Applying for Retirement
Any member of Government Employees' Retirement System of the Virgin Islands (GERS) contemplating retirement should know the following:
It is imperative that you visit the GERS office to complete a Prior Service Evaluation Form or write a letter requesting a prior service evaluation at least two (2) years in advance of your anticipated retirement date. The purpose of the prior service evaluation is:
To verify years of service with the Government of the Virgin Islands and to ensure that those years are credited with GERS. There are instances where an individual may have worked at a particular agency/department, but, that service time may not have been credited at GERS. An evaluation outlines the exact service time documented at GERS and provides the member with an opportunity to either review their personal records or to obtain the missing information from the Social Security Administration.
To verify if contributions are owed for their early years of service as a result of a salary adjustment or in the case of hazardous duty employees (as appropriated by law). Note: All contributions owed to GERS must be paid prior to the member receiving an annuity, except for those hazardous employees who are governed by ACT 5226 or Act 6110.
To receive an annuity estimate outlining what benefits will be paid.
Completing the Retirement Application
Prospective retirees should contact GERS to schedule an appointment with a Benefits Analyst at least three (3) months prior to their retirement date in order to complete an application. Note: By law, an employee is required to give his/her department 60 days notice of their intent to retire.
Retirement is not automatic. If an application is not completed with GERS, we cannot process a retirement annuity payment.
If an application is completed after the date of retirement, by law GERS can only go back sixty (60) days from the application date. For example, if someone leaves the government effective December 31st and does not complete an application until July 31st, his or her annuity becomes effective June 1st. The individual would have lost five (5) months of benefits. See Title 3 Chapter 27 Section 705 (a) VIC. Thus, it is imperative that an application is completed on a timely basis.
The following items are required when applying for a Service Retirement Annuity:
- Driver's License or Voters Identification
- Passport, Birth Certificate, or Naturalization Certificate
- Social Security Card
- Copy of Retirement Letter
- For beneficiary purposes please provide the beneficiary or beneficiaries Name, SS#, Date of Birth, and Current Mailing Address
- Direct Deposit: Checking Acct- voided check. Savings Acct- passbook information