Employee Pension Plan FAQs

Q: Am I a member of the County's pension plan?
A: You are a member of the County's pension plan if you are a full-time or a regular part-time County employee.


Q: What does "vested" mean?
A:Vested means you can leave your money in the County's retirement account and continue to earn interest on it until you reach retirement age. When you reach the age of 60, you are eligible to collect a pension.


Q: When do I become vested in the County's pension plan?
A: You may become vested after you complete five (5) years of County service or attain the age of 60.


Q: What percentage of my total gross annual salary must I invest in my pension plan? A: 5 percent. This 5 percent is automatically deducted from your paycheck and is tax deferred.


Q: May I invest more of my salary into my pension plan?
A: You may invest an additional 10 percent into your pension plan for a total investment of no more than 15 percent. Any amount invested above the 5 percent automatically deducted is not tax deferred.


Q: What does "tax deferred" mean?
A: The 5 percent the County deposits in your pension investment is calculated before taxes are deducted from your paycheck. In addition, any tax you may pay on your pension investment is deferred until you receive the money.


Q: What information about my pension investments is printed on my pay stub?
A: You may see up to two references on your stub. Pendef reflects the 5 percent investment in the pension plan that is tax deferred. Pennon reflects any additional investment in the pension plan that is not tax deferred.


Q: Does my pension investment earn interest? |
A: The County is permitted to pay an interest rate of between 4 and 5.5 percent.


Q: How can I keep track of my pension investment?
A: Each fall the Fiscal Office will provide you with a pension benefit statement. This statement provides a projection of pension benefit at retirement. This statement also helps to make informed decisions about your future.


Q: When can I receive the money I invested in the pension plan?
A: You may receive the money you invested in your pension when you terminate employment with the County.


Q: What happens to the money in my pension investment if I leave the County before I am eligible to receive a pension?
A: You may request that the money be paid directly to you. It should be noted that the IRS may deduct up to 38 percent of your money from any pension investment paid to you before you reach 59 1/2 years of age. You may invest the amount in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or select another qualified retirement plan.


Q: How do I know if I am eligible to receive a pension?
A: You are eligible to receive a pension if:
· you are 60 years of age or older - or
· you are 55 years of age with 20 years of credited service with the County - or
· you have 20 years of credited service at any age.

When you become eligible to retire, you are given five options on how the money will be paid to you. These options are outlined in the Summary Plan Description available from the Human Resources Office.


Q: Can I borrow against from my pension plan?
A: No.