The Virginia Retirement System administers a benefit plan, a life insurance plan, a deferred compensation plan and a cash match plan and an optional retirement plan for Virginia’s public sector employees, as well as the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program for state employees.
The Virginia Retirement System is available for employees of the state as well as local counties, cities and town employees. Other inclusions are instructional, clerical and administrative employees of school districts.
At the moment employees start working with a participating employer their membership starts. All permanent employees who are full time are eligible and automatically enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System. They are then entitled to receive all of the benefits offered by the program. Part-time employees are not eligible for Virginia Retirement System benefits at this time.
Employers may pay the Retirement System cost as well as the employees share if they wish. Employers who do this end up helping their employees out with inclusion in the program with no expense on the part of the employee. Employers may also have a cash match contribution paid to employees in the program of up to 50% of the employees contributions not to exceed $20 per pay date.
Because of a change in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and the retirement benefits given by the legislature, the plan is now split into two different plans.
Plan1 refers to members who are employees and who are current before July 1, 2010 as well as deferred members who have service credit in VRS and current retirees of the program. Any of these members who have not taken a refund are in plan 1.
Plan 1 benefits:
• Normal retirement is 50 years of age with 30 years service or 65 years of age with 5 years of service
• Early retirement with reduced benefit is 55 years of age with 5 years of service
• Ability to purchase years of service with prior military, federal, state or local public service, all within 3 years of membership date.
• Disability Benefits
Plan 2 refers to members of the Virginia Retirement System who are current or future employees hired after July 1, 2010, or employees re-hired after the same date with no service credit in VRS.
• Early unreduced retirement is at 60 years of age with 30 years of service or normal Social Security age with 5 years of service.
• Early retirement with reduced benefit is 60 years of age with 5 years of service.
• Ability to purchase years of service with prior military, federal, state, or local public service within 1 year of membership date with a cost rate as a percentage of compensation or an average final compensation. If paid after 1 year within plan 2, members will pay actuarial cost for prior service.
• Disability Benefits
The Virginia Retirement System currently has over 820 federal, state and local employers participating in the program and from those employers they have over 340,000 active members and over 156,000 retirees or other beneficiaries. The head offices are located in Richmond Virginia.