Preparing for retirement?
Preparing to retire can be overwhelming. Let us help you. On this page you’ll find an example timeline of what you need to do and when you need to do it. You can also attend a PEBB retirement webinar.
On this page
Who do I work with in retirement?
You may work with one or more of the following:
- Washington State Department of Retirement Services (DRS)
DRS manages and distributes pension and Deferred Compensation benefits to participating retirees.
- Social Security Administration (SSA)
SSA manages your Social Security enrollment for Medicare benefits.
- Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA)
HCA manages Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) retiree insurance coverage.
Note: If you have a higher-education retirement plan, talk to your payroll or benefits office.
If you are retiring due to a disability, follow these steps after you are approved by DRS or the appropriate higher-education authority for disability retirement.
- If you are retiring close to your 65th birthday or ending employment at age 65 or older
Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B.
If you or any dependents are eligible for Medicare, you must enroll and stay enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to keep PEBB retiree insurance coverage. Visit Medicare and turning age 65 to learn more about Medicare and what you have to do to keep your PEBB benefits.
Important! Make sure you understand the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Medicare and how these timelines affect the start date of Medicare.
- 6 months before retirement
- If you have a DRS retirement plan, contact DRS to request an estimate of your benefit.
- If you don't have a DRS retirement plan, contact your employer to determine if you have a retirement plan and, if so, when you will be eligible to retire from the plan.
- 3 months before retirement
Download the Retiree Enrollment Guide. If you would like a print copy, call the PEBB Program at 1-800-200-1004 (TRS 711) to request one.
- 60 days before retirement
- Submit your retirement application to DRS.
- Submit Form A and any supporting documentation. The PEBB Program must receive the form no later than 60 days after your employer-paid, COBRA, or continuation coverage ends.
(If enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, the PEBB Program must receive the forms prior to the month your retiree insurance coverage begins to avoid a delay in your Medicare Advantage plan starting.)
Need help completing Form A? Use the How to complete the Retiree Election Form (form A) tutorial.
My employment is ending without retirement. What options do I have?
If you do not meet DRS criteria for retirement, or you choose not to retire when your employment ends, you may have the option to enroll in COBRA coverage as a "bridge" to PEBB retiree insurance coverage.
When you notify your employer of your intent to retire or separate from employment, and your termination has been processed, the PEBB Program or SEBB Program will send you a PEBB Continuation Coverage Election Notice or a SEBB Continuation Coverage Election Notice, which begins a 60-day window in which you may apply for COBRA.
If you do not apply for COBRA during this timeframe, you may lose your right to enroll in PEBB retiree insurance. If you enroll in COBRA as a "bridge" to PEBB retiree insurance coverage, you must be eligible to retire when your COBRA ends.
If you are a nonrepresented employee leaving an educational service district that does not provide PEBB insurance coverage while you are working, enroll in COBRA through your educational service district.
Attend a retirement webinar
Join us for an overview of retiree health insurance available through the Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB) Program. Learn about eligibility criteria, medical and dental plans available, monthly premiums, and how to enroll.
The PEBB Program
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
HCA Support (secure, login portal with your personal account)
Send us a secure message through HCA Support, a secure website that allows you to log into your own account to communicate with us. You will need to set up a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account to use this option.