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FAQs - General Retirement Benefits

Q. Where can I get information about my retirement account?
A. You can call the Pension Section at (410) 222-7400 and speak to a staff member or to schedule an appointment to discuss your retirement benefits.
Q. When  will I be eligible to retire?
A. Each plan is different:
EMPLOYEES’ PLAN: Normal retirement is age 60 with completion of actual plan service plus transferred service totaling 5 years or the completion of actual plan service, transferred service and accrued disability leave totaling 30 years.  Early retirement is age 50 with 20 years of credited service.
DETENTION OFFICERS’ & DEPUTY SHERIFFS’ PLAN: For Category I employees, normal retirement is age 50 with the completion of actual plan service plus transferred service totaling 5 years or the completion of actual plan service, transferred service and accrued disability leave service totaling 20 years.   For Category II employees, normal retirement is age 50 with the completion of actual plan service plus transferred service totaling 5 years.  Category II employees may retire early so long as he has 20 years of credited service.
POLICE PLAN: Normal retirement is actual plan service plus disability leave totaling 20 years or age 50 with the completion of 5 years of actual plan service.
FIRE PLAN: Normal retirement is actual plan service plus disability leave totaling 20 years or age 50 with the completion of 5 years of actual plan service.
Q. May I retire before or after the normal retirement date?
A. Yes, you may retire before your normal retirement date provided you are eligible for early or disability retirement.
Q. Who should I notify once I have decided to retire from Anne Arundel County Government?
A. You should notify your immediate Supervisor of your intention to retire in a timely manner.  You should contact the Pension Section at (410) 222-7400 to schedule a counseling session.  The Pension Section will notify your Department of your retirement only after you have submitted a ‘Retirement Application’.  You may contact your local Social Security Administration Office to find out what benefits you are eligible for or to enroll in Medicate if applicable.  You may contact Social Security at (800) 722-1213 for more information or to find the office nearest you.
Q. What are my member contributions under the plan?
A. EMPLOYEES’ PLAN:  Your member contribution is 4% for Tier 1 Employees. Tier 2 is a non-contributory plan and employees do not make contributions.
DETENTION OFFICERS’ AND DEPUTY SHERIFFS PLAN:  Your member contribution is 5%.
POLICE SERVICE PLAN:  Under the current law your member contribution is 5%.
FIRE SERVICE PLAN:  Under the current law your member contribution is 5%.
Q. How is pension service calculated and credited?
A. Pension benefits are calculated based on a formula which is the plan percentage rate multiplied by your final average basic pay (FABP) multiplied by the number of years of credited service (CS).  CS includes continuous employment with the County, purchased or eligible transferred service with the State of Maryland or a political subdivision of the State, pre-plan military service (up to 36 months) and current disability leave balance at the time of your retirement.  Absence from employment for active duty military service may also be counted as creditable service (In-Plan military service).  Disability leave will be counted as service with the County on the bases of 22 days being the equivalent of one month service and any remainder amount of days numbering at least 11 days less than 22 days counted a one full month.  Disability leave hours that equal one day are based on your scheduled hours per day at the date of retirement.
EMPLOYEE PLAN FORMULA:
Tier 1:  2% x FABP x CS to a maximum of 60%, plus 2% of FABP for eligible disability leave service and credited pre-plan military service (up to 3 years);
Tier 2:  1% x FABP x CS.  There is no maximum percentage of the FABP.
DETENTION OFFICERS’ AND DEPUTY SHERIFFS, POLICE & FIRE PLAN FORMULA:
2 ½% x FABP x CS (1st 20 years), plus 2% x FABP x CS (not to exceed 10 years) to a maximum of 70%.  You may receive more than 70% for unused disability leave and a maximum of 3 years military credit.
Q. What happens to my annual leave?
A. If eligible, you will be paid for any unused annual leave balance.  Your payment will normally be paid two weeks after your final paycheck.
Q. What happens to my compensatory leave?
A. Please refer to Article 8, Section 1-207 of the Anne Arundel County Code and Section H-7 of the Employee Relations Manual for the policy and procedure.
Q. What are my pension payment options?
A. There are four pension payment options under the Employees’ Plan:
  1. Modified Cash Refund Option:  This option gives you lifetime monthly pension payments.  At your death, if the total benefits you received do not equal your total retirement contributions plus accrued interest through your date of retirement, the difference will be paid to your beneficiary in a lump sum.  This is the normal form of payment of a participant of the Employees’ Plan.
  2. Joint & Survivor Option:  This option gives you a reduced monthly benefit to provide a lifetime guarantee to ONE joint annuitant (your spouse or minor child).  Payments are guaranteed to you for life.  At your death, your joint annuitant will receive lifetime monthly payments in a pre-selected percentage, 100%, 80%, 66 2/3%, or 50% of your benefit.
  3. Joint & Survivor Pop-up Option:  This option gives you a reduced monthly benefit to provide a lifetime benefit to your and ONE joint annuitant (your spouse or minor child).  At your death, your joint annuitant will receive lifetime payments in a pre-selected percentage, 100%, 80%, 66 2/3%, or 50% of your benefit.  If your joint annuitant should predecease you, your monthly pension benefit will ‘Pop-Up’ (increase) to the maximum allowance under the Modified Cash Refund Option.
  4. Social Security Adjustment Option:  This option gives you a larger monthly benefit until Social Security Payments begin at age 62 and smaller payments thereafter.  The intention is to provide you with a nearly level total income from both sources from date of retirement until death. 
Your benefits are guaranteed for your lifetime, at your death, if the total benefits you received do not equal your total retirement contributions plus accrued interest through your date of retirement, the difference will be paid to your beneficiary in a lump sum.
Police Service & fire Service Plans:  These public safety plan offer a single life annuity as the    normal form of payment for unmarried participants with a five-year guarantee to the named beneficiary from the date of retirement.  Married participants receive an unreduced 100% Joint & Survivor Option as the normal form of payment.
5. Detention Officers’ and Deputy Sheriffs’ Plan:  This Plan offers a single life annuity as the normal form of payment with a five (5) year guarantee to the named beneficiary from the date of retirement.  Under current law, married participants or single participants who have unmarried minor children, may elect a reduced 100%, 80%, 66 2/3%, or 50% Joint & Survivor option.
Q. Will my monthly pension amount change after I retire?
A. Yes. Each July eligible retirees will receive an annual cost-of Living Adjustment (COLA).  The yearly adjustment is the average of the Consumer Price Index ending with March in the year of the adjustment divided by the 12-month average of the Consumer Price Index ending with March in the year preceding the adjustment.  Police and fire Service Plan members retiring on or after April 1 and on or before July 1, will have no July adjustment the first year of retirement. 
B. Additionally, approximately 30 – 60 days after retirement your benefit may be retroactively adjusted based on any change in your final salary or disability leave balance used to determine your benefits.


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