Disability Retirement

Disability Retirement Eligibility

Members of the Richmond Retirement System Defined Benefit plan and Defined Contribution plan, who become permanently disabled, may retire with a disability retirement prior to reaching normal retirement age provided the following eligibility requirements are met:

Ordinary Disability Retirement Eligibility Requirements

  • In pay status at the time your application for disability retirement is submitted
  • Five years of creditable service
  • Certified as completely and permanently incapacitated from performing any duties with the city by Richmond Retirement System (RRS) medical examiners

Compensable Disability Retirement Eligibility Requirements

  • In pay status at the time your application for disability retirement is submitted
  • Disability considered compensable under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Certified as completely and permanently incapacitated from performing any duties with the city by RRS medical examiners

Disability Retirement Application Process

Ordinary Disability Retirement

  • Notify your supervisor of your intent to apply for ordinary disability retirement.
  • Schedule a meeting with the RRS to verify eligibility, review benefits and options and complete a disability retirement application. At this meeting, your birth certificate or other acceptable form of identification must be presented. You will also need to bring a RRS Form-10 that has been completed by your physician.
  • An appointment will be scheduled for you with an RRS Medical Examiner
  • A second RRS Medical Examiner will review the medical report of the first examiner and provide a recommendation to the RRS. If the first and second opinions differ, a third Medical Examiner shall conduct a second examination.
  • If disability retirement appears imminent and it is determined that you are permanently and completely disabled from performing the duties required of your position or any other city position, the RRS will forward your application to your department for verification of salary and service information and the signature of the appointing authority.
  • If, however, the RRS Medical Examiners determine you are incapable of performing the duties of your current position but capable of performing the duties of another position with the city of Richmond your case will be referred to the city's Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for alternative job placement. If no alternative position is found within one year, the CAO or his/her designee may recommend disability retirement based upon the results of the job placement search. Your disability retirement application will be forwarded to your department for verification of salary and service information and the signature of the appointing authority.
  • Your application will then be presented to the Richmond Retirement System Board of Trustees for final determination.
  • The RRS will notify you and your department in writing of the Board of Trustees’ decision.
  • If your application is not approved, you may reapply for disability retirement only if your medical condition significantly changes.

To request a disability retirement application please contact the RRS at 804-646-5958 or toll-free at 888-288-2781.

Compensable Disability Retirement

  • Notify your supervisor and the RRS of your intent to apply for compensable disability retirement
  • RRS will request your Workers’ Compensation information from the city's Bureau of Risk Management.
  • Upon receipt of the Workers’ Compensation information, the RRS will schedule a retirement counseling session with you to verify eligibility, review benefits and options and complete a disability retirement application. Your birth certificate must be presented at this meeting.
  • An appointment will be scheduled for you with an RRS Medical Examiner.
  • A second RRS Medical Examiner will review the medical report of the first examiner and provide a recommendation to the RRS. If the first and second opinions differ, a third medical examiner shall conduct a second examination.
  • If disability retirement appears imminent and it is determined that you are permanently and completely disabled from performing the duties required of your position or any other position with the city of Richmond, the RRS will forward your application to your department for verification of salary and service information and the signature of the appointing authority.
  • If, however, the RRS Medical Examiners determine you are incapable of performing the duties of your current position but capable of performing the duties of another position with the city of Richmond your case will be referred to the city's Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for alternative job placement. If no alternative position is found within one year, the CAO or his/her designee may recommend disability retirement based upon the results of the job placement search. Your disability retirement application will be forwarded to your department for verification of salary and service information and the signature of the appointing authority.
  • Your application will then be presented to the Richmond Retirement System Board of Trustees for final determination. Your application, including medical reports and the CAO's recommendation will then be presented to the Richmond Retirement System Board of Trustees for final determination. If, however, you refuse the offer of an alternative position with the city, you will be ineligible to receive a disability retirement allowance.
  • The RRS will notify you and your department in writing of the Board's decision.
  • If your application is not approved, you may reapply for disability retirement only if your medical condition significantly changes.

To request a disability retirement application please contact the RRS at 804-646-5958 or toll-free at 888-288-2781.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

If you retired on a disability retirement, you are required to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits immediately upon retirement. You also must submit to the Richmond Retirement System (RRS) a copy of your letter of award or denial of SSD benefits.

Upon receipt of your SSD award, the RRS will reduce your monthly allowance immediately to the after age 65 allowance amount. If your award is retroactive, any overpayment of benefits must be repaid to the RRS. Failure to submit your SSD information may result in your RRS pension being withheld.

For more information on Social Security Administration benefits, visit the Social Security Administration website.

Reporting of Gainful Employment Income

In accordance with Section 78-244(b) of the City Code, all disability retirees, prior to reaching normal retirement age (general employees at age 65, and sworn firefighters and police officers at age 60) are required to submit to the Richmond Retirement System a copy of their signed federal (Form 1040) or state (Virginia Form 760) tax return, along with copies of wage certificates (W-2), inventories, and schedules in support thereof.

If you file a joint tax return, your spouse's wage certificates also must be submitted in order to distinguish between the two incomes. Otherwise all monies earned will be considered your income and your pension will be reduced, if applicable.

If you were not required to file tax returns, you must submit a notarized affidavit certifying that no returns were filed. If you refuse to submit the requested information, your disability benefits will be withheld. Failure to comply for a period of one year will result in you forfeiting your rights to any future disability benefits.

Post-Retirement Medical Examination

In accordance with Section 78-242(a-c) of the City Code, any RRS retiree receiving a disability retirement allowance may undergo a medical examination once each year until the retiree reaches normal retirement age.

Should a retiree refuse to submit to any required medical examination, the disability retirement allowance shall be discontinued until the withdrawal of such refusal. Should such refusal continue for one year all the retiree's rights to any further disability allowance shall cease.

Any retired member entitled to total and permanent disability benefits under the federal Social Security Act shall be exempt from the requirements. Should any such Social Security disability retirement award be terminated, this requirement shall again be imposed on the retiree.

Survivor Option Election

Disability retirees may elect a survivor option for their contingent beneficiary prior to reaching their normal retirement age. Electing a survivor option allows you to set aside a percentage of your retirement allowance to provide a monthly benefit for your spouse or designated beneficiary upon your death. The survivor option will not be effective until the first day of the month following your normal retirement age.

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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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