I’m Ready to Retire
The Retirement Process
Well in advance of your date of retirement, we recommend you contact TRS for a retirement benefit estimate and to discuss the various plans of retirement. If you are considering retiring within the next two years, we recommend that you speak with one of our retirement counselors. A retirement calculation will be prepared for you, using your actual date of retirement, and the service and salary information we have on file for you.
You are encouraged to login to your TRS account and generate benefit estimates using your actual service and salary information on file with us. It’s easy, you can generate multiple retirement scenarios, and you get results immediately!
Apply for Retirement Online
To apply for retirement, you will login to your account to begin the process. Completing and submitting the application online will expedite the processing of your retirement. We encourage you to begin the retirement process six months prior to the date you wish to retire (TRS will accept applications no earlier than six months and no later than the end of the month in which your retirement is to become effective).
Your effective date of retirement can be no earlier than:
- the first of the month following the establishment of enough service credit required for retirement eligibility,
- the first of the month following your termination from your TRS covered employment,
- the first month in which your retirement application is received by TRS.
Your employer will have to submit several forms to our office as part of the retirement application process, all of which must be completed accurately and completely before your application can be processed. A Retirement Certification form (TRS8) is required from your employer certifying the date on which your employment is or will be severed and that no agreement exists to allow you to return to service, including service as or for an independent contractor. Any return to employment or rendering of any paid service, including service as or for an independent contractor, for any employer during the calendar month of the effective date of retirement shall render the severance invalid and nullify your application for retirement. TRS will conduct a final audit of your account once your online application has been submitted and all employer forms are received to verify the accuracy of salary and contributions reported to TRS. Once these steps have been completed, your application for retirement will be accepted. If your first benefit payment is processed in a month later than the month of your retirement, the payment will be made retroactive to your date of retirement.
If you need to purchase additional service to be eligible for retirement, your retirement date will be the first of the month after you have purchased the needed service credit. If you are eligible to retire and purchase additional service credit, you must purchase the service no later than the last business day of your retirement month; however, waiting until the last business day will delay the processing of your retirement paperwork.
All service must be established by the member prior to retirement. Once your retirement becomes effective, you will no longer be eligible to purchase additional service credit. Beneficiaries of deceased members cannot purchase additional service credit.
Due to the large volume of retirements at the end of each school year, the deadlines for summer retirements are:
- June retirement – March 31
- July retirement – April 30
- August retirement – May 31
Of course we recommend getting your application to TRS six (6) months prior to your date of retirement to avoid any delays.
Health and Dental Benefits
If you are currently enrolled in the State Health Benefit Plan or have dental coverage through the Georgia Flexible Benefits Program, you may continue coverage under these plans after retirement. Visit Health/Dental Coverage for more information. TRS does not determine eligibility or administer health and dental benefits, but merely deducts these payments from your retirement benefit.
Sick Leave Credit at Retirement
At retirement, TRS members can establish credit for unused sick leave earned with current and previous employers. Based on Georgia law, a member can receive credit for unused sick leave at retirement only if he or she has not received payment of any kind for the leave. This law has been communicated and practiced by TRS since July 1, 1998 when sick leave credit was first enacted into law. Click here for additional information.