Reading Your Retirement Account Balance Summary ERS OnLine
This information applies to the Account Balance Summary under My Retirement Information in ERS OnLine for members who are in Groups 1 – 3 (hired before Sept. 1, 2022). You can find information about Group 4 (and the other retirement groups) on the Overview of Retirement Annuity and Insurance Benefits for Regular State Employees.
The Total Member Amount is all the money currently in your ERS retirement account and the years and months are your total service in your account. This includes:
- waiting period service you may have purchased,
- Additional Service Credit you may have purchased and,
- if you’re eligible, any Law Enforcement Custodial Officer Supplement (LECOS) credit.
Once you qualify and apply for retirement, you receive an annuity, the monthly check paid to you for your lifetime. The amount of your lifetime retirement annuity is not based on how much money is in your account. Instead, it is based on a formula that includes how long you worked for the State (your service credit) and your highest average salary over 36, 48 or 60 months when you worked for the state. (The months included in your highest average salary calculation depend on whether you’re in Group 1, 2 or 3. See the Overview of Retirement Annuity and Insurance Benefits for Regular State Employees, for more information.)
The pre-tax amount includes contributions deducted from your monthly paycheck. If your contributions began January 1, 1988 or later, they were deducted from your salary before your federal income taxes were calculated. It also includes service purchase payments that you paid directly from a pre-tax savings account.
The post-tax amount includes contributions deducted from your monthly paycheck before January 1, 1988 and service purchase payments made directly to ERS from your personal funds. For example, if you paid for service credit with a personal check, it would be reflected in the Post-Tax Amount.
If you worked for a state agency before, left that job and then withdrew the funds in your ERS retirement account, you no longer have service credit toward retirement eligibility for the time you previously worked.
However, if you return to state employment or work for an entity that participates in the Proportionate Retirement Program (PRP), may have the opportunity to buy it back. The cost to buy withdrawn service credit is equal to the amount you withdrew plus 10% interest for each fiscal year from the withdrawal date to the purchase date.
To buy back withdrawn ERS service, you must be a member of either ERS or an entity that participates in the PRP. In addition, at least six months must have passed since the date of your withdrawal. Once you have purchased your withdrawn service, the service credit will again count toward both your retirement eligibility and annuity calculation.
As of January 1, 2014, your retirement account earns 2% interest annually. Before January 1, 2014, your account earned 5% interest annually. Because your annuity calculation is not based on the amount of money in your ERS retirement account, the interest is applied only if you withdraw your account before you are eligible for retirement.
Your retirement service credit in your ERS OnLine account shows the number of months for which you have a contribution on file in your ERS retirement account. It does not include any service credit you gave up if you previously left state employment and withdrew your retirement account.
The amount of service listed on your pay stub is known as longevity or time employed by the state. You don’t give up longevity/time employed by the state even if you withdrew your ERS retirement account.