Employees are eligible to retire after:
(1) 20 years of service regardless of age,
(2) at age 60 with at least 8 years of service,
(3) or when age plus service equals 75 (with a minimum of 4 years of service).
Smith County participates in the Texas County and District Retirement System (TCDRS) and has belonged since January 1, 1968. This System was established by legislative act in 1967 under the State’s Constitution. Under the system, employees contribute an established percentage of their gross salary and the County funds the amount necessary to meet plan obligations and benefits. Interest is credited annually. For details, read the official TCDRS handbook. Some basic information about plan participation is:
- All regular full-time employees of the County SHALL become a member of the Retirement System upon their effective date of employment.
- Effective January 1, 2007 all regular part-time employees of the County SHALL become members of the retirement system.
- Participants are vested after eight (8) years in the system.
When a member is eligible for retirement, selection of any one of several optional plans for retirement must be made and an application for service retirement completed AT LEAST 45 DAYS BEFORE EFFECTIVE DATE OF RETIREMENT.
§ When the application is received, the various options for service retirement will be explained by the Payroll Section of the Auditor’s Office. There are also several disability retirement benefits available to eligible employees.
§ Should a participating employee leave the employment of the County prior to qualifying for retirement benefits, that employee shall have the right to apply for refund of their contributions to the system along with interest earned on such contributions. The employee shall not be entitled to the County’s portion contributed to the system on their behalf nor the interest thereon.
A "retiree" is defined as: (1) a person retiring from active county service under the provisions of TCDRS, or (2) a person retiring from active county service who has qualified for retirement under the disability retirement provisions and who is actually receiving retirement benefits from TCDRS.
CONTINUED INSURANCE COVERAGE
A "retiree" hired prior to June 1, 2005 shall generally be eligible to continue, at county expense, as a participant in a group health insurance plan selected by the County. Effective August 21, 2012, a "retiree" must have:
1) been hired prior to June 1, 2005; and
2) be eligible with Texas County & District Retirement System (TCDRS) for retirement; and
3) have at least twenty (20) years of Smith County employment at the time of retirement to be eligible to continue, at county expense, as a participant in a group health insurance plan selected by the County.
Employees hired on or after June 1, 2005 shall not be eligible to continue, at county expense, as a participant in a group plan selected by the County at such time when they retire. Said employees will be advised of their rights to continue insurance under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) at the time of their retirement from the County. However, continued coverage under the County’s health insurance plan is contingent upon retiree enrolling under Medicare coverage concurrent with becoming Medicare eligible. At this occurrence, the heretofore primary insurance as provided by the County will become secondary to Medicare coverage, and be considered as Medicare Supplemental Insurance only, as such, it will continue to be provided at county expense for the life of the retiree.
(TCDRS) Guide to Member Benefits