Judicial Retirement System Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to participate in JRS?
Participants in the JRS may include supreme court justices and district court judges. Justices of the peace and municipal judges may also participate, if the board of county commissioners elects to allow the justices of the peace or the city council elects to allow the municipal judges of the city to participate in the plan and each judge elects to enroll in the plan. Depending upon the circumstances in place when elected or appointed, some judges participate in PERS and not JRS.
Is there more than one plan available under JRS?
Yes. The Old JRS Plan, which includes non-PERS eligible supreme court justices and district court judges participating in the program prior to November 3, 2002. The New JRS Plan includes supreme court justices and district court judges newly elected or appointed on or after November 3, 2002. Once JRS coverage is approved by the governing agency, justices of the peace and municipal judges participate in the New JRS Plan once the judge elects to enroll in the plan. Old Plan JRS judges will have the choice to retire from the Old JRS Plan or the New JRS Plan upon retirement.
When does JRS service credit begin and end?
Service begins on the day your term of office begins and terminates on the day your term of office expires, unless sooner terminated as a result of death, resignation or removal from office.
Can a JRS member purchase additional service credit?
If you have 5 years of service credit in JRS, you may purchase up to five years of additional service credit.
What are the eligibility requirements for JRS retirement?
Old JRS Plan participants: You earn the right to receive a retirement allowance after 5 years of service. Eligibility to receive an unreduced retirement allowance is established with 5 years of service at age 60. New JRS Plan participants: You earn the right to receive a retirement allowance after 5 years of service. Eligibility to receive an unreduced retirement allowance is established with 5 years of service at age 65, 10 years of service at age 60, or at any age with 30 years of service.
How are JRS benefits calculated?
Old JRS Benefit Calculation: You receive 4.1666% for your first 5 years of service credit and 4.1666% for each additional year of service you earn. The total of these percentages are multiplied by the monthly average of your final year's salary prior to retirement. New JRS Benefit Calculation: You receive 3.4091% for each year of service credit you earn in the new JRS plan. New JRS plan participants with transferred PERS service will receive 2.5% for each year of PERS service prior to July 1, 2001 and 2.67% for each year of PERS service after July 1, 2001. The total benefit percentage is multiplied by the monthly average of your 36 highest consecutive months of salary.
Is there a maximum benefit that a JRS retiree can receive?
Yes. The maximum benefit a JRS retiree may receive is 75% of the average compensation. This benefit cap is applicable to both Old and New JRS plan participants.
Can a JRS retiree provide a continuing beneficiary benefit to take effect upon their death after retirement?
Old JRS Plan: This plan provides a flat rate survivor benefit to the spouse married to the retiree at the time of retirement. There is no cost to the retiree and the survivor spouse receives $450.00 per month if under age 60 at the time of the retiree's death, or $2500.00 if age 60 or older. The survivor spouse benefit is payable for life or until remarriage. New JRS Plan: This plan allows the JRS retiree to provide a continuing beneficiary benefit to one beneficiary of the retiree's choice. There are 6 optional plans that provide lifetime beneficiary benefits upon the retiree's death and require an actuarial reduction in the retiree's benefit.