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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, specialist, lead worker or designated trainer for the Retirement Specialist structured training program.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Under general direction positions perform complex assignments requiring an in-depth knowledge of the public employee retirement system plans and the Deferred Compensation Program. These assignments often require proactive intervention and have statewide or precedent setting impact. Provides advice and consultation to agency management, lower-level professional staff and peers. Handles or oversees the agency’s most sensitive, complex or critical program issues. Provides advice and guidance and/or leads professional or other staff. These positions serve the majority of the time in one of the following capacities:
  • Positions assigned as lead workers have responsibility to regularly assign, instruct, and check the work of a team of Retirement Specialists.
  • Positions assigned as the specialist serve as subject matter specialists 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. Serves as the content/legal order specialist. 
  • Positions assigned as a designated trainer for the Retirement Specialist structured training program develop Retirement Specialist structured training curriculum and materials; delivers in-depth training on modules including the use of agency computer systems and databases. 

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, attorneys and other stakeholders in relation to complex marriage dissolution decrees; calculate retirement benefit estimates based upon decree 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;

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;

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;

Provides expert senior level technical assistance to internal and external customers;

Provides staff with expertise and assistance in the most complex issues;

Consults with agency management on customer relations issues; recommends changes to agency procedures to enhance access to agency services;

Designs, creates, and updates lesson plans, student handbooks, assessments, handouts, trainer guides, and other materials for instructor led training; develops and secures program training materials, maintains training library; keeps informed of current training practices and materials;

Provides training to staff on retirement system plans and deferred compensation program elements;

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

Two years of experience as a Retirement Specialist 2; 


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.

Revised Definition, Distinguishing Characteristics, Typical Work, Desirable Qualifications; adopted 11/14/2023, effective 11/15/2023. 42 Professionals, 80148588, Range 53, 14 positions.