Applying for retirement during the school year

Aug 04, 2020

NHRS has received questions regarding retirement during the school year from teachers and other school employees concerned about the impact of COVID-19.

The frequently asked questions listed below are adapted from the longer NHRS Service Retirement brochure available here.

How does a member apply for a pension?

A member must complete an “Application for Service Retirement” and file it with NHRS. Members may apply for Service Retirement electronically through the retirement system’s online member portal, My Account. To obtain a paper application, members may download an application from the NHRS website or contact NHRS to request an application by mail. 

Members may also schedule a personal appointment with an NHRS Benefits Specialist by calling the NHRS office at 603-410-3500. Appointments are being conducted by videoconference or telephone until further notice.

When must an application be filed?

As stated in the law, an application must be filed no more than 90 days or fewer than 30 days before the intended effective date of retirement. The effective date of retirement is, always, the first day of the month following termination of NHRS-covered employment. A member must file the application with NHRS while still an actively contributing member.

Click here for the current list of filing deadlines.

Is a member required to terminate NHRS-covered employment?

Yes. A member must terminate employment from an NHRS-covered position prior to the effective date of retirement.

How does an employer learn that a member has filed for Service Retirement benefits?

It is the member’s responsibility to notify the employer of retirement plans.

How may a member withdraw an application after materials have been submitted?

Before the effective date of retirement, contact NHRS in writing to amend the retirement date or to withdraw the application.

Is the retirement application the only form that must be completed?

No. The following additional documentation is required to apply for a Service Retirement:

  • A copy of the member’s Social Security card (or an IRS Form W-9)
  • A copy of the member’s Birth Certificate
  • A copy of the beneficiary(ies’) Birth Certificate, if Survivorship Option 2, 3, or 4 is selected
  • An IRS Form W-4P Federal Withholding Certificate
  • A notarized Mandatory Acknowledgment/Certification form
  • An Electronic Direct Deposit (EDD) form
  • Payment Options for Additional Contributions (if applicable)
  • A copy of a marriage certificate (Group II members only)
  • Health Insurance Pre-Application (state employees only)

Where may complete application materials be sent?

Paper application materials can be sent to: New Hampshire Retirement System, Attention: Member Benefits Team, 54 Regional Drive Concord, NH 03301-8507

If applying for retirement electronically, additional documentation should be uploaded and submitted with the application through My Account.

When will the first pension payment be received?

The first pension payment will be issued on the last business day of the month of the effective date of retirement. 

Will health insurance coverage continue after retirement?

Political subdivision employers are required by law to offer retiring employees continued health insurance coverage at the group rate. However, depending upon the employer, the member may be required to pay all or part of the health insurance premium. Contact the employer for specific details.

What if a member terminates employment attaining the minimum service retirement age?

A member with more than 10 years of creditable service may apply for Early Service Retirement between the ages of 50-59. Early retirement results in a permanent reduction to the pension benefit amount.

A member with more than 10 years of creditable service may apply for Vested Deferred Retirement at a later date.