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VRS Plan Information

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) administers retirement plans, life insurance plans, and related services for its active members. Eligible members include full-time salaried, permanent employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia, participating local cities, towns, political subdivisions, and all Virginia school boards. Henrico County participates in the Virginia Retirement System and pays the employer contribution of an eligible employee’s salary. Effective July 1, 2012, as required by the Virginia General Assembly, eligible employees will contribute 5% of their salary to their member accounts.  Also effective July 1, 2012, salaries of eligible employees were increased 5% to offset the required employee VRS contribution. VRS members are “vested” when they have five years of VRS service credit.

There are three VRS Plans - See the detailed Plan Comparison Guide and visit the VRS Web site at www.varetire.org for the latest information and resources.

      • Plan 1: Members with service credit before July 1, 2010, and vested as of January 1, 2013, are eligible to retire with unreduced benefits at age 65, with at least five years of service, or at age 50 with at least 30 years of service. An employee’s highest consecutive 36 months of creditable compensation is used as the average final compensation.
      • Plan 2: Members hired or rehired on or after July 1, 2010, with no pre-July 1 service credit are eligible to retire with an unreduced benefit at their normal social security retirement age with at least five years of service credit or when age and service equal 90. An employee’s highest consecutive 60 months of creditable compensation is used as the average final compensation.

For Plan 1 and Plan 2, service retirement is a defined benefit based on a member’s average final compensation, years of service, and age at retirement. VRS Plan 1 and Plan 2 members may apply for disability retirement benefits if they become unable to perform their job because of a physical or mental disability and the disability is most likely to be permanent.

      • Hybrid Plan: This plan applies to most members hired on or after January 1, 2014 with no prior VRS service credit. This plan also applies to eligible VRS Plan 1 and VRS Plan 2 members who elected to opt into the plan during the election window that was held January 1 – April 30, 2014 for an effective date of July 1, 2014. Public safety employees covered by enhanced hazardous duty benefits are not eligible for the Hybrid Plan. This plan offers a defined benefit component and defined contribution component (similar to 401k). The Hybrid Plan does not offer disability retirement benefits; instead, Hybrid Plan members have a separate program of short and long term disability benefits and a separate County sick leave accrual plan.
      • Hybrid Retirement Plan Information Resources:

Retirement Planning

Thinking about retiring from Henrico County? You can visit the Benefits Division’s Retirement Web page to learn about VRS benefits, retiree health and dental coverage, and other tools to help you plan for retirement.

Purchase of Prior Service

You may be able to increase your VRS benefit by purchasing prior service credit. Prior service is a period of service that has not been credited to your VRS service record because it was not covered by VRS or it was covered service for which your previously took a refund. Because the amount of your benefit is based on your years of service credit, purchasing prior service credit can increase your monthly retirement benefit. VRS allows eligible members to purchase time for: certain leaves of absence, non-covered service with a participating employer, public service, active duty military service, and VRS refunded service. The cost and time frame to purchase this service is based on whether you are in Plan 1 or Plan 2. For more information on purchasing prior service, visit the VRS purchase of prior service Web page. In order to initiate a purchase of prior service, a member needs to complete the Application to Purchase Prior Service Credit (Form VRS-26). When a completed form is submitted to VRS, a cost letter is generated for the member. The letter provides cost information and  payment options, which may include payroll deduction, lump-sum payment, or trustee-to-trustee transfer.

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