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Virginia Retirement System?


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  • Virginia Retirement System?

    I'm from Maryland and looking to apply to a few police departments in Virginia. On MD police website, under Salary/Benefits, they all say something like "50% salary after 25 years" or something like that when it comes to the retirement plans. But on all of the VA police sites, it just says it follows the VA Retirement System. Can someone explain to me what that means, maybe in terms of how MD does it? i.e. how long do you have to serve to get "x" of your salary? I've looked at the website for the VA Retirement System, but I'm confused about it. Any help is greatly appreciated - thanks!

  • #2
    So it all depends which agency. Almost all local police dept such as county, city or town and almost all sheriffs offices are under VRS plan 2 enhanced benefit for eligible political subdivision hazardous duty.

    a member must serve 25 years for an unreduced benefit and be at least 50 years old. In VRS under this plan you cannot draw until you reach 50 years old. Even say you started at 20 years old and say work for 28 years to retire at 48, you would need to keep working till 50.

    The formula is:
    average final amount for 3x highest earning years
    X 1.7%
    X 25 years
    =$1487.50 is your montly pension amount. Now if you work 20 years in the LE you would get another $13xx.00 per month until you reach social security age of 65. The agencies you have worked at must certify that you worked 20 years in a hazardous position before your retirement.

    *you can also put pre tax into 457(b) but not many counties, cities, or towns match any funds into that.

    Also keep in mind that some counties such as Fairfax, cities such as Richmond, Norfolk, Newport News, Charlottesville are on their own city style retirement and are not part of VRS.

    go to www.varetire.org and you can read about the plan.

    There are other plans under VRS such as Spors, Valors and hybrid. Those would not apply to LE positions locally. Spors is State Police, Valors are all the other state LE agencies. Hybrid is for none LE positions.

    Hope that helps.


    • ihope
      ihope commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for taking the time to write that, it helped a lot! Just so I'm sure, is the retirement 25 years AND age 50 or whichever comes first? Some departments in MD have the latter, that's why I ask. Specifically, I'm looking to apply to Prince William PD. Do you have any insight to what it's like there? I saw that they give an incentive for a Bachelor's degree.. do you know how much it is? MD has nothing like that... you pretty much can't hired here without a Bachelor's or military experience. Thanks again!

    • Familyguy01
      Familyguy01 commented
      Editing a comment
      The unreduced retirement is 25 years of service at least. To actually retire and draw it you have to be at least 50 years old. To get the hazardous supplement of $13xx per month until social security age of 65 years old you have to do at least 20 years.

      The hazardous supplement is not being calculated into normal pension.

      People do retire before putting in 25 years, but their amount would be much smaller. The VRS requires 5 years of vesting and you have to contribute 5% of pay per pay period to it. That changed in 2013, before that employer paid your share and theirs.

      Example an officer starts at age 40 and at age 51 he/she retires. They would need to use the above formula to calculate their basic benefit.

      42000 per year
      X 2.0% multiplier lets say since I cant figure out how to do the 1.7%
      X 11 years
      ÷12 = $770.00 per month until death.

      Your better off in Virginia to stay the full 25 and wait until 50 to draw, however nothing says you have to retire. You can continue to work until mandatory retirement age which depends on city policy.

      If you say go to PWC PD and work say 15 years, then you leave and go and work at Stafford County Sheriff for another 10 years then when your 50 you can retire with 25 years total. VRS transfers to each agency. Now a county or city may want you to work a minimum of 15 years or more to be on their subsidized health insurance until you can get on medicaid or medicare.

      It would be wise to raise your salary by promoting in the 14+ year time frame, so that by the time your 25 you making more than 42k a year. Also VRS is based off your regular salary. OT and etc do not go into calculation.

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