Your PERA retirement account may be your greatest asset, which is why it's important for you to understand more about the value of the benefit you're earning. The resources will help you make the most of your PERA membership as you continue on your path toward retirement.
Giving your retirement a boost
- Consider purchasing service credit so you can retire earlier or receive a higher benefit amount. Depending on your situation, it may cost less to buy service credit now rather than later. You can estimate the cost to purchase by logging on to your PERA account and using the Purchasing Service Credit calculator.
- If you’re not already in a PERAPlus Plan, consider participating, and if you’re already in a PERAPlus Plan, think about increasing your contributions. You’ll never regret having more money in retirement.
- If you get a new job at an employer that has PERA coverage, you will continue to build for your future retirement.
- If you leave for a new job that is not covered under PERA, you can still collect a benefit in retirement if you leave your account with PERA, or you can choose to take a refund of your contributions, interest and a potential match.
How PERA works with Social Security
- Most PERA members do not contribute to Social Security, which means you will not receive a Social Security benefit for the time you were employed at a PERA-covered job. If you’re counting on receiving Social Security through your spouse or other employment, there are two federal rules—the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset—which may leave you with a reduced Social Security benefit or no Social Security benefit at all. To find out how these federal rules might affect you go to ssa.gov, which also has an online WEP calculator available.
Additional benefits from PERA
- All PERA members have survivor and disability benefits that are automatically included with membership in PERA and available at no additional cost. These benefits offer financial security for loved ones and income protection if you are unable to work.
- You can save even more toward your retirement by investing in the optional, low-cost PERAPlus 401(k) Plan.
- PERA also offers members the option to enroll in a voluntary life insurance program.
As you progress in your career and build your retirement, be sure to take advantage of the variety of resources PERA has to help you understand more about the value of the benefit you are earning.
- Use PERA calculators to begin planning for retirement.
- Attend PERA meetings and webinars.
- Consider increasing contributions to your PERAPlus Plan (if you participate) so you can continue to grow your retirement savings.
- Review and update your beneficiaries if needed.
- Think about enrolling in PERA’s Life Insurance Program during the annual enrollment held every April-May.
By logging in to your PERA account, you can make changes to your information or you may call the PERA Customer Service Center at 1-800-759-PERA (7372).