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Retirement

The Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) provides benefits to qualified members employed by state-supported educational institutions, including public employees of K-12 school systems, two-year Community Colleges, four-year higher education institutions, and state education agencies.

TRS Tier 1 Active Members - Any member of the TRS who had service credit with the ERS or TRS prior to January 1, 2013. For more information about, use this link:Tier II Retirement Member

TRS 2 Active Members - Any member of the TRS who had no service credit with the ERS or TRS prior to January 1, 2013. For more information, use this link: Tier II Retirement Member Handbook


Service Retirement

Service retirement benefits are available to members who cease TRS-covered employment and meet minimum service and age requirements. The monthly retirement benefit is made for life without interruption unless there is a return to full-time employment with a TRS agency, or to temporary employment in excess of the limits to be described in Postretirement Employment.

Tier I

A member is eligible to receive retirement benefits under either of the following conditions:

  • He or she has at least 10 years of service credit and has attained the age of 60

     Or

  • After accumulating 25 years of service credit at any age.

A member is eligible to retire the first day of the month following attainment of age 60 with 10 years of creditable service or the first day of  the month following attainment of 25 years of service credit. Members may only retire on the first day of any month they are eligible.

Eligible members may convert unused sick leave days to service credit to meet the minimum requirement for service retirement.

Tier II

A member is eligible to receive retirement benefits when:

  • He or she has at least 10 years of service credit and has attained the age of 62.

A member is eligible to retire the first day of the month following attainment of age 62 with 10 years of creditable service. Members may only retire on the first day of any month they are eligible.

Any member convicted of a felony offense related to their public position must forfeit their right to lifetime retirement benefits. The member will receive a refund of his or her retirement contributions.

To apply for retirement, request a Retirement Application Packet Part I from the TRS or employer. The packet includes the Form 10 - Application for Retirement, PEEHIP Insurance Authorization form, and Direct Deposit Authorization form.

The application must be received no less than 30 days or more than 90 days prior to the effective date of retirement. It is the responsibility of the member to notify the TRS in writing regarding intent to retire. Information to include on all written correspondence is full name and Social Security number.


Disability Retirement

If the career of a TRS member is cut short because of permanent disability, the member may qualify for monthly disability benefits. To qualify for a disability benefit, the member must meet all the following conditions:
  • The member must have 10 years of creditable service.
  • The member must be in-service. A member is considered in-service if currently working or on official leave of absence for one year, which may be extended for no more than one additional year. A member will not receive service credit for periods of leave without pay.
  • The RSA Medical Board must determine the member to be permanently incapacitated from further performance of duty. The Medical Board bases its determination upon information provided by the member’s physician.

Monthly disability retirement benefits are calculated identically to those for service retirement, except that additional credit for sick leave cannot be converted to retirement credit.

To apply for disability retirement, request a Report of Disability Packet and Retirement Application Packet Part I from the TRS or your employer.  The Statement by Examining Physician (included in the Report of Disability Packet) and the retirement application must be received by the TRS office no less than 30 days nor more than 90 days prior to the effective date of retirement, which is the first day of a month. The member is responsible for notifying the TRS regarding disability retirement.

Tier I - A disability retiree will be reviewed once each year for the first five years and once every three-year period thereafter until age 60 to determine whether the retiree remains disabled.

Tier II - A disability retiree will be reviewed once each year for the first five years and once every three- year period thereafter until age 62 to determine whether the retiree remains disabled.

Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP)

Computing Retirement Benefit

Tier I - A member's retirement benefit is calculated based on a retirement formula. The factors used in calculating this benefit include:
  1. Average Final Salary (Compensation): The average of the highest three years(July - June) out of the last 10 years the member made contributions. Partial years are included when calculating the average final salary if they benefit the member.
  2. Years and Months of Creditable Service: The total amount of creditable service to include membership service, prior service, purchased, and transfer service. 
  3. Retirement Benefit Factor: The current benefit factor, as established by the Alabama Legislature, is 2.0125%. 

Tier II - A member’s retirement benefit is calculated based on a retirement formula. The member must be age 62 or older to receive a retirement benefit. The retirement benefit cannot exceed 80% of the Average Final Salary.

 The factors used in calculating this benefit include:

  1. Average Final Salary (Compensation): The average of the highest five years (July - June) out of the last 10 years the member made contributions. Partial years are included when calculating the average final salary if they benefit the member. The retirement benefit is capped at 80% of average final salary.
  2. Years and Months of Creditable Service: The total amount of creditable service to include membership service, prior service, purchased service, and transfer service.
  3. Retirement Benefit Factor: The current benefit factor, as established by the Alabama Legislature, is 1.65%.

*Tier 2 members will not receive additional service credit for accumulated sick leave at retirement.*

Retirement Formula

Average Final Salary x Years and Months of Service x Benefit Factor ÷ 12 = Maximum Monthly Benefit

Sick Leave Conversion (Tier I only)

A TRS member who is a public education employee may convert sick leave to service credit for retirement purposes. This credit can be used to attain minimum service requirements for retirement, or may be added to total service credit if minimum service has been attained. If a member is paid for any sick leave, none can be used for retirement credit.

A TRS member who is a state employee, such as an employee of the Department of Education,  may convert sick leave to retirement in lieu of payment he or she may be entitled to receive. Currently, state employees may only accrue a maximum of 150 days of sick leave. The following chart is used by the TRS for both public education employees and state employees to convert accumulated sick leave days to months of service credit upon service retirement.


Sick Leave Conversion Table

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