[email protected]      Toll-free: 1-888-275-5737 or Topeka: 785-296-6166

Leaving Employment

If You Leave KPERS Before Retirement

decorative image, exit sign representing leaving employment

Looking for retirement info, see Retirement Info Center

Things to Consider

Regarding Your Contributions:
  • If you're vested, you are guaranteed a retirement benefit if you leave your funds here.
  • If you're not vested, you need to withdraw within 5 years.
  • You can withdraw after 31 days.
  • If you withdraw, a direct rollover is the best way to avoid federal taxes and penalties.

Helpful Information

Keep KPERS Updated

It's important to keep your beneficiary current. Beneficiaries receive your account balance, or your spouse can receive a monthly benefit if you meet the criteria. Designation of Beneficiary form

It's also important to keep your address information current with us. While you are working, we send important information through your employer. When you leave employment, we send information directly to you. Send a completed address form to the Retirement System when you leave employment and anytime your address changes. Change of Address form. Or update your address in your online account.

When You Can't Withdraw

In some cases, you are still considered employed and cannot withdraw. Talk to your designated agent about your options.

  • Leave of absence
  • Military service
  • Move to a position not covered by KPERS with the same employer

For Correctional Members

You will now become a regular inactive KPERS member. Regular KPERS age and service requirements will apply when you retire. Your benefits will have a greater reduction for early retirement.

Leaving Employment and Your Retirement System Benefits for KPERS Correctional Officers (PDF, 270KB)

You must work in a Group A or B position at least three years immediately before retirement and retire the first day of the month following your last day on the payroll to be eligible for Correctional age and service requirement.

Life Insurance

Your Options

Life insurance ends when you leave or move to a position not covered by KPERS.* However, you can continue your coverage on your own. You have until 60 days after you end employment to submit your form.

You have 2 options, depending on whether you have employee or spouse coverage.

*Note: KP&F members do not have basic life insurance coverage. KPERS members moving to a Board of Regents position keep their life insurance coverage.

Questions? Talk to your employer or contact The Standard.

Contact Standard Insurance Company

KPERS Optional Group Life Insurance Benefits are underwritten by Standard Insurance Company

The Standard Branch Office
800 SW Jackson, Ste 1110
Topeka, KS 66612

Toll Free: 1-844-289-2306
Fax: 913-661-9243
Email: [email protected]

Guaranteeing Your Benefit (Vesting)

"Vesting" means you have earned enough service credit to guarantee a retirement benefit, even if you leave employment. Vesting is important when deciding whether to withdraw.

Retirement System

You Are Vested When You Have...
KPERS 1 5 years of service
KPERS 2 5 years of service
KP&F Tier I 20 years of service
KP&F Tier II 15 years of service
Judges At election or appointment

Six months or more is rounded up for vesting. Example: 4.5 years rounds up to 5 years.

If you have participated in more than one Retirement System, you may be able to combine
years of service credit towards vesting.

If You Are Vested

You are guaranteed a monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life if you leave your contributions in your account. Often, if you have a significant amount of service, your benefit is more valuable than your actual contributions. If you keep your contributions with the Retirement System, you can apply for retirement benefits when you become eligible. They will continue to earn interest and you can withdraw at any time if you change your mind.

If you do not withdraw, and you return to covered employment, you will immediately become an active member again and keep your service credit.

If You Are Not Vested

You are not guaranteed a retirement benefit. You need to withdraw your account within 5 years. After 5 years, your contributions stop earning interest and you forfeit your service credit.

If you do not withdraw or retire and you return to employment within 5 years, you will immediately become an active member again and keep your service credit.

Withdrawal Options & Process

You can apply to withdraw anytime 31 days after you end employment. If you withdraw, you will give up all Retirement System rights, benefits and service credit. Employer contributions made on your behalf stay with the Retirement System.

You can receive your contributions and interest as a direct payment to you or roll over the amount into an eligible retirement plan. The decision to withdraw could affect your financial future, especially if you have many years of public service and accumulated contributions. Seek professional tax advice before withdrawing.

Options for Withdrawing Your Contributions

Option #1

Roll your contributions over into an eligible retirement plan. This option allows you to defer paying taxes later.

  • 457(b) deferred compensation plan
  • 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity
  • 401(k) plan
  • Traditional IRA
Option #2
Have your contributions paid directly to you. You will owe federal taxes
and possibly a 10% federal penalty.
Reasons to Rollover Contributions Instead of Taking a Direct Payment
  • Preserve your past efforts toward saving for retirement.
  • Keep from paying taxes right away, giving your money more time to compound.
  • Avoid paying federal penalties for early distribution.

The Withdrawal Process

  • Complete an Application for Withdrawal of Contributions. You can download one from our forms page, get one from your designated agent or call our office at 1-888-275-5737 to receive one by mail.
  • Once we receive your completed application, please allow four weeks for payment.
  • KPERS will send you a 1099-R tax form the following January for your federal income tax return.
  Helpful Links

Kansas Public Employees Retirement System
611 S. Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66603
Toll-free: 1 888 - 275-5737