Leaving the System
Can I withdraw my retirement contributions?
Upon termination of employment the member may withdraw all contributions and refundable interest. Interest is refundable based upon years of membership (date of first contributions) and in accordance with the following schedule:
Up to 16 years of membership 50% of accumulated interest
At least 16 years but less than 21 years 60% of accumulated interest
At least 21 years but less than 26 years 75% of accumulated interest
26 years or more 90% of accumulated interest
Note: Since July 1981, the interest rate set by the Board of Trustees is 8% compounded annually.
If I have 5 years of creditable service credit and terminate employment in Oklahoma public schools, must I withdraw my contributions? What options do I have concerning my account in the TRS?
No. Once you are vested (have 5 years of service credit) and you leave covered employment, your contributions may remain in the system. With as few as 5 years of Oklahoma contributory service you will be eligible for reduced monthly benefits at age 55, or unreduced benefits at age 62. You could be eligible for unreduced benefits when your age and total credited service equal 80 (providing you joined TRS prior to July 1, 1992) or when age and total service equal 90 (if your TRS membership date was after June 30, 1992).
You would also have the option of withdrawing your retirement contributions and refundable interest upon termination of employment.
If I leave covered employment and do not have 5 years of service credit (not vested), what are my options in reference to my contributions?
As an inactive member, you are not required to withdraw your funds immediately. Your account will continue to accrue interest for up to five years. However, you should contact TRS for information on your options. Generally, you should consider withdrawing your deposits and any applicable interest unless you plan on returning to covered employment within five years. Be sure to keep TRS informed of your current home mailing address.
With less than 5 years of service, there are three options:
- You may leave contributions in the system for up to five years. If you don't resume active participation by the beginning of the sixth year, your account will be terminated and no additional interest will accrue on the account, or
- Your may withdraw all retirement contributions and refundable interest at termination of employment. Your contributions are only refunded at your request and cannot be made until at least four months after termination of employment, or
- Any tax deferred contributions and interest may be transferred to an IRA or another qualified tax-deferred savings plan.
Please contact TRS about withdrawal forms.