The Houston County retirement program is made up of multiple parts: Social Security and either the Teacher's Retirement System (TRS) or the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), and the HCBE Supplemental Retirement plan options. District employees are required to participate in either TRS or PSERS. In addition to the required retirement plans, you may also participate in the supplemental 403(b), 457(b), and Roth plans.
The Teacher's Retirement System (TRS) is a defined benefit plan, meaning participants are guaranteed a set monthly retirement income from the plan. Eligible positions include: Certified Teachers, Administrators, Clerical Staff, Paraprofessionals, Lead Custodians, and School Nutrition Managers.
The Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) is the retirement system for public school employees who are not eligible to participate in TRS. This is also a defined benefit plan, so participants are guaranteed a set monthly retirement income. PSERS retirement income supplements income from Social Security, and positions include: Maintenance and Custodial Staff, School Nutrition, Bus Drivers and Monitors, Transportation, and Warehouse staff.
The Supplemental Retirement Plans can help employees supplement their state retirement plan by offering enrollment in a 403(b), 457(b), or Roth IRA. These plans are available to all employees and are managed by AIG Retirement Services (Valic).
How Does It Work? All TRS employees contribute 6% of gross salary to TRS through monthly payroll deduction. In addition, HCBE contributes 19.81% to each TRS employee’s retirement account monthly.
TRS members are vested with 10 years of creditable service and eligible to receive a monthly retirement benefit at the:
The amount you will receive at retirement is based on 2%, multiplied by your years of creditable service, multiplied by the average of your highest consecutive 24 months of pay.
2% x 30 years = 60%
Average of highest 24 consecutive months of pay = $70,000
60% x $ 70,000 = $ 42,000 / year
You may contact TRS at 800-352-0650 to request a benefit estimate be mailed to you. You may also generate a benefit estimate online by following the TRS Benefit Estimate Instructions found in the Resources section.
How Does It Work? Participants in PSERS hired before 7/1/2012 contribute $4 monthly for a 9-month contribution period of September through May each year. Employees hired after 7/1/2012, without prior PSERS qualifying service, contribute $10 monthly for the 9-month period.
PSERS members are vested with 10 years of creditable service and eligible to receive a monthly retirement benefit at the:
The amount you receive in retirement is based on your years of creditable service multiplied by a set dollar amount. The current amount set by the Georgia General Assembly is $15.75 (effective July 1, 2021).
For example, an employee with 30 years of creditable service would receive a monthly benefit based on the calculation of: $15.75 X 30 years of service = $472.50 per month.
You may contact PSERS at 800-805-4609 to request a benefit estimate be mailed to you. You may also generate a benefit estimate online by following the PSERS Benefit Estimate Instructions found in the Resources section.
A video of the retirement benefits available through PSERS is available here.
Employees may supplement their state retirement plan by electing to participate in either the 403(b) Plan, the 457(b) Plan, or Roth IRA’s. These plans are available to all employees and managed by AIG Retirement Services.
Additionally, employees in a PSERS covered position are eligible to participate in the HCBE $1 for $1 matching supplemental retirement plan. HCBE will match $1 for $1 contributions up to 5% of base compensation for eligible employees who contribute to the 403 (b) matching plan. New employees eligible for the matching plan are automatically enrolled in the $1 for $1 matching supplemental retirement plan at 2% of their base compensation. For example, if you earn $1,000 a month and contribute $50 to the Supplemental Retirement Plan, then HCBE will match your $50 contribution. The money you contribute is pre-taxed, so your $50 contribution is only about $25 out of your pay check. That’s a $100 benefit that is only costing you about $25 a month. To opt out of participating in this plan, or make changes to your contributions, employees should complete an opt-out/change form and contact John Lamberth, our AIG Retirement Services (VALIC) Advisor at 478-319-7832 or John.Lamberth@aig.com.
FutureFit is a financial wellness tool available from AIG Retirement Services that provides education through a series of playlists. You can access this useful tool here.
For more information about how medical coverage is handled in retirement, click here.
If you are ready to file for retirement, please use the contact information below for the appropriate person in the Benefits Office.
Teacher's Retirement System (TRS)
478-988-6244, ext. 1975
Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS)
478-988-6244, ext. 1976