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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 163L
Category: Financial Services

Class Series Concept

The Retirement Specialist is a professional series that provides services for customers of the public employee retirement system plans and the Deferred Compensation Program administered by the Department of Retirement Systems.


In a training capacity and under close supervision, incumbents learn regulatory rules, laws, policies, procedures and processes necessary to provide retirement services for customers of the public employee retirement system plans and the Deferred Compensation Program.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is an in-training class designed to provide guidelines, training opportunities, and direct work experience through a structured in-training program. Incumbents attend and complete required modules of the structured Retirement Specialist Training Program, assuming work of increasing complexity including but not limited to: 

  • Interpret and apply state and federal guidelines, agency policies, procedures and regulations in the provision of retirement services administered by the department;
  • Participates in individualized counseling for active and retired members of all retirement system plans and the Deferred Compensation Program;
  • Research member benefits; calculate retirement benefit estimates by analyzing member accounts and forecasting the impact of various scenarios on the member’s benefits. 

Upon satisfactory completion of the structured training program, incumbents will advance to the Retirement Specialist 2 classification.

Typical Work

Attend and complete required modules of the structured training program; 

Research, initiate a response and/or respond to routine questions from members and employers related to service credit, membership eligibility, restorations, billings and/or reporting procedures; 

Determine eligibility for membership and authorize service credit; 

Conduct audits of member records for completeness and accuracy; 

Create mandatory and optional billings; 

Calculate initial and final retirement benefit for members; 

Respond to routine telephone and written inquiries to resolve complaints; prepare correspondence of a routine nature, involving the application of various retirement laws for employers, clients, other entities, or general public;

 Provide support to members on agency online tools and calculators; 

Review and process requests for withdrawals of contributions; 

Perform other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: federal and state rules, laws, policies and procedures governing the retirement systems and plans, and the Deferred Compensation Program; math reasoning; written and verbal communication; and computerized systems and software. 

Ability to: interpret and apply state and federal rules, laws, policies and procedures related to retirement; 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; 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, applying past and present law that is applicable to each individual account; perform accurate benefit calculations; reason, analyze, and comprehend information; make decisions; adapt easily to changing business needs; show commitment, dedication and accountability in work; 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

A Bachelor’s degree in a business related field; 


Four years of experience providing direct customer service in person, over the telephone and in writing that requires the reading, analyzing, interpreting and explaining of technical or complex information and/or processes. 

Additional experience may substitute, year for year, for education.

Class Specification History

New class: Adopted June 10, 1999. Effective July 1, 1999. Part of 6767 legislation #20 priority.
Replaces Retirement Benefit Specialist 1.
Revised distinguishing characteristics: 1-19-01
New class code: (formerly 13232) effective July 1, 2007
Revised title, definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge, abilities, desirable qualifications; adopted May 9, 2014.
Revise title, definition, distinguishing characteristics and increase salary range; adopted on an emergency basis May 8, 2014; effective May 9, 2014.