VRS processes applications in the order in which they are received. It also takes approximately 60 days to process a retirement. Therefore, submit your application and all required forms and documents to your human resource office at least 60 days, but not more than four months (120 days), before you want to retire. Example: If you want to retire on November 1, submit your application by no later than September 1 so that you will receive your first benefit payment on December 1 for the month of November.
If a required form or document is missing, you will receive a letter from VRS asking for the missing information. Before submitting your application to your human resource office, review it carefully to ensure you have included everything you need.
Contact your human resource office for other examples of acceptable evidence of date of birth.
Read the directions on the Application for Service Retirement and all other retirement forms carefully to ensure you are completing the applicable sections and providing correct information.
A common error is completing Part C, Survivor Information, in the Application for Service Retirement to name or update a beneficiary for life insurance benefits and member contribution account payments. Part C, however, should be completed only if you are electing the Survivor Option. A survivor is the person you name, if you choose the Survivor Option, to receive a portion of your benefits after your death, while your beneficiary (or beneficiaries) is eligible for a payment of any funds remaining in your member contribution account and any life insurance you may have upon your death. If you are electing the Basic Benefit, Partial Lump-Sum Option Payment (PLOP) with the Basic Benefit or the Advance Pension Option, leave Part C blank. If you wish to name or update your beneficiary, include the Designation of Beneficiary (VRS-2) with your application. Read more about Benefit Payout Options.
Another common (and understandable) error is leaving out the date of divorce in Part A, Member Information, if you have been divorced for a while and can't remember the date. However, for legal reasons, VRS is required to verify this date. So, if you indicate "divorced" in Part A, spend a little time now looking for your divorce papers rather than risk a bigger delay later because you left the date blank.
Go to the forms section of the website to be sure you have the current version of a form.
If VRS receives an unsigned application, VRS will return it to you for the required signatures. Before submitting your application, check to see that you signed and dated it and, if you are married or separated, your spouse signed and dated the spousal acknowledgment section. Your spouse must sign the spousal acknowledgement section on or after the date you sign the application.
Your employer must certify your application before VRS can process it. Therefore, submit your application and all required forms and documents to your human resource office, not to VRS. Your human resource office will review your application, complete and sign Part E, Employer Certification, and then forward the application to VRS. If your human resource office returns your application to you, make sure your employer completed and signed Part E before sending it to VRS. Note: Employer certification is not required if you apply for retirement after 12 months from leaving employment or after being on long-term disability through the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP). Submit your application directly to VRS.
If your first benefit payment is delayed for any of these reasons, the payment will be retroactive and VRS can backdate payments up to 90 days. The retroactive payment will be a separate deposit from your regular monthly retirement benefit.