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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 163N
Category: Financial Services

Class Series Concept



This is the senior level of the series. Positions are designated as a lead worker; OR as a subject matter specialist OR; as a designated trainer for the Retirement Specialist structured training program.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions assigned to this level function as lead workers with responsibility to regularly assign, instruct, and check the work of a team of Retirement Specialists. Monitors work queues; analyzes and develops strategies to address increases or changes in workload. Assigns and schedules work of team members; monitors work for timeliness and quality; observes team member performance and provides feedback to team supervisor for performance management purposes. Serves as liaison between team members and team supervisor for resolution of complex issues and problems; 


Serve as subject matter specialist in areas involving the interpretation, investigation development, application and resolution of complex retirement statute, regulation, policy or legislative issues. Serves as a resource for customers, employers and team members regarding the retirement system plans and the Deferred Compensation Program. Performs in-depth research and analysis in preparing summaries or recommendations on issues of administrative policy or procedure. Interprets, investigates and resolves complex issues related to political agencies, disabled members, deceased member beneficiaries, portability, employer contracts, or optional service; 


Serve as a designated trainer for the Retirement Specialist structured training program. Develops Retirement Specialist structured training curriculum and materials; delivers in-depth training on modules including the use of agency computer systems and databases. Develops performance standards for all Retirement Specialist structured training modules; observes, monitors and verifies satisfactory completion of training; develops corrective action plan with team supervisor as needed. Develops and conducts training for all team members to maintain current skill sets; updates training materials as needed for legislative and agency policy changes; develops and delivers ad hoc training as needed.

Typical Work

Coaches and mentors team members in responding to complex, sensitive or escalated customer situations; 

Acts in team supervisor’s absence; 

Uses in-depth knowledge of laws, rules and policies to counsel members, ex-spouses and attorneys in relation to complex marriage dissolution decrees; calculate retirement benefit estimates based upon degree requirements; 

Responds to subpoenas, tax levies, Mandatory Relief Benefit Assignment Orders, child support orders and other complex orders authorized by state and/or federal law, analyzing to determine applicability to statutes; 

Analyzes local disability board's findings of fact, conclusions of law, decisions and orders granting disability allowance to determine compliance; evaluates notices of appeals and board's decisions; weighs evidence and recommends affirmance, remand or reversal of board decisions; composes appropriate orders; advises parties of right to appeal; 

Reviews new or proposed legislation and recommends implementation guidelines;  

Serves as a content expert for articles for the agency’s Knowledge Management System and other online tools and resources, ensuring information is accurate, up-to-date and addresses customer questions; 

Monitors audits and research related to employer audit findings;  

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  state and federal state and federal regulatory rules, laws, policies, procedures, guidelines and processes governing retirement program administration; math reasoning, written and oral communication strategies and tools; leading and instructing team members; computerized systems and software; and agency unique tools and applications. 

Ability to: lead, train, coach and mentor others; plan, evaluate and perform difficult and complex assignments; effectively communicate information for the purpose of having others learn, understand and apply specific principles, techniques, and information; reason, analyze, and interpret complex information; interpret and apply state and federal rules, laws and policies, procedures, guidelines and processes related to retirement benefits and services; communicate complex, technical information, both verbally and in writing in a clear, concise, accurate and informative manner based on the knowledge and understanding of the audience; handle disputed issues with tact; develop policies and procedures; establish and maintain effective  working relationships with customers, attorneys, financial advisors, public officials, physicians, fellow team members, and the general public; analyze and audit records and apply past and present law that is applicable to each individual account; utilize integrated database systems and agency online tools.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

Five years of experience as a Retirement Specialist 2; 


A Bachelor’s degree in a business related field and two years of experience working for the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems performing journey-level consultation, analysis and/or audit responsibilities requiring the interpretation and analysis of state and federal rules, laws and policies, procedures, guidelines and processes related to the retirement systems and plans, and the Deferred Compensation Program administered by the agency; 


Equivalent education and experience.

Class Specification History

New class:  Adopted June 11, 1999.  Effective July 1, 1999.  Part of 6767 legislation #20 priority.  Replaces Retirement Benefit Specialist 3.
New class code:  (formerly  13236)  effective July 1, 2007
Revised title, definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge, abilities, desirable qualifications; adopted on an emergency basis May 8, 2014 and effective May 9, 2014.