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Steps to Retirement

Some of the most important financial decisions you will make in your lifetime are deciding when to retire and choosing your pension benefit options. By educating yourself on the retirement process, you are already taking an important step toward planning your retirement!

Follow the timeline listed below and you will find that retiring is not only exciting, but it can be easy too!

  1. Several years prior to retirement:
    • Define your goals! What do you want to do during your retirement - travel, spend time with family, move somewhere you have always wanted to live? Whether you are fast approaching retirement or just starting out as a cadet, skillful planning can help you make the most of your retirement assets.
    • Visit with a private financial planner to discuss your financial goals and needs and determine the best strategies to help meet those needs. This can help you can get a good idea of how much income you will need to live comfortably in retirement and what steps are necessary to reach your goals.
    • Attend financial planning seminars provided by the Retirement System to learn about your retirement options and to begin setting your goals for retirement. Seminars of this type usually feature speakers from the Health Insurance Benefits division of the City of Austin Human Resources Department, Austin area Financial Planners, a local tax accountant, a representative from the local Social Security office, a local Trust Attorney and your Benefits Specialist from the Pension Office.
  2. Two years prior to retirement:
    • If you have not done so yet, this is the time you need to seriously look at your future financial income. Things to consider are: your Spouses Pension Benefits, your Social Security income, savings and investments, and any other possible income you may have such as from future work you may have after retirement from the Police Department.
    • Schedule an appointment with the Benefit Services Specialist at the Pension Office to obtain retirement benefit calculations, look at all of the different annuity options the System has to offer, purchase any service credit you may be eligible for, and ask any questions you may have regarding the retirement process.
  3. Two months prior to retirement:
    • Schedule an appointment with the Benefit Services Specialist at the Pension Office to begin turning in your retirement paperwork. You will need to bring:
      • Most Recent Paycheck Stub
      • Copy of the Marriage License
      • Copies of Social Security Cards for Retiree (and survivor if applicable)
      • Copies of Birth Certificates for Retiree (and survivor if applicable)
      • Photo Identification for Retiree (and survivor if applicable)
      • Check Deposit Slip for Direct Deposit Authorization
      • Qualified Domestic Relations Order for Divorce Decree ( if applicable)
  4. Meet with the City of Austin Human Resources Department located at One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Rd., Suite 600, Austin, TX 78704 to enroll in health and dental insurance coverage. You will also be required to complete an exit interview and return equipment at the Police Department.

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