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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 and receive an offsetting 5% salary increase. For more information, see the FAQs for 5% Salary Increase & 5% Employee Contribution under “Links & Resources” below. VRS members are “vested” when they have five years of VRS service credit.
Service Retirement is a defined benefit based on a member’s average final compensation, years of service, and age at retirement.
- Plan 1: Members with service credit before July 1, 2010, 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.
Visit the VRS Web site to see a detailed table comparing the two plans.
Disability Retirement—You may apply for disability retirement if you become unable to perform your job because of a physical or mental disability and the disability is most likely to be permanent. For more information, see the Applying for Disability Retirement Booklet.
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.
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.