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Retirement

State Retirement Program

The State of West Virginia offers an outstanding defined benefit pension plan – the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) under the Consolidated Public Retirement Board. Active employees are eligible for full retirement benefits when: 

  • They have reached five or more years of contributing service at age 60, 
  •                                                                     OR

  • Whether employed or not, when the employee’s age plus years of contributing service are equal to or greater than 80 (excluding military service prior to July 1, 1961), with a minimum age of 55.

Other reduced and deferred retirement options are also available. 
 
Each employee contributes 4.5% of his/her salary to the retirement system, while the State employer contributes at the rate of 14.5% of the employee’s salary. All employee contributions are tax-deferred, and participation in the State’s retirement program is mandatory.

Upon retirement, three annuity options are available:

  • Straight Life Annuity: An annuity is payable to the retiree with no survivorship benefit.

  • Option A Annuity (100% Joint and Survivor): A reduced annuity is payable to the retiree and upon death, the same amount is paid to the named surviving beneficiary.

  • Option B Annuity (50% Joint and Survivor): A lesser reduced annuity is payable to the retiree and upon death, the same amount is paid to the named surviving beneficiary.

Annuities are based upon calculations using the employee’s final average salary (the highest 36 consecutive months out of the last 15 years of contributing service). Click here for more information on PERS, as well as to access a benefit calculator.

West Virginia Retirement Plus

In addition, employees are offered the voluntary opportunity to participate in the West Virginia Retirement Plus Program, a supplemental retirement plan designed to provide an extra savings alternative for all State, county, city and other political subdivision employees. This retirement program is similar to a 401(k) plan in structure except that it is designed to supplement a participant's primary retirement plan.

Employee contributions to the Plan are managed via convenient payroll deductions. There are a variety of quality investment options including one stable value fund and 25 mutual funds representing various asset classes. Employees can also roll over funds into West Virginia Retirement Plus from a former pension or 401(k) plan.

Click here for more information on the West Virginia Retirement Plus Program.

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