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Countdown to Retirement (Checklist)

Listed below are the suggested time frames in which you should consider taking certain steps toward your retirement to make your transition as easy and informed as possible:

Two Years from Retirement  

If you are planning to retire within the next two years:

  • Apply to purchase any uncredited service, if applicable.  Click here to see what types of service credit may be purchased.
  • If you have divorced and never submitted a copy of the Domestic Relations Order (DRO), consider doing it now.  Not having an approved DRO (ADRO) on file with PSERS can delay the processing of your retirement benefit.  PSERS needs to review the terms of the DRO to ensure it meets PSERS distribution requirements.  In the event that there is no Equitable Distribution of the PSERS funds, the former spouse must submit a Waiver of Pension Benefits (PDF) form to PSERS.
  • Consider setting aside funds to cover your living expenses during your retirement benefit processing time frame.  Click here to view the current benefit processing time frames.   Errors on the application or missing information may take even longer to process.
  • Use the PSERS online retirement estimate calculator to get an idea of what you may receive as your gross monthly benefit. 
  • Attend a PSERS Foundations For Your Future program.  You may attend one of these sessions at any time during your career, but we highly recommend that you attend a program within 18 months of retirement.  This program provides an overview of PSERS and benefits for which you may be eligible. 

Retirement within the Current School Year

If you are planning to retire at the end of the current school year, by now you should have:

  • Requested a PSERS Retirement Estimate.

  • Contacted your employer to discuss benefits available through them such as payment for unused vacation, sick leave, sabbatical leave, and health insurance. PSERS also offers health insurance to retirees through the Health Options Program (HOP).
  • Consulted with a financial planner or a tax consultant, if appropriate.
  • Contacted the Social Security Administration regarding your benefits, if applicable.  
  • Investigated your employer's guidelines for retiring, terminating, and resigning.   Be sure to follow your employer’s requirements concerning the notification of retirement. Failure to actually notify your employer that you have resigned will delay the processing of your retirement benefit.  
  • Scheduled a PSERS Exit Counseling session by contacting PSERS.  Be prepared when you attend the session to choose your retirement option so the PSERS Regional Representative can show you how to properly complete the Application for Retirement (PSRS-8) and any other necessary applications or forms.
  • Attended a scheduled PSERS Exit Counseling session and completed your Application for Retirement and any other necessary applications or forms. 
    Please note, your Application for Retirement must be received by PSERS within 90 days of your termination date in order to receive retroactive retirement benefits. Even in those situations where there is a pending divorce action or purchase of service, in order to preserve retroactive benefits, the Application for Retirement must still be submitted within the 90 day time frame.     


If you have questions as you prepare for retirement, contact PSERS.