Request a Refund of Your Retirement Contributions

Public employees can request a refund when they leave public service if they do not plan on collecting a retirement benefit
Your refund must be processed within 60 days of submitting a complete application to your retirement system

Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission


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The Details

What you need

Contributions you make into your retirement system are deposited for you into an Annuity Savings Account. You cannot stop contributions or access the funds while you are still working (an active member-in-service). If you leave public service you may request a refund of your contributions from your local retirement board. 

You cannot request a refund if:

  • You are or will be a retiree collecting a retirement allowance
  • You are still working (a member-in-service)
  • You are on an official leave of absence
  • You have a Workers' Compensation claim pending or if you are receiving Workers' Compensation benefits for total incapacity
  • You have been charged with, or convicted of, misappropriation of funds or property of the governmental unit by which you were employed
  • You are appealing a dismissal or want to continue public employment

Things to consider before taking a refund:

  • Once you take a refund, you end your membership in your retirement system. 
  • Your new membership date would be the date you return to public service
  • You must file a completed refund application with your local retirement system to request a refund. 
  • If you think you might return to public service in the Commonwealth, you can leave your contributions in your retirement system to retain your current benefit rights.
  • If you are vested in your retirement system, taking a refund may affect your social security benefits, if eligible.


  • Your refund may be affected by any existing support orders
  • 20% will be withheld from the federally taxable amount of your contributions if taking a direct refund.
  • There may also be additional IRS penalties for early withdrawal
  • You can have the federally taxable portion of your refund paid to a qualified retirement account instead
  • Consult the IRS or your tax advisor for guidance on taxes. 

How to apply

  • You must contact your local retirement system to start the process. 
  • PERAC does not process refund requests
  • See our list of retirement systems to find yours

More info

Interest received on refunds:

  • If you voluntarily end your public service with ten years or more of full-time creditable service, or if you are involuntarily terminated, you will receive regular interest. 2018 interest rate is currently set at 0.1%.
  • If you voluntarily end your public service with less than ten years of full-time creditable service, you will receive 3% interest.




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