beneficiary for either of these payment options cannot be changed.

Level Benefit Option

This form of payment provides a level monthly benefit for your lifetime which is less than the basic benefit before age 65 and greater after age 65. This is available only to firefighters and police officers or former vested members who separated from the city prior to March 1, 1997.

Health and Dental Insurance

Deferred vested retirees are not eligible for city of Richmond health or dental insurance.

Retirement Planning

The Richmond Retirement System is dedicated to serving its members. To aide those who are applying to retire in making this decision and working through the process the RRS has produced the So You've Made the Decision to Retire... Now What? Handbook. This handbook guides a member step by step through the retirement process.

Contact Information:

Richmond Retirement System
City of Richmond
730 E. Broad Street, Suite 900
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
Retirement
Phone: (804)646-5958
Fax: (804)646-5299

Toll-Free (Outside Central Virginia): (888)288-2781
Office Hours: By Appointment Only
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Walk-in Visits:
Monday - Friday
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

More Contact Information

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