Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

How to Apply

​Once you have determined you are ready to retire, KRS can assist you with the process of applying for your benefits.

Create your online account to calculate benefit estimates, service purchase calculations, and even apply for retirement. Simply log in to Member Self Service (MSS) and click Apply for Retirement to begin the retirement process. Note: To successfully submit your retirement paperwork via MSS, you will be required to provide your four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you do not know your PIN, you may request one in the second step of the MSS registration process.

A member considering retirement within the next two years should obtain a benefit estimate to better determine their retirement benefits.

Once a member retires, their MSS account converts to Retiree Self Service, allowing the member to access their retired account information, reenroll for health insurance, update tax withholding information, and more.​

*In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, KRS has temporarily suspended in-person PREP programs. To learn more and to view a PREP program presentation, visit the PREP pageor check out the Webinars and Videos page.

A Pre-Retirement Education Program (PREP) is a comprehensive program for Tier 1 and Tier 2 members within two to five years of retirement eligibility. These programs are tailored to members approaching retirement who wish to understand how their retirement benefits are calculated, how to determine their health insurance, reemployment after retirement, and more. The PREP schedule is promoted on the KRS website under Members > Outreach and Programs > PREP. Also, those members that meet the requirements to attend with a valid email address on file will be notified once a schedule is released.

Contact one of our experienced Retirement Benefit Counselors to discuss how KRS can best meet your needs. Some members find that a visit to our Frankfort office isn't necessary, while others may require an in-person appointment. You may speak with a counselor or schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-928-4646. KRS office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm ET. Note: Appointments are required to meet with a counselor in-person.

To determine if you meet the requirements to have an in-person appointment with a KRS Retirement Benefit Counselor, visit our FYI-Page.

​Now that you have calculated various retirement dates and scenarios on MSS, it's time to determine your retirement date. Your effective retirement date is always the first day of the month and your termination date must precede your retirement date. Your retirement date and termination cannot be the same.  

​Log in to myretirement.ky.gov and click Apply for Retirement on the home page. Carefully follow the instructions throughout the retirement module and review your information before submitting your application.

For additional instructions to complete your online retirement application, visit Managing Your Retirement Account

You may also file for retirement by applying for retirement on our paper application. Complete the Form 6000, Notification of Retirement and mail or fax to the address/fax number on the form.

Required Documents

Member date of birth verification: Provide a legible copy of your birth cer​tificate, driver's license or passport, a court order, or immigration and/or naturalization documents.

Beneficiary date of birth verification: Provide a legible copy of the beneficiary's birth certificate, driver's license or passport, a court order, or immigration and/or naturalization documents.

Dependent date of birth verification: Provide a legible copy of the dependent's birth certificate, driver's license or passport, a court order, or immigration and/or naturalization documents.

Name change verification due to marriage/divorce: Provide a legible copy of your Social Security card, marriage certificate, or divorce decree.

Proof of Medicare A and B for member and/or dependents: Provide a copy of your Medicare card with effective dates of coverage or a letter from Medicare stating the effective dates of coverage.

Social Security statement: Provide a copy of your Personal Earnings Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES).

Direct deposit information: Provide a copy of a voided personal check (checking accounts) or a letter from your financial institution (savings accounts).

Funeral home license: Provide a copy of the funeral home license if the member chooses to name the funeral home as a beneficiary of the death benefit.

Designation of spouse and/or dependent child for health insurance contributions: Form 6256. (Only dependents who meet the definition of a "dependent child" as defined by KRS 16.505(17) are eligible to receive health insurance contributions.)


Selecting Your Payment Option and Insurance

Once a valid Form 6000 (online or paper application) and required date of birth documentation is received, additional paperwork will be mailed:

The Form 6010, Final Estimated Retirement Allowance Option Selection must be completed, signed, witnessed, dated and returned to KRS by the last business day prior to the member's retirement date.

While the Form 6200 is not required to process your retirement benefit, it is imperative this application is completed in its entirety and returned with any required documentation. Returning this paperwork in a timely manner will ensure that health insurance coverage is not delayed.  Note: If you do not return a health insurance application either waiving coverage or selecting a plan, you will be defaulted into a health insurance plan.

Failure to submit these forms by their deadline may result in a delay of benefits.

​FAQs

​The member has until the last business day prior to their retirement date to cancel their retirement benefits. The member should submit a letter to the Systems stating they wish to rescind their retirement application. The letter should include the member's signature, Member ID/Social Security Number and date. KRS must have the letter of cancellation in office by COB of the day preceding the member’s initial retirement date.

​The Form 6010, Final Estimated Retirement Allowance, is required to process the member's retirement benefits. If the member neglects to return a valid Form 6010 to the office by the last business day prior to the effective retirement date, it is likely the member will have a delay in their benefits. KRS may retroactively pay the member for the benefits once the required paperwork is received.

The Form 6200, Health Insurance Application, is not required in order to process retirement benefits. However, unless the member waives coverage, the member will be defaulted into a health insurance plan at the single level of coverage.

​In order to receive retirement benefits from any state-administered retirement plan with which the member has service, he/she must meet the retirement eligibility rules for each individual system. Once the member has determined their retirement eligibility, it is essential to complete and submit separate retirement applications to each system for the same retirement date. Failure to complete the retirement process at each retirement system could cause a delay in the member’s retirement benefits. Note: TRS has different filing deadlines than KRS.

Visit TRS' Reciprocity page for more information regarding TRS' process and procedures.

Also see KRS' Service with Other Plans page to learn more about retiring under a reciprocal agreement.


​While the member may file for retirement benefits up to six (6) months prior to their intended retirement date, KRS recommends submitting the retirement application 45-60 days prior.

​A recalculation of the member’s retirement benefits to include the service purchase will occur during the Post Retirement Audit. The Post Retirement Audit occurs once all wages, contributions, and sick leave balances have been reported and the date of termination has been verified.

​While KRS does not offer life insurance, any retired member receiving a monthly benefit based on at least 48 months or more of service is entitled to name a beneficiary for a $5,000 Death Benefit which is payable upon the member's death to an individual, estate, funeral home, or trust. The $5,000 death benefit is subject to federal income tax and may be eligible in certain instances for a direct rollover to defer taxes.

​The lump sum payout for unused vacation time is NOT considered creditable compensation and will not be used to calculate the member’s retirement benefits.

​August is a popular time to retire for multiple reasons but ultimately, the decision is determined by your individual situation and needs. We encourage our members to consider how their final compensation could change if they work into a new fiscal year and retire in August or later. To see how different retirement dates can affect your monthly benefit, log in to your Member Self Service account.

For more strategies to maximize your retirement benefits, go to pages 46-50 of the Pre-Retirement Education Program Handbook.

​Monthly benefits from KERS, CERS, and SPRS are generally subject to federal income tax. If a member made contributions with post-tax dollars (i.e. purchase of refunded service by check, etc.), then a portion of the monthly benefit will not be subject to federal income tax. All benefits attributable to service earned on, or before, December 31, 1997, are exempt from Kentucky income tax. The portion of the member's benefits earned January 1, 1998, and after is subject to Kentucky income tax; however this income may be excludable up to a certain amount (see Schedule P in the Kentucky income tax forms for exclusion amount and calculation). Your decision on income tax withholding is an important one, and should be discussed with a qualified tax advisor. For more information about tax withholding, vist KRS' Member FAQ page.

​At the time of retirement, the member may name only one person, his or her estate, or a trust as beneficiary of the monthly retirement allowance. Also, the retired member may not change this designation on, or after, the first day of the month in which the member receives the first retirement allowance. For more information about survivor benefits, visit KRS' Survivor Benefit page.

​KRS requires the documentation for this option to include the following:

  • The verification must clearly identify the member by name, and/or SSN, and/or date of birth.

  • The verification must clearly state the reduced benefit amount at age 62

  • The verification must be provided by the Social Security Administration (i.e. Personal Earnings Benefit Estimate Statement)

It is important to understand that many of the estimates obtained from the Social Security Administration will assume the member continues to work and earn the same salary until age 62.  If the member terminates prior to age 62 to retire, the estimate they obtain will likely be overestimated. The member needs to specifically ask for an estimate that does not assume the member continues to work up until age 62.



Connect With Us