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PSERS Employees

What retirement option is best for me?

The Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System gives you quite a few options to choose from when you retire, and we know how important selecting the right one is. The best one for you will depend heavily on your individual circumstances, and we can help point you in the right direction. 

We offer a free consultation for those retiring with PSERS/SERS. We will perform an analysis of each pension option, as well as a projection of how long each would last in any given scenario and advise you on taking lump sum vs. leaving money in the pension system. 

Some of the most common areas of concern and questions that come up in our meetings:

1. Is the option I pick really that important?

Yes, since once an option is picked it can't be undone. Depending on your needs or the needs of your spouse, there are different strategies that we can utilize to maximize what you receive from your pension over the long-term, so it is very important to be aware of all the possibilities before making a decision.

2. I've heard that I can use life insurance to maximize my pension amount? How does that work?

Depending on your individual health and circumstances, sometimes it is more beneficial to take the maximum pension amount, then fund a life insurance policy for your spouse or beneficiary instead of choosing a survivor option. Life insurance death benefits are normally paid out tax-free, while survivor pension payments are taxed. This way you get the maximum pension amount possible, while also leaving your beneficiary with potentially more money than they would have received if you had chosen a survivor option. This is one example of the kind of strategies that we will review with you to see what will benefit you the most.

3. What should I do with the lump sum amount?

Normally retirees roll this into an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA. Once there, we have more investment options to choose from as well as other advantages that were not available if left in the pension system. Be aware that money left in the pension system is not guaranteed a return or a cost of living increase, but money that is rolled into an IRA can be invested according to your specific goals as well as stay above inflation.

4. How do I roll over my lump sum?

The PSERS or SERS paperwork has a section that pertains to this. This is something that we can assist you with as part of our retirement planning process.

If you have any questions or would like additional information about how we help PSERS and SERS employees, please feel free to contact us by clicking on the button below.

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with your CPA or qualified tax advisor.

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