General Plan Features

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    Types of Benefits

    Types of Benefits Description
    Retirement You may draw a lifetime retirement benefit if you satisfy age and service requirements.
    Deferred Retirement You may defer receipt of your monthly benefit until you are age 55 or older.
    Disability Retirement You may apply for a disability benefit if you become totally and permanently disabled.
    Survivor Benefits In the event of your death, there may be a survivor benefit payable.
    Refund of Contributions If you resign from SPPS or SPC, you may elect to receive a refund of your employee contributions, plus 6% interest compounded annually.A refund surrenders all rights to benefits from the SPTRFA.

    If you are a Basic Plan member this option is not available, however, if you have reached age 55 and meet the vesting requirements of the plan.


    If no survivor benefits are payable, then your designated beneficiary, (or if none, your estate) will receive a refund of your employee contributions upon your death. Interest is payable on refunds in for any member not yet receiving a benefit.

    A beneficiary may be any person(s). If there is no beneficiary form on file for you, or if all persons listed as beneficiaries are deceased, any refund will be paid to your estate.

    Please keep your beneficiary form updated, particularly when you experience life changes (marriage, divorce, childbirth, etc.). To obtain a beneficiary form, contact the SPTRFA office.

    The beneficiary form is available for download.

    Combined Service

    If you have retirement service credit under more than one Minnesota defined benefit public pension fund, you may be eligible for combined service. Your allowable retirement service credit and salary with those plans will be considered jointly at the time of retirement when determining eligibility and level of benefits.

    See Combined Service Annuity for Basic Plan members or Coordinated Plan members.

    Marriage Dissolution

    Retirement benefits may be affected by a marriage dissolution (divorce). The SPTRFA should be notified of any pending or completed dissolution process. In any case where a dissolution has occurred, the SPTRFA will not commence benefit payments without the final dissolution documents. You or your attorney should contact the SPTRFA for further information.

    Steps to Retirement

    The year that you are planning on retiring, you will probably be in contact with the SPTRFA several times. To make the process easier and more efficient, the SPTRFA recommends the following:

    • Contact the SPTRFA at least 60 days in advance of the date you plan to retire to discuss the retirement benefit process and your options. The SPTRFA provides you with the necessary documents to apply for retirement 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 retirement dates are the 1st and 16th of each month.
    • Questions regarding hospital/medical coverage, severance pay and resignation should be directed to your benefits department at Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) or Saint Paul College (SPC).

    Period of Separation

    You are not considered retired until we confirm that you have been completely and continuously separated from service with SPPS or SPC for 30 consecutive calendar days.

    Teaching After Retirement – Earnings Limitations

    If you are receiving a pension from the SPTRFA, are under age 65 and are re-employed by Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) or Saint Paul College (SPC), your benefit may be reduced. If your calendar year post-retirement SPPS or SPC earnings exceed the earnings limitation as defined by the Social Security Administration, the following year’s pension is reduced by $1.00 for every $3.00 earned over the limit.

    Any excess earnings that are recovered by the SPTRFA will be returned to you one year after the termination of the re-employment or at age 65, whichever is later.

    Contact the SPTRFA for further information.

    Please see number 7 on the pre-retirement checklist for updated language.


    Leaving Service in St. Paul – Your Options

    What you do or don’t do after you leave service in Saint Paul may affect your ultimate benefits from the SPTRFA. Contact our office to discuss your options.

    • Draw Your Benefit
      • Coordinated Plan
      • Basic Plan
    • Accrue Service Elsewhere
      • Coordinated Plan
      • Basic Plan
    • Postpone Retirement
      • Coordinated Plan
      • Basic Plan
    • Withdraw Your Contributions
      • Coordinated Plan
      • Basic Plan