Albemarle County offers retirement benefits to full-time and eligible part-time employees.
All full-time employees are automatically enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and are vested after 5 full years of covered service. Contributions are divided between an employee's personal account and the VRS Trust Fund. This fund provides future lifetime monthly benefits to eligible retirees, regardless of the value of their individual accounts. VRS is a defined benefit plan; your retirement benefits are based on a formula that includes your total years of VRS service, your reported salary history, and your age at retirement. For more information about VRS, including retirement eligibility requirements, please visit the VRS website.
MyVRS is a secure member online service which allows members to access their own VRS accounts. Through myVRS, members can view their most recent member benefit statements, change personal information, and create retirement estimates based on live data from the employee's file, among many other features. Participating members will need to sign up for a myVRS member account in order to access these features. Creating an account is as easy as choosing the "myVRS" link on the right and clicking the Register Now bar and following the simple instructions.
Please be sure to save your log-in information for future access to your myVRS account. For more information about the features of myVRS, please download the my VRS fact sheet, user's guide, or visit the VRS website. Links and documents are provided on the right.
Employees become eligible for contributions into the Part-Time Pension Plan in the month following the completion of five (5) continuous years of service if they are in a benefits-eligible position at that time. Contributions are based on the employee's salary and years of County service. Additional information about the Part-Time Pension Plan can be found under the "Retirement Documents" section on the right.
Deferred Compensation Plans
Deferred compensation plans enable employees to save for retirement on a pre-tax basis via payroll deduction. The savings and earnings on the investments are not subject to taxes until they are withdrawn from the Plan, usually at retirement, when most people will not have as much taxable income. For 2014, participants under age 50 may contribute a maximum of $17,500; participants age 50 or older may contribute an additional $5,500. Funds may be withdrawn at separation of service or for financial hardship without tax penalty regardless of your age at the time. Albemarle County offers a 457 plan for local government and school employees through Nationwide. School employees (only) also have the option of selecting a 403b vendor and choosing an individual account. More information about deferred compensation alternatives can be found on the TSA/Deferred Comp page. Please note that all full and part-time employees may contribute into a 457 or 403b, regardless of benefits eligibility.
Voluntary Early Retirement Program (VERIP)
Employees considering retirement while under age 65 may be eligible for an additional benefit under the County's Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program (VERIP)*.
VERIP benefits are provided for a period of five years or until age 65, whichever comes first. Under VERIP, the County will provide a financial contribution toward medical insurance. You may accept it as a cash payment, or apply it toward the cost of the continuation of your County medical/dental benefits.
To be eligible, an employee must meet the age and service criteria for reduced VRS retirement, be a current benefits-eligible employee at least 50 years of age and have been employed by the County in a benefits-eligible position for 10 of the last 13 years prior to retirement.
VERIP applications should be submitted in advance of the fiscal year in which the employee is planning to retire. This does not obligate you to retire and you may withdraw the application at any time.
*Note: Employees taking disability retirement are not eligible for VERIP benefits.
Retirees Considering Returning to Work
Many retirees contemplate returning to work on a part-time basis. Policies surrounding VERIP (the County’s early retirement plan) and VRS (the Virginia Retirement System) retirement differ considerably. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of how a return to employment may or may not affect your retirement benefits. If you are considering returning to employment with Albemarle County, please download the Retiree Rehire Guidelines document for returning to work as a retiree.