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Planning For Retirement

Start Thinking About Your Options

Once you have a retirement date in mind, you’ll want to start thinking about your options for disbursement of your MERP benefit.

6-12 Months from Retirement

  • If you haven’t already done so, make sure you’re registered on the MERP Member Portal. We recommend using a personal email, rather than a work email.
  • Brush up on MERP by reviewing the available content on this website and contact the Trust Office with any questions or concerns about how things will work when you retire.
  • Use the  benefit calculators on the Member Portal to estimate what your various benefit options will look like.
    • Level vs. Accelerated Benefit Options
    • Will you have a Lump Sum Transfer to convert?
    • What are your Survivor Benefit options?
    • Are you going to be under age 53 when you retire? If so, what will your adjusted benefit be if you choose to commence?

1-6 Months from Retirement

Visit the Member Portal again:

  • Review your estimated benefit options. Be sure to adjust any previous assumptions as needed.
  • Confirm your mailing address is correct.
  • Be sure you beneficiaries are up to date.
  • If you haven’t already done so, consider changing your user email to your personal email rather than your work email.

1 Month from Retirement

Typically, your Employer will notify the Trust Office of an upcoming retirement. This notification triggers Welcome Packet to be prepared and sent to your home address (remember to check the Member Portal to be sure your address is up to date).

Included in the Welcome Packet:

  • Benefit Options Letter
  • COBRA Election Notice
  • Claim Form
  • Direct Deposit Form

If you have Lump Sum Transfer, you will also receive the following:

  • Conversion Information Bulletin & Election Form
  • Fact Sheets for available Investment selections

Please note that it can take several weeks for the Trust Office to process a retirement and get the Welcome Packet out, especially when there is a Lump Sum Transfer expected on the member’s behalf (ex: Sick and/or Vacation Leave). The Trust Office must also wait until the final contribution is received before preparing the final calculations within the Benefit Options Letter so oftentimes retirements aren’t processed until the month following retirement depending on the timing of those final contributions.