Eligibility

You may retire:

  • At age 55 with 10 years of credited service (reduced 1/2 of 1% for each month under age 60). If you take a reduced benefit, it is effective throughout your retirement.
  • At age 60 with 10 years of credited service.
  • At age 62 with 6 years of credited service.
You must submit a retirement application and include a copy of your birth certificate in order to receive benefits. If you elect to retire under the Reciprocal Act, it is your responsibility to file an application with each system involved.

Please contact JRS approximately 90 days before your retirement date to request a retirement packet. Your pension will start on the first day following your withdrawal from service.

Your Retirement Benefit

Your retirement benefit is based on your total JRS credited service, age and salary and uses the following formula:

3.5% for the first 10 years of service;

5.0% for each year after 10 years.

The salary used in calculating your benefit is based on your JRS membership date:

Membership date prior to August 10, 2009:

  • JRS uses your final salary on your last day of employment as a judge.

Membership dates from August 10, 2009 through December 31, 2010:

  • JRS uses your 48 highest consecutive months out of the last 120 months of service.

Maximum benefit: 85% of salary as a judge with 20 years of JRS service credit.


For judges with six years of service but less than ten, benefits payable at age 62 are based on final average salary.
  
  
621.00%
6.522.75%
724.50%
7.526.25%
828.00%
8.529.75%
931.50%
9.533.25%
For judges with ten or more years of service, benefits payable at age 60 are based on final average salary.
  
  
1035.00%
10.537.50%
1140.00%
11.542.50%
1245.00%
12.547.50%
1350.00%
13.552.50%
1455.00%
14.557.50%
1560.00%
15.562.50%
1665.00%
16.567.50%
1770.00%
17.572.50%
1875.00%
18.577.50%
1980.00%
19.582.50%
20+85.00% (maximum)

Example 1 using final salary:

A member is age 60, has 20 years of credited service, a membership date prior to 8/10/2009 and a final salary of $212,681.00.

First 10 years x 3.5% = 35%

Second 10 years x 5% = 50%

Total = 85%

Benefit amount: 85% x $212,681.00 = $180,778.80 annually or $15,064.90 per month.

This same member’s reduced retirement benefit with 20 years of service at age 58 is: 60-58 = 24 months x ½ of 1% = 12% age reduction. (100 -12 = 88%)

Benefit amount after age reduction: $180,778.00 X 88% = $159,085.32 annually or $13,257.11 per month.

Example 2 using 48-month final average salary:

A member is age 60, has 20 years of service, a membership date between 8/10/2009 and 12/31/2010, and has a 48-month final average salary of $205,120.00.

First 10 years x 3.5% = 35%

Second 10 years x 5% = 50%

Total 85%

Benefit amount: 85% x $205,120.00 = $174,351.96 annually or $14,529.33 per month.

Benefit amount if member was age 58 at retirement:

$153,429.72 annually or $12,785.81 per month because of the ½ of 1% age reduction.

Credit for Additional Service

If you continue service as a judge after completing 20 years of judicial service and are under age 60, you can accrue 5/12% credit for each month over 20 years. This credit will offset any reduction you may incur if you retire before age 60.

Example: A member is age 58 years and 6 months and has 262 months (21.8333 years) of judicial service. The age reduction is 1/2 of 1% for each month under age 60.

60 – 58 1/2 = 1 1/2 years x 12 months. = 18 months

Age reduction: 18 months x .5 = 9 %

Total service over 240 months: 262 – 240 = 22 months

5/12% Credit Calculation: 22 x 5/12 = 9.1667% credit

9% reduction – 9.1667% credit = No reduction to benefit

Limiting Contributions

If you are age 60 and qualify for the 85% maximum retirement annuity, you can elect to limit contributions. You would no longer pay full contributions to JRS. Instead, you would only make contributions based on future salary increases.

Limiting your contributions is irrevocable. Pension benefits are based on your final salary at withdrawal of service or your 4 highest consecutive years with in the last 10 years (depending on date of membership) and are NOT affected by limiting your contributions.

Reciprocal service can be used to determine a member’s eligibility for the 85% maximum benefit. If used, however, and the member elects to begin receiving retirement benefits from that reciprocal system before reaching maximum benefits in JRS without said reciprocal service, the member may be subject to paying JRS an amount determined by the Board that is equal to the amount he or she would have contributed if such service credit from that reciprocal system was excluded from the onset of the contribution limitation, plus interest at the actuarially assumed rate.

Annual Pension Increases

You will receive a 3% pension increase on January 1 following your first full year of retirement. These annual increases are compounded on your previous year’s annuity. Pension increases are not limited to the 85% maximum.

Example: Using the previous example of a member age 60 with 20 years of credited service and a final salary of $212,681 and an initial monthly retirement benefit of $15,064.90, the automatic 3% increase is:

3% x $15,064.90 = $451.95 more per month

The new annuity is $15,516.85 per month. The following year, the 3% increase is based on $15,516.85.

Returning to Employment

As a Tier 1 retiree, your JRS retirement benefit will be suspended if you return to service as a judge. It is also suspended if:

  • You accept permanent State employment.
  • You retired using the Reciprocal Act and exceed the post-retirement employment limits in a reciprocal system from which you are receiving retirement benefits.

Your JRS benefit will continue if you:

  • Return to work for a county
    • Did not retire using reciprocity with the county’s retirement system or;
    • Did retire using reciprocity with the county’s retirement system and post-retirement employment limitations are not exceeded.
  • Accept employment in a public school, junior college, or university unless the position contributes to SERS.
  • Accept private employment.
  • Work for the state in any temporary position, except judge, for 75 days or less per calendar year.

If You Are Recalled

If you are recalled as a Tier 1 judge, your retirement annuity will be suspended. At the end of your recall period, you will be required to submit a retirement application to JRS. JRS will recalculate your benefit based on your additional judicial service. Your pension benefit will be reinstated the day following your removal from the bench.

If you retired with the maximum annuity and return to service as a judge, upon returning to retirement, you will be given the 3% automatic benefit increase for any January during your recall service.

If your recall service is at a higher rate of pay, your additional benefit is based on the higher rate.

Follow the link for the list of systems that participate in the Retirement Systems' Reciprocal Act.