Future Employees

If you become an employee of a SERS-participating employer on or after Jan. 1, 2019, in most cases, you will automatically become a member of the SERS hybrid retirement plan in the A-5 class of service. There are a few exceptions related to law enforcement or security positions (state police, corrections, etc.).

What’s a “Hybrid” Plan?

A hybrid plan means that a portion of your retirement benefit comes from a pension plan that features guaranteed monthly payments for life, and a portion comes from a defined contribution investment plan, and the amount of money you earn from contributions by you and your employer and your personal investment choices.

Your Hybrid Plan – A-5 Class of Service

Your mandatory contribution toward your retirement benefit is 8.25% of your pay, which is split between the two plans with 5% going toward your pension and 3.25% going toward your investment plan.

Your employer’s mandatory contribution toward your pension is calculated each year based on the assets and liabilities of the SERS pension fund and their mandatory contribution toward your investment plan is 2.25% of your pay.

In general, the pension portion of your benefit is guaranteed to grow by 1.25% of your pay for each year you work for a SERS-participating employer. Income or loss in your investment plan is based on your investment choices and the markets.

Your Other Options

You have 45 days from your membership in SERS to choose to stay in your current hybrid plan A-5 class of service, or to switch to one of two other options.

Optional Hybrid Plan – A-6 Class of Service

Your mandatory contribution toward your retirement benefit would be 7.5% of your pay, which would be split between the two plans with 4% going toward your pension and 3.5% going toward your investment plan.

Your employer’s mandatory contribution toward your pension would be calculated each year based on the assets and liabilities of the SERS pension fund and their mandatory contribution toward your investment plan would be 2% of your pay.

In general, the pension portion of your benefit would be guaranteed to grow by 1% of your pay for each year you work for a SERS-participating employer. Income or loss in your investment plan would be based on your investment choices and the markets.

Optional Defined Contribution/Straight Investment Plan Option

Your mandatory contribution toward your investment plan would be 7.5% of your pay and your entire retirement benefit would be determined by the amount of money you invest, your investment choices, and the markets.

Resources to Help You Consider Your Options

When your SERS-participating employer adds you to their payroll, they include information like your home address. That payroll information is automatically sent to us. That is how we learn that you are a new SERS member. At that point we will mail you a welcome package that includes a letter with additional information and instruction, along with resources to help you choose your retirement benefit plan, including a New Employee Plan Comparison and a features and highlights of the defined benefit plan and a features and highlights of the defined contribution plan.  

benefit

Benefit Estimate Comparison Calculator
See the plan estimate comparison on the front page of the New Employee Plan Comparison.

SERS Materials & Counseling
SERS retirement counselors are available to help explain your options by calling 1.800.633.5461 or e-mailing ra-SERSretc@pa.gov.

Financial Planner/Tax Consultant
Discuss your options and share SERS materials with a certified financial planner and or tax consultant.