Apply for Retirement

We realize that retiring is a significant life event and want to make the process to apply for your MSRS retirement benefit as easy as possible. Follow these steps.

How to Apply for Retirement

  • 1. Determine your retirement date
  • The retirement date (also known as the accrual date) is the date you want your benefit to begin. Indicate this date on the Application for Retirement, Section 2.

    You may be eligible to retire when you: 

    • meet the age and service eligibility criteria (see Eligibilty)
    • end all State of Minnesota employment
       

    Important!

    • MSRS is unable to accept your application for retirement more than 60 days in advance of the retirement date you indicate on the application.

    • You should receive your first payment approximately 6 weeks after your retirement begin date. Please  plan accordingly.

  • 2. Contact MSRS
  • Contact MSRS two months before you plan to retire. Call 651-296-2761 or 1-800-657-5757 to speak with a retirement counselor or schedule a one-on-one session at any of our offices (St. Paul, Duluth, Mankato, Detroit Lakes and St.Cloud).

    Retirement counselors are available to: 

    • explain your benefit and how to apply
    • explain other MSRS-administered plans you may have (MNDCP and HCSP)
    • provide an estimate of your retirement benefit
    • send you the forms to apply for your benefit

  • 3. Contact other plan providers
  • When applying for retirement, MSRS may not be the only plan administrator you need to contact. As a Minnesota public employee, you may receive benefits from various providers. You may enroll in some or all of them. Use this list as a guide to coordinate your benefits.  

    • If you are eligible for retirement benefits from another Minnesota public pension plan, contact the provider to obtain paperwork to apply for benefits. This includes Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), Teachers Retirement Association (TRA), or St Paul Teachers.  

    • Contact your human resources department regarding retiree insurance options.

    • Contact your payroll office to discuss how severance, if any, will be paid.

    • Follow-up with Social Security and Medicare to apply for benefits or to follow up if you've already applied but haven't received an acknowledgement.

  • 4. Fill out forms
  • Download the forms or contact MSRS to have the forms mailed to you. 

    • Application for Retirement Benefit (required)
      You must sign the application in the presence of a notary. If you are married, your spouse must sign the application in the presence of a notary to acknowledge your benefit election. If your spouse does not sign the application and no survivor option is selected, MSRS is required by state law to pay the 50% Joint-and-Survivor option.

    • Direct Deposit Agreement (optional but recommended)
      Complete this form to have monthly payments deposited into your bank account. Generally, MSRS sends your payment to your financial institution the first business day of each month.If you do not want direct deposit, a check will be mailed to you each month. You can sign up for direct deposit at any time.

    • Authorization for Insurance Premiun Deductions (optional, but must meet eligibility requirements)
      Retired and disabled public safety officers and judges who meet certain criteria may reduce taxable income by up to $3,000 annually if medical, dental, or long-term care insurance premiums are deducted from your retirement benefit and paid directly to the insurance provider. Complete this form to authorize MSRS to deduct monthly insurance premiums.  


    If you had service with another Minnesota public pension plan (for example, PERA or TRA), you may qualify for additional retirement benefits.  Contact your other plan provider to learn if you are eligible for benefits and how to apply.   

  • 5. Collect your documents
  • You'll need to provide:

    • Birth records (required for you and your survivor)
      Payment cannot begin until you provide MSRS with a copy of your birth record. In addition, if you select a survivor option, you must provide a copy of your survivor's birth record. An acceptable birth record includes a birth certificate, passport or military records.
       
    • Copy of marriage certificate (required, if applicable)
       
    • Certified copy of divorce decree and/or domestic relations order (required, if applicable)
      During a marriage dissolution, the court may decide to divide the assets of the MSRS retirement plan between the parties. If you are currently divorced, or have been divorced, you must provide MSRS with a certified copy of any divorce decrees and/or DRO before you can collect a retirement or disability benefit. These documents are required even if the assets will not be divided between the parties and regardless of when the divorce occurred (either before or after state employment).

  • 6. Submit forms and documents to MSRS
  • Mail forms and documents to MSRS. Only the original application with signature and notary will be processed. We will not accept a fax or email copy.

    MSRS is unable to accept your forms/documents more than 60 days in advance of the retirement date you indicate on the application.

    Mail or drop off forms and documents to:

    Minnesota State Retirement System
    60 Empire Drive, Suite 300
    St Paul, MN  55103-3000


    If you had service with another Minnesota public pension plan (for example, PERA or TRA), you may qualify for additional retirement benefits.  Contact your other plan provider to learn if you are eligible for benefits and how to apply.   

  • 7. Receive first payment
  • You will receive your first retirement benefit payment approximately 6 weeks after the retirement date indicated on your application. Please plan accordingly.

    The first benefit payment is typically higher because it includes retroactive payments back to your benefit start date.

    This timeline assumes:

    • your application for retirement is in good order;

    • you provided MSRS with all required documents; and

    • your employer remitted all contributions to your retirement plan.

    Failure to meet these requirements could delay your benefit payment.


    If you had service with another Minnesota public pension plan (for example, PERA or TRA) and are eligible for additional benefits, you will receive a separate payment from that retirement plan provider. Please contact your other plan provider to learn how and when those payments will be made.