All full-time employees are eligible and required to participate in the Maryland State Retirement Agency (MSRA) program. Seven percent of the employee's annual salary is deducted for retirement and all contributions belong to the employee.
Ten years of creditable service are required for an employee to become "vested" or eligible for benefits. Persons terminating their employment with less than ten years of service may withdraw their retirement funds. To determine the date you are eligible to retire, refer to your Personal Statement of Benefits.
If you retire directly upon terminating employment, you will receive additional creditable service for your accumulated unused sick leave. Since creditable service determines the amount of the benefit, unused sick leave can increase the size of your allowance. However, it neither affects when you are eligible to retire nor alters any early retirement reduction factor.
To initiate the retirement process, you must complete Form MSRA-9 - Application for an Estimate of Service Retirement Allowance. This form may be obtained by contacting the Department of Human Resources or from the MSRA website athttp://www.sra.state.md.us. When you fill out the estimate form, check each option so you will know the monthly benefit amount for each option, which is verified by the MSRA. The benefit selection is a personal choice made by you. The retirement counselors at the MSRA (1-800-492-5909) can provide assistance to you in selecting the appropriate benefit. Following submission of this form to the MSRA you will receive a formal estimate of your retirement allowance for all options. Upon receipt of your estimate, make an appointment with your retirement coordinator in the Department of Human Resources and they will assist you in filing an Application for Service Retirement Allowance.
If you move after retiring, please remember to call the MSRA and the SMCPS Insurance Specialist with address and phone number changes. This is very important to ensure that there is no gap in your monthly benefit payment or insurance coverage.
Please remember to notify the MSRA and the SMCPS Insurance Specialist if you have any lifestyle changes. You have up to 31 days from the date of the event to change your benefits with the Department of Human Resources or MSRA. Qualifying lifestyle changes include: marriage, birth or adoption, divorce, change in spouse’s employment status/termination of healthcare benefits, death of a spouse or dependent, or loss of student status. A new healthcare application is required when you have lifestyle changes, become Medicare Part B eligible, or change your address.
St. Mary's County Public Schools holds a pre-retirement planning program once a year for employees who are considering retirement within the next five years. MSRA representatives provide an informative presentation about MSRA benefits.
Additional information about the retirement program may be obtained by contacting either the Department of Human Resources or visiting MSRA's website: http://www.sra.state.md.us.