All full and part time Fort Bend County employees are members of Texas County & District Retirement System (TCDRS).
Each month, 7% of your total pay goes into your TCDRS account. Your account gets 7% interest credited after each December 31, based on your January 1 balance.
View Your TCDRS Account Online
You may view your TCDRS balance, your vesting date, when you are eligible for TCDRS retirement, run your own retirement estimates and make address and beneficiary changes online. Create an account online now at www.tcdrs.org to get started. Contact TCDRS Member Services in Austin if you have questions about accessing your online account at 1-800-823-7782.
You are considered vested when you have earned enough service time to be eligible for retirement once you reach the age requirements. To be vested, you must have 8 years of service credit. Once vested, you may stop working for Fort Bend County and still keep your right to a future TCDRS retirement benefit. Your personal account will keep earning interest each year until your membership ends. Your membership ends when you withdraw your personal deposits or choose a retirement benefit, or upon your death.
Proportionate Retirement Program
You may be eligible to combine your service time from each of your Texas statewide employer's retirement systems. Combining your service means you may be eligible for retirement earlier. The Proportionate Retirement Program lets you add service time you earned in any of the following Texas statewide retirement systems to your TCDRS service: ERS, JRS, COAERS, TMRS and TRS. If you have an account with any of these systems, call TCDRS Member Services at 1-800-823-7782. They will credit the service time to your account after they verify your service with the other retirement system. Please also call the other system with which you have service time and let them know you have a TCDRS account. You may be eligible to apply your TCDRS service to eligibility with the other system. Please keep in mind that each system has different rules regarding service and eligibility.
Military Service Time
Thank you for your service. You may be able to get service time for the time you served in the U.S. Armed Forces before you became a TCDRS member. Best of all, you may be able to count your military service toward your retirement eligibility. You may qualify for up to 60 months (or five years) of military service if,
- your discharge was under honorable conditions,
- you are vested,
- you have not applied for military service time in another Texas public retirement system.
If you are vested, complete the Military Service Time Application (TCDRS-92) at www.tcdrs.org and send it to TCDRS in Austin along with a copy of your DD-214.
Active employees who return from unpaid military leave are entitled to service credit for the unpaid period with TCDRS for purposes of vesting and retirement eligibility. Employees must notify TCDRS upon return from leave by completing and sending the Application for Military Service Time Under USERRA (TCDRS-90) to TCDRS in Austin to have the time added to their retirement account. Read Policy 708 – Military Leave and the eligibility criteria on TCDRS-90 for more information.
Naming a Beneficiary
If you pass away before you retire, TCDRS will pay your money (deposits and interest) to your beneficiary. You may designate, review or update your beneficiaries online at www.tcdrs.org when you sign into your account. If you prefer, you may fill out a Beneficiary Designation form (TCDRS-06) and send it to TCDRS in Austin. You may not update your TCDRS retirement beneficiary via Employee Self Service at the County. Beneficiary changes must be updated directly with TCDRS by logging into your TCDRS account or by sending the Beneficiary Designation form to TCDRS.
When you have four years of service, your beneficiary is eligible for the survivor benefit. The survivor benefit gives your beneficiary the option of getting a monthly payment for life from your TCDRS account if you pass away before you retire. That monthly benefit is made up of your deposits and interest, as well as employer matching. The beneficiary of your TCDRS retirement account is the person who will receive the survivor benefit should you die before you retire. As long as your beneficiary designation is up to date, you don't need to take any action.
You may update most of your TCDRS account information online by logging into your account at www.tcdrs.org. Forms for updating beneficiaries, address change, withdrawal application etc. are also located on their website if that is your preference.
Leaving Your Job
Leaving your job at Fort Bend County doesn't mean you lose your retirement savings. If you are not yet eligible for retirement but leave your job at Fort Bend County, you have three options:
- Leave Your Account Open - your account will continue to earn 7% interest. If you are already vested, you may be able to draw a retirement with the County's match, once you reach retirement eligibility.
- Roll Over Your Account - you can avoid paying taxes and penalties by rolling your money over into another tax-deferred retirement account.
- Withdraw your funds - if you choose to withdraw your funds, you might want to check with a tax professional or the IRS. That way you will have a better idea of how your withdrawal will affect your income taxes.
To start the withdrawal or rollover process, you will fill out a Withdrawal Application (TCDRS-11) at www.tcdrs.org. Send the form along with a legible copy of your driver’s license or other state issued picture ID to TCDRS in Austin.
When You Can Retire
Once you are vested, you are eligible for a retirement benefit from TCDRS when you meet one of the following requirements:
- Age 60 with 8 years of service; or
- Any age with 30 years of service; or
- Your age plus your years of service equals 75 (also called the Rule of 75)
For continuation of health benefits, you must meet criteria as set forth in Policy 511 of the Employee Information Manual.
What You Get When You Retire
When you retire, you will receive a monthly benefit payment. All payment options pay you for your lifetime. Some of the payment options also provide a monthly benefit for your beneficiary after your death. Your monthly benefit is based on the amount of money in your account (your deposits and compound interest) and Fort Bend County’s match. With Fort Bend County’s plan, you will get a 2:1 ratio of matching credits when you retire. This means that Fort Bend County will provide $2.00 for every $1.00 in your account as part of your monthly benefit. The match is applied at the time of your retirement.
Health Benefits at Retirement
Full time employees may be eligible for health benefits at retirement. View the health benefit qualifications on Policy 511 of the Employee Information Manual.
Planning on Retiring Soon?
Don’t wait until the year you are going to retire to begin planning. It is never too early to start planning for your retirement. Some things you can do to prepare are:
- Attend a Retirement Seminar – seminars are held quarterly
- Request Estimates – you may run you own estimate online by logging into your account at www.tcdrs.org or contact TCDRS Member Services at 1-800-823-7782 to request an estimate
- Review Retirement Policies Online - read Policies 510 and 511 of the Employee Information Manual for more information
- If you and/or your spouse will be 65 or older when you retire, apply for Medicare parts A and B at least four months prior to your retirement
- Once you are within 3 months of your retirement, contact Beatrice Galan at Human Resources to make an appointment to review the application process.
Decision to Retire
You meet retirement eligibility and have made the decision to retire. What's next? Approximately three months prior to your retirement date, contact Beatrice Galan at Human Resources to make an appointment to review the retirement application process. Make a separate appointment with Brenda Isenberg in Risk Management to discuss your eligibility for continuation of health benefits. You may make your appointments to meet with HR and Risk Management to coincide on the same date however you must meet with Human Resources first and then proceed to meet with Risk Management. You must return all required forms to HR and Risk Management respectively prior to your retirement date.
For a full explanation of retirement and retiree benefits, please view Policies 510 and 511 of the Employee Information Manual. You may view all policies online on the internet (http://www.fortbendcountytx.gov) or from a County computer on the intranet (http://econnect).
Stay informed about your retirement benefits. Human Resources hosts four retirement seminars each year. Representatives from TCDRS, Social Security, 457 Deferred Compensation, Risk Management and Human Resources present valuable information and answer questions relating to your retirement benefit. The seminars are open to all full and part time employees enrolled in TCDRS. Sign up via the Lawson Portal or contact Beatrice Galan at HR to enroll.
Frequently Asked Questions
May I borrow money from my TCDRS retirement account
No. You may not borrow money from your TCDRS account.
May I increase/decrease the amount that I am contributing to my account?
No. The 7% contribution is set by Commissioner’s Court.
May I opt out of participating in the TCDRS retirement?
No. Participating in TCDRS retirement is a condition of employment for all full and part time employees.
How do I know when I am eligible to retire?
Log into your TCDRS account online at www.tcdrs.org or call TCDRS Member Services at 1-800-823-7782.
Is there a lump sum option at retirement?
Fort Bend County does not have a lump sum option at retirement. Employees that retire, qualify for a monthly lifetime payment.
Will I receive insurance benefits at retirement?
Read Policy 511 of the Employee Information Manual online to review the requirements to qualify for continuance of insurance benefits at retirement. Questions regarding insurance benefits may be directed to the Risk Management Department.
If I have a question about my TCDRS retirement account, who may I talk to?
Call TCDRS Member Services at 1-800-823-7782 to speak to a rep. The TCDRS Field Service reps are onsite at Fort Bend County once a year to have private meetings with employees. The meetings are announced in advance via countywide email so that employees may make appointments.
What is the first step that I need to take once I am ready to retire?
Contact Beatrice Galan at Human Resources to make an appointment once you are within 3 months of your retirement date.