Leaving Employment

If you are an active contributing member of PSERS who terminates all Pennsylvania public school employment, a benefit is likely available to you. Please view http://www.psers.pa.gov/Leaving-Employment/Pages/default.aspx for more information and eligibility.

If you are currently an active employee and are requesting a leave of absence such as a sabbatical, educational leave and charter leave, you are not required to fill out a Notice of Separation Form. If you are currently employed and are switching positions, you are not required to fill out a Notice of Separation Form since you are not leaving employment with the School District of Philadelphia.

Guidelines for Employee Separations

The Retirement Department has created a Guideline For Employee Separations to assist employees in preparing to submit a notice of retirement or resignation. Please review this document carefully for information on acceptable separation dates for both 10 month and 12 month based positions.

Providing Notice of Intent to Retire or Resign

Notice of Separation should be submitted to the Office of Talent. It is preferred that the form  be emailed to separations@philasd.org, however, forms can be provided in-person, by US Mail, or faxed to 215-400-4604.  Please keep your fax confirmation page or email as proof of submission. Please call to confirm receipt of mailed or faxed copies. Our contact information is below:

Office of Talent
Second Floor, Portal D, Suite 222, Email: separations@philasd.org

Using this form ensures that your information is correctly reported to all impacted parties.

60 Day Notice for Professional Employees

Provisions 1101 and 1121 of Pennsylvania School code requires all professional employees (those with certifications) to provide 60 calendar days’ notice of their intent to separate. Failure to provide notice 60 days in advance may prohibit any future employment through the School District and result in forfeiture of compensation from any unused leave balance (termination pay).  Please read below for more information.

Foundations For Your Future

The PSERS Foundations For Your Future (FFYF) programs are designed to provide you an overview of your retirement benefits. These programs offer general information about PSERS’ benefits and services. Attendance at a FFYF program will help you begin to plan for your retirement early in your career. Each program lasts approximately 90 minutes. These programs are provided solely for the education of members of PSERS.

A PSERS Retirement Counselor will cover topics such as benefit options, withdrawal of contributions, rollovers, taxes, and legislative actions affecting PSERS. PSERS recommends that all active members attend an FFYF seminar, particularly if you are planning to retire within the year.

Advance registration is not required to attend any of these seminars. Please contact the PSERS Southeast Regional Office at  215.443.3495 if you require an accommodation to participate.

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Exit Counseling
Employees who are retiring should schedule an Exit Counseling session with PSERS. Employees should contact PSERS the PSERS online contact form to schedule a PSERS counseling session or to check on the status of a session that they are attending.

Difference between Resigning and Retiring

The difference between resigning and retiring is based on your eligibility to commence your retirement benefit with PSERS. If you are able to commence your pension immediately after separation and intend on commencing your distribution of benefit, you would be selecting “Retire” on your notice. If you are not eligible to commence your pension or have not met the service requirement to receive a pension benefit, or are choosing not to commence your benefit immediately after separation you would select “Resigning” on your notice.

Resignation Process

In order to officially resign from employment with the School District of Philadelphia, you must submit a Retirement and Resignation Form Updated 3 13 23 to separations@philasd.org. Once notification is received all applicable parties will be notified of your intent to separate employment.

If you are separating from employment and are not vested and would like to withdraw your funds:

Complete these items to withdraw your contributions from PSERS

1.     Submit the Retirement-Resignation form to the Office of Talent. Submission options are listed on the form.

2.    Review the Retirement and Resignation Form Updated 3 13 23, Guideline For Employee Separations and the Checklist on the Resignation/Retirement Form page

3.     Initiate Application for Refund process with PSERS

4.     Finish refund process with PSERS

Retirement Process

In order to officially retire from employment with the School District of Philadelphia, you must submit a Retirement and Resignation Form Updated 3 13 23 to separations@philasd.org. Once notification is received all applicable parties will be notified of your intent to separate employment.

If you are vested and retiring and would like to commence your pension:

Complete these items to commence payment on your pension

1.     Attend a Foundations for Your Future Meeting

2.     Request an estimate from PSERS (1-888-773-7748 or 215-443-3495)

3.     Schedule and attend a Retirement Exit Counseling Meeting

4.    Review the Retirement/Resignation Notice Checklist

5.    Initiate the retirement process with PSERS

Pension Processing Expectations

Processing Time Frames

It is not necessary to inform PSERS you have terminated employment. PSERS will only accept and process your separation if they have received notification from our office.

1.     Once your Retirement/Resignation Form has been submitted to separations@philasd.org, the School District of Philadelphia will provide PSERS your date of termination and final pay the month following the month in which all final distribution of wages have been issued. This includes but is not limited to any reserve pay.

2.     PSERS will process and finalize your application within 30-90 days once your date of termination and final pay has been received.

3.     Pension funds will not be disbursed until all final pay has been received by PSERS and your employment status has been updated to “Terminated” (separated from employment) in the PSERS system. In order for your employment status to be updated, the retirement/resignation form must be received by the Retirement Department.

IMPORTANT: If you terminate employment in June and receive your balance of contract payments in July or August, you will likely receive your first retirement benefit payment in October.

Termination Pay

Termination pay is the payout of accumulated personal illness, personal leave, or vacation days. This payment is not pension eligible and will not delay your reporting to PSERS. More information is available on termination pay and accrual here. Termination is processed by the Payroll Department, payrollhelp@philasd.org.

Payment of your Termination Pay

If you are less than 55 years old in the year in which you leave the District, you have the option of receiving your Termination Pay in two ways:

1.     Have the check sent directly to you (this is the default payment option).  If you want your payment in the form of a check, then Payroll will calculate it and send it to you. No action is required by you.

2.     Voluntarily elect to send the money to a tax-deferred account with one of the three approved vendors. You will have to open an account specifically for Termination Pay and also complete the “Termination Pay Provider Election and Limit Verification” form which will be provided by your financial representative. You will need to designate a specific dollar amount of your funds to be allocated in this account. He or she will submit the required paperwork to the Payroll Office, which will then process your Termination Pay.  Follow the instructions below for distribution options.

If you are at least 55 years old or you will turn 55 this calendar year, your Termination Pay must be distributed to one of the School District’s approved 403(b) Plans (and 457(b) Plans, if applicable). Follow the instructions below to obtain your Termination Pay

1.    Contact one of the three approved vendors listed below.

Company NameCompany Contact NameContact Phone Number
EQUITABLE AdvisorsErnest L. Repice (800)-628-6673
(888) 660-4108 Plan Member balances
AIG Retirement Services Karen Savage(877) 889-1589
Lincoln Investment Planning, Inc.April Reavy(800) 242-1421 ext 1434

2.    If you do not already have a tax sheltered account with one of the approved vendors listed above, then you will need to open an account specifically for Termination Pay and complete the “Termination Pay Provider Election and Limit Verification” form. They will be provided by your financial representative assigned to you from the vendor of your choosing. The financial representative will then submit the required paperwork to the Payroll Office who will then wire the funds to the account with the vendor of your choosing company.

3.    Once your Termination Pay is electronically wired to your selected company, you may take an immediate cash distribution of the balance of your 403(b) and 457(b) Plan accounts (including any Termination Pay contributions) or you may roll the money into an IRA or other eligible retirement plan.  Alternatively, you may continue to invest your account balance under the Plan(s) until a later distribution date chosen by you. Distributions (such as loans, rollovers, exchanges, partial withdrawals and full surrenders) from any of the current approved vendors will require employer authorization, which can be obtained through a Disbursement Eligibility Certificate (DEC). A DEC is only available on the Retirement Manager system, www.MyRetirementManager.com. Instructions on how to withdrawal funds from your account(s) and how to use the Retirement Manager system are available the Employee Benefits website, www.philasd.org/benefits/.

For questions on processing time frames or updates you may contact payroll.