Reciprocity is the combining of service credit earned in TRS with service credit earned in another state administered retirement system for determining retirement eligibility.
The state-funded retirement systems include:
- Kentucky Employees’ Retirement System
- County Employees’ Retirement System
- State Police Retirement System
- Legislators Retirement Plan
- Judicial Retirement Plan
- Teachers’ Retirement System
Reciprocity laws are applicable to members who have established membership and maintained active accounts in more than one of these state-funded retirement systems. These laws allow members to determine their eligibility for retirement benefits by combining service credit in all systems.
It is important to remember you must qualify for retirement in both systems. It is your responsibility to check with the other state administered retirement system to ensure you meet the requirements and are eligible to retire from their system. Also, you must retire from TRS and the other state administered retirement system on the same date. Failure to do such will result in retirement being voided.
Members can never receive more than a total of one year of service credit for any fiscal year when service credit from all retirement systems in which they have participated is added together.
Each retirement system will calculate your annuity separately and you will receive a separate check from each system. Your TRS final average salary is based either on the five highest annual salaries or, if you qualify, the three highest, regardless of the system under which the service was rendered. Under TRS, members with at least 27 years of Kentucky service credit and who are at least 55 at the time of their initial retirement are eligible to have their final average salary based upon their three highest annual salaries in the calculation of the TRS retirement annuity. Under the reciprocity laws, calculation of retirement allowances will be based on the formula in effect for each retirement system involved.
Any legally required reductions in annuity payments will be applied by each system according to the laws and administrative regulations governing that system. In lieu of combined service accounts, a member may request in writing that each retirement account be kept separate. Unless you make a written request to separate your accounts, you must file all necessary forms and documents with each retirement system from which you are retiring before a retirement allowance is payable from any retirement system. If combining service with any of the other Kentucky public retirement systems, please contact each system for the necessary forms in order to retire from that system properly.
Reciprocity members who are actively employed in a position covered by one of the reciprocal systems may be eligible for TRS life insurance and survivor benefits, even when no longer working in a TRS-covered position.