What is a “retirement allowance” and how is it calculated?

Your retirement allowance is based upon a formula which takes into consideration the length of your Town employment, your pensionable compensation, a rate of benefit determined by your collective bargaining agreement, and whether or not you have contributed fully to the Retirement System. This type of plan is called a “defined benefit pension plan.” The Town 401(k), 457 b and 403b plans are known as a “defined contribution savings plans.”

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1. What is a “retirement allowance” and how is it calculated?
2. What is “includable” or “pensionable” compensation”?
3. When can I retire?
4. What is the maximum amount I can receive as a retirement allowance?
5. What is vesting and how long does it take to vest my pension benefit?
6. Do I receive service credit for active military service?
7. Does military service credit count toward my vesting?
8. Once I am vested, if I leave Town employment before I retire, am I still eligible to receive my retirement allowance when I reach retirement age or the Rule of 80?
9. Are contributions to the Plan mandatory?
10. Can I make up my contribution deficiency?
11. Are my contributions made on a before-tax or after-tax basis?
12. What rate of interest do my contributions earn?
13. What options are available to me at the time of retirement?
14. What happens to my contributions if I die or leave Town employment before I am vested?
15. What happens to my contributions if I die after I’m vested, but before I retire?
16. What happens to my contributions at the time of my death, after I retire?
17. Who can I name as my beneficiary?
18. Does my choice of beneficiary impact my retirement allowance?
19. Can I change my beneficiary at a later date?
20. Can I borrow against my pension contributions?
21. Can I roll over contributions that I made to another plan into the Defined Benefit Plan?
22. If I work as a full-time employee for the Town, leave, and return to full-time employment with the Town at a later date, do I receive credit for my first period of service?
23. How do I obtain an estimate of my retirement allowance?
24. I have a date set for when I want to retire. How do I initiate the retirement process?