How Do I Retire?

The information below gives you a general time-frame of important events as you near retirement.

Two to three years before retirement

  • Review the accuracy of your years of service with SPTRFA. You can do this by reviewing your Member Annual Statement of Account (if you are under age 40) or refer to your Annual Benefit Estimate.
  • Complete any necessary purchases of service credit in advance of applying for retirement.

One to two years before retirement

  • Request an estimate of your retirement benefits online by submitting a Benefit Estimate Request.
  • Consider attending a Pre-Retirement Seminar, hosted by SPPS.

The year of retirement

The year that you are planning on retiring, you will need to be in contact with the SPTRFA. To make the process easy and efficient, we recommend the following:

  • Contact the retirement office at least 90 days in advance of the date you plan to retire to discuss the retirement benefit process and your options. We provide you with the necessary documents to apply for your lifetime retirement pension benefits.
  • You may apply for retirement benefits up to 90 days after your last employment date, provided that you have not returned to work with SPPS during that time. Benefits would be retroactive to the first eligible retirement date after your last day of work.
  • Eligible pension dates are the 1st and 16th of each month.
  • The SPTRFA uses a direct deposit program, where monthly benefits are electronically deposited into specified accounts each month. This is a safe, secure, and fast way to receive your monthly benefit.
  • After submitting retirement application paperwork  and required certificates, your retirement pension benefit will be paid to you via direct deposit on the first business day of each month.**Please note: your first pension payment date depends on the termination date with your employer and pension date chosen on your retirement application.*

Questions regarding post-retirement health insurance, severance pay and resignation processes should be directed to benefits department at St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) or St. Paul College (SPC). For easy to follow guidelines please refer to the Pre-Retirement Checklist included in every member estimate.

Important information

  • Please coordinate the date of retirement with SPPS or SPC.
  • Earnings after retirement are subject to an earning limitations if you are re-employed by SPPS or SPC and you have not reached Normal Retirement Age as determined by Social Security.

Break in Service is Required – 90 Day Period of Separation Rule

In order to have a right to receive your retirement benefit from SPTRFA, Minnesota law requires a “complete and continuous separation for 90 days from employment in any form with Independent School District No. 625.” Importantly, “employment” for this purpose includes “service provided to the school district as an independent contractor or as an employee of an independent contractor.”
Under this rule, for example, employment with Teachers on Call for service as a substitute teacher in District 625 within 90 days of your final date of employment with District 625 would result in a failure of the Break in Service rule.

Please be advised that Minnesota law requires the SPTRFA to recover, with interest, amounts received by a member who fails to satisfy the Break in Service rule.