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Benefits

Judges - Maryland State Retirement and Pension System

TABLE OF CONTENTS1.

TABLE OF CONTENTS1. Membership BasicsThe System that Serves You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Your Board of Trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Safeguards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Eligibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Enrollment Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Taking an Active Role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Terminating Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32. Contributions and ServiceEmployer Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Employee Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Employer Pick­Up Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Maryland Supplemental RetirementPlans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Creditable Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Purchased Credit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Prior Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Missed Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Redeposit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Military Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63. Your BenefitsCoverage While on the Bench . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Survivor Benefit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Designating Beneficiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Death of a Former Member . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Death While Performing Military Service . . 9Disability Benefit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Applying for Disability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Retirement Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Eligibility Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Normal Service RetirementAllowance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Benefit Formula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Basic Allowance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Choosing an Allowance Option . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Applying to Retire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144. When You RetireAddress Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Tax Reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Benefits After You Retire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Health Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Eligibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Enrollment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Effects of Medicare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18Cost­of­LivingAdjustments (COLA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18Employment AfterRetirement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18Garnishment of RetirementBenefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195. SRPS ResourcesPersonal Statement of Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Newsletters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Website . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Counseling Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Inquire by Telephone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Inquire in Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Obtaining Retirement Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Special Communications Concerns . . . . . . . . . 21Confidentiality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Conflicts/Appeals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226. For Your ConvenienceJudgesʹ Retirement System Forms . . . . . . . . . . 23Glossary of Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Illustrations used in this booklet. MARYLAND STATE ARCHIVES (Maryland Manual Online Collection). Front cover: Robert C.Murphy Courts of Appeal Building, Annapolis, Maryland, April 1999. Photo by Diane P. Frese; Ch. 1: County Courts Building, BosleyAve. (view from Pennsylvania Ave.), Towson, Maryland, March 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt; Ch. 2: Allegany County Courthouse,Washington St., Cumberland, Maryland, May 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt; Ch. 3: Courthouse, Frederick, Maryland, August 2000.Photo by Diane F. Evartt; Ch. 4: Queen Anneʹs County Courthouse, 100 Court House Square, Centreville, Maryland, April 1999.Photo by Diane P. Frese; Ch. 5: Calvert County Courthouse, 175 Main St., Prince Frederick, Maryland, May 1999. Photo by Diane P.Frese; Ch. 6: Prince Georgeʹs County Courthouse, Marbury Wing, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, September 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

1MEMBERSHIP BASICSThe System thatServes YouThe Maryland State Retirement and Pension System has a long history of providingretirement benefits to the employees of the “Free State.” Created in 1927 to providepension benefits to the state’s public school employees, the State Retirement andPension System has grown to cover thousands of employees – from teachers, stateand municipal employees, and law enforcement officers to you, our judges.The Judges’ Retirement System (JRS) is administered by the State RetirementAgency (SRA), which manages the day­to­day operations of your retirement fundand handles all membership matters, from enrollment to benefit payments. TheAgency operates under the direction of a 14­member Board of Trustees which establishespolicy, oversees investments and represents the interests of our various membersand retirees.Your Board ofTrusteesYour Board of Trustees plays an important role in the stewardship of the MarylandState Retirement and Pension System. The board guides system operations, establishesinvestment policies, formulates administrative policy and oversees the managementof system assets.Some trustees serve on the board because of their position in state government.Others are appointed by the Governor because of their particular expertise. Also,there are trustees elected by you, our members. Members of the Judgesʹ RetirementSystem participate in the elections for the two Employee Systemsʹ trustees.SafeguardsTo safeguard the proper operation and funding of this multi­billion dollar pensionfund, operations are monitored both internally and externally. The system’s financialactivities are subject to an annual audit by the state’s External Auditor and thesystem’s administrative activities are subject to a tri­annual audit by the state’sLegislative Auditor. Additionally, the system’s financial and administrative activitiesare subject to routing internal audits. Funding requirements are calculated by anindependent actuary, who prepares an annual valuation of the system’s assets andliabilities. Before investment programs are undertaken by the board, they arereviewed by the board’s Investment Committee, which includes three outsideinvestment experts. Pension law requires that assets be invested prudently and conservativelyin the best interest of our members.1

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