Virginia Retirement System
The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) administers retirement plans, life insurance plans, and related services for its active members. Eligible members include full-time salaried, permanent employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia, participating local cities, towns, political subdivisions, and all Virginia school boards. The City of Richmond participates in the Virginia Retirement System and pays the employer contribution of an eligible employee’s salary. Eligible employees contribute 5% of their salary to their member accounts. VRS members are “vested” when they have five years of VRS service credit.
- Plan 1: Members with service credit before July 1, 2010, and vested as of January 1, 2013, are eligible to retire with unreduced benefits at age 65, with at least five years of service, or at age 50 with at least 30 years of service. An employee’s highest consecutive 36 months of creditable compensation is used as the average final compensation. List item 2
- Plan 2: Members hired or rehired on or after July 1, 2010, with no pre-July 1 service credit are eligible to retire with an unreduced benefit at their normal social security retirement age with at least five years of service credit or when age and service equal 90. An employee’s highest consecutive 60 months of creditable compensation is used as the average final compensation
For Plan 1 and Plan 2, service retirement is a defined benefit based on a member’s average final compensation, years of service, and age at retirement. VRS Plan 1 and Plan 2 members may apply for disability retirement benefits if they become unable to perform their job because of a physical or mental disability and the disability is most likely to be permanent.
- Hybrid Plan: This plan applies to most members hired on or after January 1, 2014 with no prior VRS service credit. This plan offers a defined benefit component and defined contribution component (similar to 401k). The Hybrid Plan does not offer disability retirement benefits; instead, Hybrid Plan members have a separate program of short and long term disability benefits and a separate County sick leave accrual plan for biweekly employee
- Hybrid Retirement Plan Information Resources:
- VRS Hybrid Plan Road Map for Members
- Special Issue of VRS Member News – for an overview of the new Hybrid Retirement Plan and list of VRS information resources.
- VRS Plan Comparison Guide for details on significant benefit differences.
- Hybrid Disability - an employer-paid program of short and long term disability benefits for Hybrid Plan members
- Hybrid Disability Program Brochure – a benefits overview of short term and long term disability benefits
- Hybrid Disability Program DocumentsShort Term Disability Program Document
- Long Term Disability Program Document
Hybrid Sick Leave Accrual Program – a separate County sick leave accrual plan for Hybrid Plan members that corresponds to the employer paid disability program.
Contact the Hybrid Retirement Plan Support Team at 1-855-291-2285 or email Contact the Hybrid Retirement Plan Support Team
Purchase of Prior Service
You may be able to increase your VRS benefit by purchasing prior service credit. Prior service is a period of service that has not been credited to your VRS service record because it was not covered by VRS or it was covered service for which your previously took a refund. Because the amount of your benefit is based on your years of service credit, purchasing prior service credit can increase your monthly retirement benefit.
VRS allows eligible members to purchase time for: certain leaves of absence, non-covered service with a participating employer, public service, active duty military service, and VRS refunded service. The cost and time frame to purchase this service is based on whether you are in Plan 1 or Plan 2. For more information on purchasing prior service, visit the VRS purchase of prior service Web page.
In order to initiate a purchase of prior service, a member needs to complete the Application to Purchase Prior Service Credit (Form VRS-26). When a completed form is submitted to VRS, a cost letter is generated for the member. The letter provides cost information and payment options, which may include payroll deduction, lump-sum payment, or trustee-to-trustee transfer.
Important Links and Resources