State Retirement and Pension System (SRPS-Alternate)

Employees’ And Teachers’ Alternate Pension System

How SRPS Benefits
Are Determined
The SRPS is the State Retirement and Pension System defined benefit plan that provides benefits based on a specific formula. This formula takes into account your years of creditable service and your final average salary. When you retire, you have several payment options to choose from.
Contributions to the SRPS Each year, the State contributes a certain percentage of your salary to the SRPS which is determined annually by the State System’s actuary. You must contribute 7% of your annual salary.
Investment
Management
Several professional investment managers who are selected and monitored by the Board of Trustees of the SRPS invest the assets of the SRPS. Any investment losses or funding shortfalls are the responsibility of the State of Maryland.
Benefit
Calculation
Your retirement benefit is calculated using the following formula:

.012 times Average Final Salary (AFS) times Years of Credit to 6/30/98
plus
.018 times Average Final Salary (AFS) times Years of Credit after 6/30/98
equals
Annual Basic Allowance

Annual Basic Allowance divided by 12 = Monthly Basic Allowance

Retirement Benefit Eligibility Benefits are available through normal, early, vested, or disability retirement.
Normal Retirement You may retire with unreduced benefits:

  • at any age with 30 years of eligibility service,
  • at age 62 with at least five years of eligibility services,
  • at age 63 with four years of eligibility service,
  • at age 64 with three years of eligibility service, or
  • at age 65 or older with two years of eligibility service.

 

Vested
Retirement
Former employees may receive benefits if they were vested (had at least 5 years of eligibility service) when they terminated employment.

Your benefit is calculated using your total creditable service at termination, since no additional service is earned after termination. If you terminate employment with at least 15 years of eligibility service, you may elect a reduced monthly benefit beginning at age 55. Any benefit payable before age 62 will be reduced by 1/2% for each month you retire before age 62. If you wait until age 62, you receive a full retirement allowance.

Disability
Retirement
There are two types of disability retirement benefits: ordinary and accidental. To qualify for ordinary disability retirement, you must be permanently disabled and have at least five years of eligibility service. Accidental disability benefits are paid if you are permanently and totally disabled as the direct result of a job-incurred injury.
Ordinary
Disability Benefit
Creditable service is based on actual service when disabled, plus years and months of service to age 62. If you are working part-time when disabled, service is projected as part-time.
Accidental Disability Benefit Unlike ordinary disability, accidental disability does not make use of the normal service retirement formula. The accidental benefit is based on two-thirds of an employee’s average final salary at the time of disability, regardless of the member’s age.
Early Retirement If you retire early (age 55 with at least 15 years service), your monthly benefit will be equal to your pension benefit, reduced by 1/2% for each month you retire before age 62.

 

Survivor/Death Benefits If you die after retirement, your benefit will be determined by the payment option you selected. If you die as a former employee eligible for a vested benefit, your contributions are paid in a lump sum to your designated beneficiary (ies) or estate. If you die before retirement, your designated beneficiary(ies) or estate will receive:

  • a lump-sum benefit equal to your contribution plus interest (is you contributed), and
  • a lump sum equal to 100% of your salary if you had at least one year of service or died in the performance of duty.

Your surviving spouse may have a choice of selecting a monthly retirement benefit instead of the lump-sum payments described above, provided:

  • you were at least age 62 when you died, and you named your surviving spouse as your sole primary beneficiary,
OR
  • you had at least 25 years of eligibility service (regardless of age) when you die and you named your surviving spouse as your sole primary beneficiary,
OR
  • you were at least age 55 when you died, had 15 or more years ofeligibility service, and named your surviving spouse as your sole primary beneficiary.

You may change beneficiaries at any time before retirement by submitting the applicable change form to your Campus Benefits Counselor.

 

How Benefits Are
Paid
You have several payment options from which to choose. You may choose to receive monthly payments throughout your lifetime with all benefits ending when you die. This option is called the basic allowance and provides the maximum monthly benefit for you alone. Under this option there is no beneficiary benefit. You may select an option that reduces your monthly benefit but provides varying degrees of protection for your beneficiary(ies). You may choose one of the following options:

  • Option 1 guarantees a return of your contributions (if any) with interest plus the State’s contributions with interest. If you die before receiving the full guaranteed amount, the remainder is paid in a single lump-sum payment to your beneficiary(ies).
  • Option 2 guarantees that at your death your entire monthly benefit will continue to be paid to your beneficiary for the remainder of their lifetime. Payments end upon the death of your beneficiary.
  • Option 3 guarantees upon your death that your beneficiary receives 50% of your monthly benefit for the remainder of their lifetime. Payment ends upon the death of your beneficiary.
  • Option 4 guarantees a return of your contributions with interest. If you die before receiving the full guaranteed amount, the remainder is paid in single lump sum to your beneficiary(ies).
  • Option 5 guarantees upon your death that your beneficiary receives your entire monthly benefit for their lifetime. However, if your beneficiary dies before you, your reduced benefit is increased to the amount you would have received if you elected your basic allowance.
  • Option 6 guarantees your surviving beneficiary a lifetime monthly benefit equal to 50% of your monthly benefit. However, if your beneficiary dies before you, your reduced benefit is increased to the amount you would have received if you elected your basic allowance.
Cost-of-Living
Increases
When you retire under the SRPS program, you may receive an annual cost-of-living increase to your basic retirement benefit. The amount is based on increases in the average Consumer Price Index — All Urban Index as determined by the US. Department of Labor. Members of the Contributory Pension System receive a compounded COLA, meaning that the increase is applied to the current allowance. However, your increase cannot exceed 3% per year for service earned before July 1, 2011. For service earned on and after July 1, 2011 the Cost-of-Living Adjustment will be capped at 2.5% when the System earns its assumed rate of return (currently 7.75%) or capped at 1% in years when the interest assumption is not met. You will receive your cost-of-living increase each July 1, provided you have been retired for at least one full year as of July 1.

 

Last updated: June 25, 2013