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Exit Counseling

Exit counseling is offered as a service to anyone retiring in the current school year.  Six to nine months prior to your date of retirement, contact your PSERS regional office to schedule an Exit Counseling session.  The Exit Counseling sessions are scheduled to accommodate a small group.

Exit Counseling is offered both  in person or virtually , both meetings will cover the same information and are small group limited to 10 retirees plus one guest .

If you are comfortable with technology a virtual meeting might be for you .  While virtual meetings are convenient, technology is not foolproof and connection issues could result in a less than ideal experience.  At the end of the virtual meeting, it will be your responsibility to mail in your retirement application without being reviewed for accuracy or completeness, which may delay your first payment.   

The most significant difference of in-person meetings is the ability to have your retirement application individually reviewed by a counselor. You will also receive a signed and itemized checklist as your receipt if you turn in your retirement application.   Having your retirement application reviewed by a counselor statistically leads to minimal, if any, delays in processing compared to members who attend virtually.  

To avoid delays in the processing of your retirement benefit due to errors when completing the Application for Retirement (PDF) form, before you complete an application PSERS strongly suggests you attend an Exit Counseling session.

We also recommend that you attend a Foundations for Your Future Program prior to attending the Exit Counseling Session.  Emphasis at the Exit Counseling will be on completion of the retirement application and related forms.  The Foundations for Your Future programs provide a broader overview of PSERS benefits and retirement and are designed to prepare you to proceed onto the more detailed information and the completion of the paperwork presented during an Exit Counseling session. 

The requirements for attendance at an Exit Counseling session are:

  1. You plan to retire during or at the completion of the current school year.

  2. You have obtained from PSERS a current estimate of your retirement benefits.  If you have not done so, complete and submit to PSERS a Request for Retirement Estimate (PDF) form.

  3. After receiving your benefit estimate, call your PSERS Regional Office to schedule your Exit Counseling Session.  

Things to Bring to Your Exit Counseling Session

Your PSERS Retirement Estimate.

  • The social security number, date of birth, and address information of your beneficiary(ies).  If a beneficiary is under 18 years of age, you will need to provide a guardian’s name and address.

  • A copy of your survivor’s birth certificate or driver’s license if you are electing a survivor option (Option 2, 3, or Customized).  If a survivor annuitant is under 18 years of age, you need to provide a guardian’s name and address.  

  • An Authorization for Direct Rollover (PDF) completed by you and your financial institution if you are electing to roll any of your contributions and interest.

If you are electing to have your monthly benefit payment sent directly to your financial institution, you should bring the following:  

  • Name of the financial institution
  • Name of the financial institution’s representative
  • Financial institution’s phone number
  • Financial institution’s routing number and check digit
  • Your financial institution account number
  • Whether it is a checking account or a savings account

What Will Happen at an Exit Counseling Session

These small group meetings begin promptly at their scheduled time. Please arrive in plenty of time to be seated at the scheduled starting time.  

At the meeting, the PSERS retirement counselor will assist you with:

  • Review of your retirement estimate
  • Completion of your Application for Retirement
  • Review of pertinent information on Retirement Exit Counseling Checklist
  • Individual review of your Application for Retirement  

The PSERS counselor will also:

  • Review PSERS group health insurance information, the PSERS Health Options Program (HOP) and medical insurance payment reimbursement eligibility (premium assistance).
  • Explain when you should receive your initial retirement benefit payments and how those payments are made.

Important Reminders!

Balance of Contract Payment

If you normally receive salary payments through July and August for the prior school year (know as “Balance of Contract” payments), you may want to ask your employer to pay your July and August payments when you terminate employment in June.  This will help to expedite the processing of your retirement benefit, as PSERS will not have to wait until after your August payment is reported.   

Notify Employer of Resignation 

If you are committed to retiring and you have scheduled your Exit Counseling session, be sure to remember to send a letter of resignation to your employer.  Your employer’s verification of your termination from employment is critical to the processing of your Application for Retirement.  If your employer is not aware of your retirement, it will delay the processing of your retirement application.