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Summary Plan FAQs - Retired Teachers
Who should I call if I have a question about my Retirement Plan?
- If you are an active teacher, you must contact the DCPS Office of Human Resources (OHR) at 202-442-4080.
- If you are retired, you must contact the DCRB Member Services Center at 202-343-3272 (or toll free at 1-866-456-3272).
How much do I contribute toward my retirement benefit?
You share the cost of providing your retirement benefit with the U.S. Treasury Department and/or the District Government. To help pay for your retirement benefit, you are required to make retirement contributions to the Plan while you are employed by DCPS. Each pay period, your required retirement contribution is automatically deducted from your paycheck. Your contribution is:
- 7% of your annual salary, if you were hired before November 1, 1996, or
- 8% of your annual salary, if you were hired on or after November 1, 1996.
Do I have to pay for a survivor benefit for my spouse and/or my eligible children?
If you die before you retire, your surviving spouse and eligible children will automatically receive a benefit from this Plan. You do not have to pay for that benefit.
For teachers who die after retirement, the spousal survivor annuity is based on the election that you make when you retire. There are five different options for determining annuities under the Plan. Two of those options, the Reduced Annuity with Maximum Survivor Annuity, and the Reduced Annuity with Partial Survivor Annuity, provide annuities for a surviving spouse. Both of these options require a reduction in your benefit. Your eligible children, however, will be entitled to a survivor annuity whether or not you elect a survivor benefit for your spouse.
How is my retirement benefit calculated?
Your retirement benefit is calculated based on your age, your years and months of service, your average salary, the type of retirement you elect, the payment option you choose, and whether you’ve made voluntary contributions to the retirement fund.
If you meet the eligibility requirements for a voluntary retirement, the calculation for an unreduced annuity for DCPS teachers hired before November 1, 1996 is:
Your average salary X 1.5% X 5 (for your first five years of service) +
Your average salary X 1.75% X (the number of years of service beyond five but before 11) +
Your average salary X 2.0% X (the number of years of service you have beyond 10) =
The amount of your annual unreduced retirement benefit.
If you were hired on or after November 1, 1996, the formula is:
Your average salary X 2.0% X your years of service.
What is the difference between DCPS teaching service and credited service?
Teaching service refers to your years working for the DCPS system and may include periods of leave, including leave for certain military service. Credited service refers to certain other periods of work (e.g., in another school system) that can be purchased and applied to this Plan to use in determining your eligibility for a benefit.
Who do I contact to determine whether I am eligible to retire?
You should contact OHR to make an appointment to discuss your eligibility for retirement.
Can I get an estimate of my retirement benefit?
Yes. You may request an estimate of your annuity from OHR.
Can I have my payments directly deposited into my bank account?
Yes. Contact the DCRB Member Services Center for a Direct Deposit form. The completed and signed form should be returned to the DCRB Member Services Center.
When will I receive my first benefit payment?
It usually takes between 30 and 60 days after DCRB receives your retirement package from OHR before you will receive your first payment. Your first payment will be retroactive to cover the entire time you’ve been retired. After you receive that first payment, you will receive monthly payments, effective the first business day of each month.
Can I continue my health and life insurance benefits after I retire?
Yes. You may continue those benefits if you have had five years of continuous life and health insurance coverage immediately prior to your retirement and you continue to pay the premiums. For information, contact one of the following offices:
- If you were hired prior to October 1, 1987, contact the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Retirement Information Office for questions about health and life insurance.
- If you were hired on or after October 1, 1987 and you haven’t retired, contact OHR.
- If you are a retiree and you were hired on or after October 1, 1987, contact the DCRB Member Services Center.
Will I receive a cost of living increase?
Yes. Annual cost of living increases are effective on March 1 and are reflected in your April 1 annuity payment. These increases are based on the change in the Consumer Price Index for the previous calendar year. If you were hired on or after November 1, 1996, these increases may not exceed 3%.
Who is my beneficiary for my life insurance?
- If you are an active teacher, your beneficiary is on file with the OHR. To change your beneficiary, you should contact OHR.
- If you are a retired teacher and you were hired prior to October 1, 1987, your beneficiary designation is on file with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
- If you are a retired teacher and you were hired on or after October 1, 1987, your beneficiary designation is on file with the DCRB.
Note: the beneficiary for any remaining contributions you made to the retirement plan that were not paid out to you during your retirement is designated on a separate form. The refund of any such contributions, or any retirement payment owed to you during the month of your death, are paid from the Teachers’ Retirement Fund.