Teacher Retirement System of Georgia (TRS)

Membership Eligibility

All personnel employed in a permanent status position, not less than half-time, are required to be members as a condition of employment. Exceptions to TRS membership include, but are not limited to, non-supervisory positions in Maintenance/Custodial, Warehouse, Transportation, Cafeteria; substitute teachers and temporary employees.

Member Contribution Rates

All members of TRS currently contribute 6.00% of earnable compensation to TRS by payroll deduction. Earnable compensation is defined as the full regular compensation payable to a member for his full normal working time. Contributions are made on a before-federal tax basis.

In addition to your contributions, your employer also contributes to TRS. Effective July 1, 2021, the current employer contribution is 19.81%.

In accordance with Georgia law, your TRS account cannot be levied, garnished, or attached, and you may not assign payment of your benefits to another person or entity. The only exception is payment of eligible benefits to your designated beneficiaries at your death.

Neither your contributions nor interest as an active member or your monthly benefit as a retiree can be divided through a divorce decree or a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

New to TRS or need a refresher of how TRS works?  Please watch this video.

Eligibility for Retirement

There are three retirement eligibility categories that members can qualify for when looking at their retirement options.

  1. Normal Service Retirement: When a member reaches the service eligibility requirements that make him/her retire under normal service retirement in one of two ways:
    • Completion of 30 years of creditable service - regardless of your age; or
    • Completion of 10 years of creditable service, and be age 60 or older.

Important fact regarding normal service retirement:

A vested member who is not eligible for a normal service retirement may elect to terminate his/her TRS-covered employment and leave his/her contributions with TRS until the age of 60, thereby allowing the member to receive monthly retirement benefits at age 60 without a penalty.

2. Early Retirement: When a member begins distribution of his/her monthly retirement benefits when he/she has an active account with at least 25 years of creditable service, but less than 30 years of creditable service AND the member is under 60 years of age.

Note: If unused sick leave credit will give a member 25 years of creditable service, he/she may use sick leave credit to become eligible for retirement. The sick leave credit would have to be processed by TRS prior to completing the member's application for retirement.

Important facts regarding early retirement provisions:

  • Penalties under the early retirement are permanent.
  • Member must have an active account to retire.
  • Member is not eligible for his/her first cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) until such time that he/she would have attained 30 years of service or reaches 60 years of age, whichever occurs first.
  • Member is NOT eligible for a PLOP distribution.

3. Disability Retirement: When an active member who has at least 10 years of service is no longer able to perform his/her job duties (specific to his/her job description) due to a physical or mental impairment.

Processing disability retirement applications can be a lengthy process due to the time required for health care provider(s) to submit your medical records. If multiple health care providers are involved with your situation, send TRS forms to them individually and simultaneously to speed completion of your medical documentation. Once all your records are provided, your case will be referred to the TRS medical review board for a ruling supporting or denying your disability. The more medical data you provide, the better positioned the review board will be to understand your case and base its decision.

There are different plans and options involved with choosing which retirement plan is best for you. Please refer to your TRS account online and schedule an appointment with a TRS representative.

For more information, please log into your TRS account here.

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