Employee retirement

Learn about retirement benefits for county employees.

 

 

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Required retirement plan: PERA

Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA)

As a county employee, you're required to take part in the retirement savings plan managed by the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA).

Money comes out of your paycheck pre-tax and the county contributes a separate amount. When you retire, you get a monthly payment for the rest of your life based on your age, earnings and years of service.    

You automatically become a member of PERA and don't have to do anything to create an account. 

Paycheck deductions and county contributions happen automatically:  

  • Most employees: 6.5% gross salary / 7.5% county contribution (14% total)
  • Correctional employees: 5.83% gross salary / 8.75% county contribution (14.58% total)
  • Police and fire employees: 10.8% gross salary/ 16.2% county contribution (27% total)

You can't withdraw the money from the PERA plan while still employed by the county. If you leave the county before you retire, you can either get a refund of what you paid in plus interest or leave the money in. A refund doesn't include the county's contribution. 

Some employees aren't allowed to take part in the PERA plan based on their job status.    

PERA offers retirement conferences and workshops. Find more about PERA retirement education.

PERA contact

651-296-7460
PERA website

Other select required plans

Health care savings plan for certain employee groups

Certain employee groups (union and nonunion) are required to enroll in the health care savings plan and enrollment is automatic. Money comes out of your paycheck pre-tax to pay for post-employment health care premiums and other costs. The money covers costs for you, your spouse, children up to age 26 and any dependents.

Health care savings plan employee groups (PDF)

Health care savings plan contact  

Minnesota State Retirement System
651-296-2761 or 1-800-657-5757
Minnesota State Retirement System

1% supplemental retirement plan (closed to new enrollees in 1982)

This plan only applies to employees hired or re-hired before April 14, 1982 who qualified and chose to take part in this plan. Enrollment closed April 14, 1982.

The plan administrator is Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS). To request a hardship withdrawal, contact MSRS.

1% supplemental retirement plan web page

1% supplemental retirement plan contact

Minnesota State Retirement System
651-296-2761 or 1-800-657-5757
Minnesota State Retirement System

Optional retirement plan: deferred compensation

Overview

Like a 401(k) plan, deferred compensation is a way to save for retirement. Deferred compensation lets you set aside money pre-tax, after-tax or both. The county doesn't contribute separate money into your deferred compensation plan.

You can’t withdraw the money until you either retire, resign or need the money for a financial hardship. Once you retire, you can leave the money in your plan or withdraw it.

You can set aside as much money into deferred compensation as the IRS allows:

  • Under age 50: yearly limit $18,500 
  • Over age 50: yearly limit $24,500
  • Within three years of normal retirement age: You may set aside money in each of the three years above the normal limit, up to $37,000
  • See this one-minute video for a quick overview about deferred compensation

    Enrolling in deferred compensation

    1. Choose a vendor. You can use more than one. For example you can have after-tax contributions with one and pre-tax contributions with another. You can change vendors and transfer money from one to another. Meeting with vendors is on your own time. 

    Vendor investment performance (PDF) 

    Vendor fees and compensation (PDF)

    Vendor services (PDF)

    2. Email HR benefits at hr.benefits@hennepin.us with:

    • Your name and employee ID number
    • Pre-tax dollar amount you want set aside each paycheck
    • After-tax dollar amount you want set aside each paycheck
    • Name of your vendor(s)

    You’ll see changes in your paycheck starting the month after we get your email.  

    Once you're enrolled

    Once you're enrolled in deferred compensation, you can increase, decrease or stop your contributions any time. Do this in APEX. 

    Rollovers from other employers 

    To roll money over:

    1. Set up a deferred compensation account with a county vendor
    2. Ask for rollover paperwork from the county vendor
    3. Ask for rollover paperwork from your former employer’s vendor
    4. Scan and email your paperwork to hr.benefits@hennepin.us
    5. We’ll sign and return your paperwork to the county vendor

    Withdrawals

    You can’t withdraw money from deferred compensation until you either retire, resign or need the money for a financial hardship. 

    You must get approval for the hardship withdrawal. The approval process differs depending on the vendor: 

    • If you have Fidelity or VOYA, email HR benefits at hr.benefits@hennepin.us to ask for a hardship withdrawal application. We’ll contact you about next steps. 
    • If you have Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan, call 651-296-2761
    • If you have the 1% supplemental retirement fund (for employees hired before April 14, 1982), call the Minnesota State Retirement System at 651-296-2761

    Pre-retirement planning

    Your retirement date

    Choose your retirement date six to 12 months ahead of time. Everything you do to prepare for retiring depends on your retirement date.

    Your remaining paid leave

    • Check the balance of your paid leave in APEX
    • You can take your remaining time off before you retire with your supervisor’s approval
    • You can also divert the cash value of your remaining paid leave into your deferred compensation plan, to add to your retirement savings
    • If you're in the health care savings plan, all or part of any remaining paid leave will automatically go into your health care savings plan 

    Sick leave and vacation

    • At least eight years of county employment: You receive pay for unused sick leave and vacation up to a lifetime cap of 800 hours
    • Less than eight years of county employment: You receive pay for unused vacation up to 280 hours. Sick leave is not paid out.

    PTO 

    • You receive pay for unused PTO up to 480 hours
    • If you converted to PTO from sick leave and vacation you receive pay for unused sick leave up to a lifetime cap of 800 hours and unused PTO up to 480 hours

    County pre-retirement seminars 

    You can attend one of the county’s pre-retirement seminars on county time with your supervisor’s approval and spouses are welcome. Register in APEX. 

    2018 seminars

    All seminars run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Auditorium:

    • Thursday, March 8, 2018
    • Thursday, June 7, 2018
    • Thursday, September 6, 2018
    • Thursday, December 6, 2018

    Seminar materials

    You can print or save these. We don’t hand these out at the seminar:

    PERA retirement education 

    The Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) also offers individual or group retirement conferences and pre-retirement workshops. Attendance is on your own time.

    Find more information about PERA retirement education

    Retirement checklist: 2-3 months before you retire

    Giving notice

    Complete the resignation/retirement form and give it to your supervisor. 

    Retirement notice (PDF)

    Setting up PERA payments 

    Continuing insurance after you retire 

    • To learn which benefits you can continue after you retire submit a completed benefits continuation form. Benefits continuation form (DOC)
    • You’ll get a letter describing the benefits and their cost
    • Scan and email the completed form to hr.benefits@hennepin.us or send it to HR benefits at mail code 040

    Using the health care savings plan and 1% Supplemental Retirement Plan

    Deciding how to use your deferred compensation

    Choice 1: Withdraw the money:

    • Ask your vendor for withdrawal paperwork
    • Scan and email the completed paperwork to HR benefits at hr.benefits@hennepin.us
    • We’ll sign and return the paperwork to your vendor
    • We’ll return the paperwork to your vendor after we issue your check for unused vacation, sick and PTO

    Choice 2: Leave the money in.

    Choice 3: Contribute the cash value of your remaining paid leave (sick time, vacation and PTO) into your plan:

    • If you don't have a deferred compensation plan you can set one up before you retire  

    • The cash value has a small amount of taxation before going into your deferred compensation plan

    Before your retirement date, email HR benefits at hr.benefits@hennepin.us with: 

    • Your name and ID number
    • Retirement date
    • Amount of after-tax money going into the plan and which vendor
    • Amount of pre-tax money going into the plan and which vendor

    Applying for Medicare (employees 65 and older) 

    • If you’re applying for Part B of Medicare, you must bring a completed Request for Employment Information form to Social Security. To request a completed form, email HR benefits at hr.benefits@hennepin.us.
    • Select a Medicare supplement plan. The county sponsors the Freedom Plan through HealthPartners. Call 952-883-7428 or visit HealthPartners. For information about other plans contact Senior Linkage Line at 1-800-333-2433.

    Submitting expenses for trade time for fitness and flexible spending accounts  

    • Send in any outstanding trade time for fitness expenses
    • Flexible spending accounts close on the day you retire. You can only use money in the account for expenses you had while actively working.

    Cancelling transit cards

    • MetroPass: Submit a completed cancellation form and your card to HR benefits at mail code 040 by the 23rd of the month you retire. MetroPass cancellation form (DOCX)
    • Go-To card deduction: Cancel it in APEX

    Printable checklist

    Retirement checklist: 2-3 months before you retire (PDF)

    Final paychecks

    If you have direct deposit, the check goes into your bank. Otherwise it goes to your home address listed in APEX. To get a hard copy of your last regular paycheck or other final checks, ask your HR APEX contact to mail copies to your home.

    Final checks:

    • Last regular paycheck: You receive this on the normal pay schedule. It's taxed normally. Deductions also come out for charitable contributions, college savings plan and Minnesota Benefits Association.
    • Unused sick leave, vacation and PTO: You receive this two weeks after your last regular paycheck and it's taxed
    • Unused compensatory time, deferred holiday time and banked special leave without pay: you receive this two weeks after your last regular paycheck and it's taxed. PERA contributions also come out.
    • Retention pay (formerly called stability pay): You receive this two weeks after your last regular paycheck and it's taxed. The amount of retention pay depends on how many pay periods you worked since the last payment.
    • Health care savings plan members: Your retention pay may automatically be deposited into your plan

    Phased retirement

    Approval required 

    If your department allows it and you qualify under PERA rules, you can take part in phased retirement.

    Phased retirement allows eligible employees to receive PERA retirement benefits while working part time:

    1. Talk to your supervisor to see if phased retirement is available to you.
    2. To determine if you qualify under PERA rules, visit the phased retirement web page.
    3. If you qualify, send the completed phased retirement agreement form to PERA with a copy to your HR APEX contact.
    4. Scan and email a copy to HR benefits at hr.benefits@hennepin.us.  
    5. Qualified current employees can enroll through June 30, 2019.

    Choice 1: Stay in your current position and cut your hours

    Sick leave, vacation or paid time off

    You keep your balances and continue to earn sick leave, vacation and paid time off at your current rate, based on your part time hours.

    Short- and long-term disability

    You lose these benefits. 

    Early retiree health insurance plan

    Your original hire date and years of service determine if you qualify.

    1% supplemental retirement

    If you have this benefit, it continues.

    Choice 2: Resign and get re-hired at fewer hours within six months

    Payout of unused sick leave, vacation or paid time off

    You get paid when you resign.  

    Sick leave, vacation or paid time off after rehire

    You may ask your supervisor if you can earn these hours at the same rate you did before you resigned. 

    Short- and long-term disability

    You lose these benefits. 

    Early retiree health insurance plan

    Your original hire date and years of service determine if you qualify. 

    1% supplemental retirement

    You still have your account but no longer make contributions.

    Continuing your insurance after you retire

    Dental, vision, life and flexible spending account

    Regardless of your age at retirement you can continue these benefits at your own expense:

    • Dental insurance for as long as you want 
    • Vision insurance for up to 18 months
    • Life insurance for up to 18 months
    • Flexible spending account – health care expense account to the end of the plan year

    Process

    1. You’ll receive a packet from 121 Benefits, the county’s COBRA administrator 
    2. Mark the election form with your benefit choices 
    3. Sign the form
    4. Send the signed form and a check for the first month’s cost to 121 Benefits
    5. Continue to send monthly payments to 121 Benefits

    Health insurance: retiring at age 65 or older

    If you retire at age 65 or older you can’t continue your health insurance with the county. 

    You have the option of buying a Medicare supplement plan. The county sponsors a Medicare supplement plan through HealthPartners called the Freedom Plan. If you enroll in the Freedom Plan, your spouse can also enroll in that plan, if your spouse is at least 65 and is covered by a county health plan. Call 952-883-7428 and mention Hennepin County. For information about other Medicare supplement plans call Senior Linkage Line at 1-800-333-2433.

    Your spouse, if under age 65, can continue with the county’s health plan so long as they’re on the employee health plan at the time you retire.

    The premium is the full premium plus 2%:

    • Standard: $831.87 per month
    • Advantage: HealthPartners/Park Nicolle or Fairview/North Memorial/HealthEast = $764.65 per month
    • Advantage: HCMC/NorthPoint = $710.93 per month

    Your spouse can stay on the county's plan either up to 36 months or until age 65, if you're enrolled in the county-sponsored Freedom Plan through HealthPartners.

    Health insurance: retiring before age 65 

    • If you retire while under age 65 and meet other criteria, you can receive a county contribution toward the cost of your health insurance as if you are still working
    • The county contribution applies to the employee-only portion, and not for the cost of any dependents
    • The county contribution lasts until the end of the month you turn 65  

    To qualify for early retiree health insurance, you must meet all three of these:

    1. You must be under age 65  

    2. You must belong to one of these groups with no break in service:

    • Non-union regular employees hired or rehired on or before January 1, 2007  
    • Union regular employees hired or rehired on or before January 1, 2008 and did not opt-out of early retiree health coverage 
    • Unclassified employees hired or rehired on or before January 1, 2007 
    • Elected officials who took office on or before January 1, 2007

    3. You must meet one of these:

    a. You are:

    • At least age 55 with 20 years of service 
    • At least age 62 with 15 years of service 
    • At least age 63 with 14 years of service 
    • At least age 64 with 13 years of service 

    b. You’ve been approved for a full retirement payment from a public retirement plan (like PERA) based on at least 10 years with the county. An example is the Rule of 90.

    c. You’ve been approved for a retirement payment from a public retirement plan (like PERA) based on at least 25 years of pension credit (time that counts toward earning retirement benefits), at least 10 of those with the county

    Employee-only monthly cost

    Health insurance - with county contribution 

    • Standard: $90
    • Advantage: Fairview/North Memorial/HealthEast = $56.86
    • Advantage: HealthPartners/Park Nicollet = $56.86
    • Advantage: HCMC/NorthPoint = $23.72

    Health insurance - you pay full cost 

    • Standard: $815.56
    • Advantage: Fairview/North Memorial/HealthEast = $749.66
    • Advantage: HealthPartners/Park Nicollet = $749.66
    • Advantage: HCMC/NorthPoint = $696.99

    Other insurance costs

    • Dental insurance: $41.08
    • Vision insurance: $5.33
    • Life insurance: $3.67 per month for a basic life plan of $30,000 coverage. For supplemental insurance, refer to your packet from 121 Benefits.
    • Flexible spending account – health care expense account: You can continue with post-tax dollars

    Employee and spouse monthly cost

    If you’re already married and want to add your spouse to your insurance before you retire, you cannot do so unless it’s during open enrollment or if you have a life event before you retire.

    Health insurance - with county contribution 

    • Standard: $1,190.94
    • Advantage: Fairview/North Memorial/HealthEast = $1,068.88
    • Advantage: HealthPartners/Park Nicollet = $1,068.88
    • Advantage: HCMC/NorthPoint = $964.60

    Health insurance - you pay full cost 

    • Standard: $1,916.50
    • Advantage: Fairview/North Memorial/HealthEast = $1,761.68
    • Advantage: HealthPartners/Park Nicollet = $1,761.68
    • Advantage: HCMC/NorthPoint = $1,637.87

    Other insurance costs

    • Dental insurance: $91.91
    • Vision insurance: $10.01
    • Life insurance: $3.67 per month for a basic life plan of $30,000 coverage. For supplemental insurance, refer to your packet from 121 Benefits.
    • Flexible spending account – health care expense account: You can continue with post-tax dollars

    Employee and children monthly cost

    Health insurance - with county contribution 

    • Standard: $742.44
    • Advantage: Fairview/North Memorial/HealthEast = $656.59
    • Advantage: HealthPartners/Park Nicollet = $656.59
    • Advantage: HCMC/NorthPoint = $681.27

    Health insurance - you pay full cost 

    • Standard: $1,468
    • Advantage: Fairview/North Memorial/HealthEast = $1,349.39
    • Advantage: HealthPartners/Park Nicollet = $1,349.39
    • Advantage: HCMC/NorthPoint = $1,254.54

    Other insurance costs

    • Dental insurance: $91.91
    • Vision insurance: $10.53
    • Life insurance: $3.67 per month for a basic life plan of $30,000 coverage. For supplemental insurance, refer to your packet from 121 Benefits.
    • Flexible spending account – health care expense account: You can continue with post-tax dollars

    Family monthly cost

    Health insurance - with county contribution 

    • Standard: $1,517.18
    • Advantage: Fairview/North Memorial/HealthEast = $1,368.73
    • Advantage: HealthPartners/Park Nicollet = $1,368.73
    • Advantage: HCMC/NorthPoint = $1243.41

    Health insurance - you pay full cost 

    • Standard: $2,242.74
    • Advantage: Fairview/North Memorial/HealthEast = $2,061.53
    • Advantage: HealthPartners/Park Nicollet = $2,061.53
    • Advantage: HCMC/NorthPoint = $1,916.68

    Other insurance costs

    • Dental insurance: $91.91
    • Vision insurance: $15.60
    • Life insurance: $3.67 per month for a basic life plan of $30,000 coverage. For supplemental insurance, refer to your packet from 121 Benefits.
    • Flexible spending account – health care expense account: You can continue with post-tax dollars

    Contact information

    Insurance

    Health, dental, vision and life insurance

    121 Benefits 
    612-877-4321 or 1-800-300-1672 
    121 Benefits website 

    Dental insurance

    HealthPartners 
    952-883-5000 
    HealthPartners website

    Health incentive

    Hennepin County HealthWorks
    612-348-4628 

    If you’re under 65

    PreferredOne
    763-847-4477 
    PreferredOne website   

    Retirement savings plans

    Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA)

    651-296-7460 
    PERA website  

    Health Care Savings Plan

    651-296-2761 
    Minnesota State Retirement System website

    1% Supplemental Retirement Plan

    651-296-2761 
    Minnesota State Retirement System website

    VOYA

    612-492-0202 
    VOYA website

    Fidelity

    1-800-343-0860 
    Fidelity website

    Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan

    651-296-2761 
    Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan website   

    Flexible spending account

    121 Benefits  
    612-877-4321 or 1-800-300-1672 
    121 Benefits website

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