You can retire at 55 or older, but you need at least 10 years of service at your job. If you have 20 years of service, you can retire at any time. The amount you get depends on:
- your age when you retire
- the amount of time you worked
- your group classification, and
- the average of three consecutive years of your highest annual salary.
The maximum payable is 80 percent of your final average salary. Learn more about your retirement options.
If you’re a veteran, you can get a veteran’s credit of $15 for each year of creditable service. The most credit you can get is 20 years or $300.
Picking a beneficiary before you retire
You can choose a beneficiary to collect your pension in the event of your death. By filling out an Option D form, you may choose one person as a beneficiary who would receive a lifetime pension upon your pre-retirement death. If you don’t use Option D and your spouse decides not to take a lifetime allowance, we will give the amount left in your account in one lump sum to your surviving beneficiaries.
You can only make certain family members beneficiaries, including your spouse, child, parent, or sibling. You can name a former spouse as long as they haven’t remarried before you pick them as a beneficiary. You can only name one beneficiary, but you can cancel or change your beneficiary before you retire by sending us a written notice.
If the amount in your account doesn’t reflect all of your years of service, your Option D beneficiary can add “make-up payments” to your account. They must respond within 90 days of getting a notice from us about their right to act.
Learn more about option D
Option D is a legal document. The only way it changes is if:
- you cancel it or you retire
- your beneficiary dies before you do
- your beneficiaries are eligible to get an accidental death benefit, or
- your surviving spouse decides to take the benefit, even if they're not listed as your Option D beneficiary.
Even if you didn’t name your spouse your Option D beneficiary, they can still choose to take Option D payments. They can only do this if you've been married for at least one year, and you die while working for the City with at least two years of service. You also need to have been living together at the time of your death, or have a justifiable reason for the two of you living apart.
If you die before the age of 55 and you weren’t retired, your beneficiary can take the Option C allowance. The allowance is based on what you would have received if you had reached the age of 55 and retired on the same day that you died. We also include your years of service and any make-up payments from your beneficiary to calculate the amount.
If you choose another option
If you die within 30 days of retiring, your spouse can decide to take Option D benefits. This is true even if you decided to pick Option A or B when you retired.
We'll notify your surviving spouse if they have the right to collect your benefits under Option D. They have to respond within 90 days using the form we send them.
If your spouse doesn't decide to take the benefit, we'll pay your beneficiary and they’ll get a lifetime allowance. If you don't have a surviving beneficiary, we’ll give your spouse a lump sum from your account.