Your First Payment
While SERS issues pension payments at the end of each month; you don't need to wait for the end of the month to receive your first payment. Your first payment will be issued as soon as it is processed, which generally takes six to eight weeks from your date of retirement. If you have overdrawn leave or any other debt to your employer, it could take longer.
In most cases, your first payment will include your pension from the date of your retirement to the end of the month.
If you withdraw any of your contributions and interest when you retire, the non-taxable amount will be included in your first payment, as will any taxable amount that you do not directly roll over to a financial institution.
We will send you a letter providing a breakdown of your first payment approximately one week before you receive it. That letter will also provide a breakdown of your regular monthly payments, when they begin.
Overdrawn Leave or Other Debts
Contact your HR Office to see if you have any debts and satisfy those debts before terminating employment. Overdrawn leave, unreturned equipment or uniforms, or other debts to your employer will delay payment. In addition, the commonwealth can claim the contributions you made toward your SERS benefit and the interest earned to satisfy any debt you have when you leave.
If you currently receive your pay by direct deposit and your payroll is processed in the commonwealth's SAP system, you can choose to receive your pension payments by direct deposit into the same account. Your retirement counselor can include the appropriate form with your application for annuity.
If you do not receive your pay by direct deposit or your employer's payroll is not processed in the commonwealth's SAP system, you will receive your first payment by check in the mail.
Why Six to Eight Weeks?
We, your employer, and the State Treasury have quite a bit of work to do before we can issue your first payment. Here are the main steps:
1. We Receive Your Final Payroll Report - generally two to four weeks after your retirement date
In most cases, you will receive your final pay two weeks after your retirement date. If you do not have overdrawn leave or another debt to your employer, and you provided sufficient notification of your retirement date to your employer, you employer will provide your final payroll information to us when it issues your final pay. Once we have that information we can begin to calculate your pension.
2. We Calculate Your Pension - generally one to three weeks
Using information from your final payroll report, our member records, your application for annuity, and other information, a SERS retirement technician calculates your exact pension. Depending on workload, it may take from one day to a few weeks. If we require additional information, for instance you have multiple service in both SERS and the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS), we will need information from PSERS to calculate your benefit. In addition, if there are questions about your service history or salary, we will need to contact your employer for more information. If your application for annuity is not complete or clear, we will need to contact you for additional information.
3. We Independently Verify the Calculation - generally one week
To be sure you receive the full amount that you are entitled to and to provide an accounting safeguard, each pension is independently calculated and verified by two separate retirement technicians.
4. State Treasury Audits Payment - generally within one week
By law, before we can issue any payments, State Treasury auditors must audit and approve the payment. Once the payment is approved, we can issue a request for payment to Treasury. Requests are issued on Tuesdays and Fridays.
5.State Treasury Processes Payment - one week
Payments are prepared for release by direct deposit or check and issued. Payments requested on Tuesdays are issued the next Tuesday and payments requested on Friday are issued the next Friday. Payments by direct deposit are made on the last business day of the month and are usually available that day. Payments by paper check are issued on the second-to-last business day of the month. Please allow one additional week for postal delivery of paper checks.