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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 163M
Category: Financial Services

Class Series Concept



Independently provides retirement services for customers of the public employees retirement system plans and the Deferred Compensation Program.

Distinguishing Characteristics

At the journey level and under general supervision, incumbents are responsible for providing the complete range of retirement services including but not limited to: consultation, education, analysis, audit and determination of member eligibility and benefits related to membership, defined benefit/defined contribution, withdrawal, portability, death disability, and service retirement. Work assignments typically include one or more of the following: 

  • Calculates initial and final retirement benefit for members;  
  • Provides individualized counseling for active and retired members of all retirement system plans and the Deferred Compensation Program;  
  • Applies in-depth knowledge of past and present retirement laws and rules to ensure all rights and benefits are enacted;  
  • Analyzes member accounts and interviews members to determine additional factors which may affect benefit eligibility;  
  • Explains to members, their financial advisors and other representatives the federal and state laws that apply to their individual accounts and the impact on their benefit; ensures members understand their individual retirement options and the impact irrevocable decisions have on their benefit.

Typical Work

Calculates retirement benefit estimates for members by analyzing accounts and forecasting the impact various scenarios may have on their benefit; 

Calculates initial and final retirement benefit for members, including those with dual or concurrent membership in DRS systems or the cities of Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane; 

Conducts audits of member accounts and resolves discrepancies in service credit, withdrawals or restorations of contributions, and reported compensation to assure compliance with retirement laws and regulations;  

Create mandatory and optional billings; coordinates with employers and members to get additional information as needed; 

Responds to inquiries from employers, members, other entities, and the general public; prepares correspondence of both a general and technical nature, involving the application of various retirement laws;  

Reviews legal orders, specifically Power of Attorney, Certificate of Trust, and Guardianship as they relate to retirement accounts to ensure appropriate access to retirement account information, proper authority for decision-making and accurate payment of benefits to the correct beneficiary, survivor, etc. 

Participates in retirement presentations or benefit fairs; 

Provides support to members on agency online tools and benefit calculators; 

Serves as a content or business process expert for implementation of legislative mandates that require change to online member tools and internal system applications; 

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  state and federal regulatory rules, laws, policies, procedures, guidelines and processes governing retirement program administration; math reasoning; ; written and oral communication strategies and tools; principles of argumentation and expository writing; financial software tools, and agency unique system applications. 

Ability to: reason, analyze, interpret and retain 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 in a clear, concise, accurate and informative manner based on the knowledge and understanding of the audience;; establish and maintain effective working relationships with customers, attorneys, financial advisors, physicians, fellow team members, and the general public; analyze and audit records and information, with application of past and present law; perform accurate benefits calculations; make decisions; 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

Successful completion of the structured Retirement Specialist training program. 


A Bachelor’s degree in a business related field and two years of experience working for the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems performing entry-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.

Class Specification History

New class:  Adopted 6-11-99. Effective 7-1-99. Part of 6767 legislation #20 priority. Replaces Retirement Benefit Specialist 2.
Revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, and typical work: 11-14-02
New class code:  (formerly  13234)  effective July 1, 2007
Revised title, definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge, abilities, desirable qualifications; adopted on an emergency basis on May 8, 2014; effective May 9, 2014.