All full and part time Fort Bend County employees are members of Texas County & District Retirement System (TCDRS).
View Your TCDRS Account Online
You may view your TCDRS retirement 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 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.
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.
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, notify TCDRS by logging into your TCDRS account online at www.TCDRS.org and click “Report other service time” under your Account Summary or you may call TCDRS Member Services at 1-800-823-7782 to inform them. TCDRS 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 to our Country! 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, log into your TCDRS account at www.TCDRS.org and click “Report other service time” under your Account Summary.
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. Read Policy 708 – Military Leave for more information or contact the Human Resources Department.
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. 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.
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.
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, contact TCDRS Member Services at 1-800-823-7782.
When You Can Retire
Once you are vested with 8 years of service, 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 lifetime 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. With Fort Bend County’s plan, you will receive a 200% match when you retire. This means that Fort Bend County will match $2.00 for every $1.00 in your account. The match is applied at the time of your retirement. You will receive your benefit in the form of a lifetime monthly payment.
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 Presentation – presentations are held throughout the year. See the FYI newsletter for links to enroll in any upcoming presentations and look for emails from Human Resources that announce upcoming presentations.
- 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 to be mailed to you.
- Meet with a TCDRS rep virtually – the rep will run estimates, review your payment options and answer questions about your retirement account. Go to www.TCDRS.org/OnlineCounseling to make your appointment. You may meet from a desktop, laptop, tablet or cell phone as long as you have internet service.
- Review Retirement Policies Online – read Policies 510 and 511 of the Employee Information Manual for more information.
- Once you are within 3 months of your retirement, email Beatrice Galan at Human Resources to inform her of your retirement date.
- View a Retirement Checklist [PDF] here.
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, email Beatrice Galan at Human Resources at Beatrice.Galan@FortBendCountyTX.gov to inform her of your retirement date (the last day you plan to work at Fort Bend County). Beatrice will send you an Acknowledgment Form verifying your eligibility to retire. After you notify Beatrice of your retirement date, if you qualify for retiree insurance, contact Wendy Frankie at Risk Management to make an appointment to discuss your eligibility for continuation of health benefits and to apply for your benefits. (CSCD employees may contact Kelly Schmidt at CSCD with questions about retiree insurance benefits through the State).
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 Fort Bend County website or from a County computer on eConnect.
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 Commissioners 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 at www.TCDRS.org to view your account online or call TCDRS Member Services at 1-800-823-7782 or schedule a virtual appointment at www.TCDRS.org/OnlineCounseling.
- 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 Wendy Frankie at 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 or schedule an online counseling meeting at www.TCDRS.org/OnlineCounseling.
- Does Fort Bend County provide other ways to save for retirement?
Employees may open an optional 457 Deferred Compensation account with Dearborn & Creggs, Nationwide Retirement or Edward Jones in order to save additional money towards retirement Contact one of the reps here .
- What is the first step that I need to take once I am ready to retire?
Contact Beatrice Galan at Beatrice.Galan@FortBendCountyTX.gov at Human Resources about 3 months prior to your retirement to inform her of your retirement date.