ERFC 2001 Tier 2 Plan FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

ERFC has the answers to your questions!

  1. How does the FCPS retirement plan works?
    The ERFC 2001 Tier 2 plan is a pension offered to FCPS employees hired on or after July 1 2017. A pension is a lifetime benefit, unlike 401k or 403b plans that once you retire and the money you contributed runs out there is nothing left. ERFC gives you monthly payments from the month that you retire until your death.
  2. Can you please explain the relationship between ERFC and VRS?
    VRS is the retirement system of the state of Virginia and is your primary pension. ERFC is a second pension through Fairfax County Public Schools. In retirement you will receive two payments; one from VRS and the other from ERFC. ERFC is intended to make your total pension larger.
  3. When would I be eligible for full retirement?

    In the ERFC 2001 Tier 2 plan you are eligible for retirement when your age plus your years of service equal 90 or when you are full Social Security age and have 5 or more years of service. For example: Age 60 with 30 years of service

    2001 Plan Tier-2 Retirement Age Graphic
  4. What benefits would I have after retirement?

    At retirement you will receive two pensions: one from VRS and one from ERFC that will provide you with a lifetime benefit.

    To continue your FCPS health insurance you will need to determine if you are eligible to do so. To see if you are eligible, please go to FCPS Health Care Benefits in Retirement.

    For information about the latest premium costs, retiree briefing and handbook Retiree Publications & Resources

    Want to know more about how FCPS health insurance works in retirement? Watch this video from the HR Benefits office FCPS ERFC Health Benefits in Retirement 2021 (myPDE).

    Questions about health insurance? Contact HR Benefits  at or 571-423-3200, select option 3.

  5. How much money can I expect to receive per month in retirement?
    To calculate your monthly benefit with ERFC, make sure to log into your ERFCDirect and click on “Create Your Own Estimate'' from the left menu.

    To learn how to create your own estimate, please watch this video:

    Need help understanding your ERFC Estimate? Take a look at this video explaining the 2001 Plan Estimate.
  6. How can I maximize my pension benefits? I want to know how much monthly money I should put in my retirement fund.
    The amount that you contribute to your ERFC 2001 Tier 2 plan is determined by the FCPS School Board. It is currently 3%. This cannot be increased or decreased. It is a defined benefit plan and is a mandatory contribution. FCPS puts in 6.7%. Once vested, after working 5 years, you are eligible for a pension for life.

    VRS will be your larger plan. You may be a member of the VRS Hybrid plan, it is important to contribute as much of your own additional funds as you can to gain the maximum matching funds from FCPS. Make sure to visit the VRS Hybrid plan to learn more. If you are in the VRS Hybrid Plan, once you have maxed out your own contributions to get maximum matching funds from FCPS, then begin to consider contributing to the FCPS 403b and 457 plans.
  7. How can I find out what my retirement benefit would be if I retire in a certain number of years?
    To calculate your monthly benefit with ERFC, make sure to log into your ERFCDirect and click on “Create Your Own Estimate'' from the left menu.

    To learn how to create your own estimate, please watch this video:

    Need help understanding your ERFC Estimate? Take a look at this video explaining the 2001 Plan Estimate.
  8. What does the rule of 90 mean?
    The ERFC 2001 Tier 2 plan allows you to retire when your age plus your years of service equal 90. This is referred to as the Rule of 90. You can also retire when you are full Social Security age with at least 5 years of service.
  9. How is my ERFC 2001 Tier 2 benefit calculated?
    ERFC 2001 Tier 2 Plan averages your highest 5 consecutive years of salary. Then we multiply that by your years of service with ERFC and then multiply that by a multiplier of 0.8%. This gives you the annual amount you would receive from ERFC. Divide this amount by 12 to know your monthly payment.
    Your Salary
    5 YEAR AVG
    of your highest salary



    Years of Service
    Years of Service




    For more information please refer to the ERFC 2001 Plan Handbook

  1. What is vested?
    Vested is when you have 5 years of service contributing to ERFC. If you do not have 5 years of service (or more) you are not eligible to retire with ERFC.  If you are not vested,  meaning that you will have fewer than 5 years, you won’t qualify for a pension payment. If you leave FCPS and are not vested in ERFC, consider your options:  
    1.    You may rollover your funds to another tax deferred retirement account, which is tax- and penalty-free.  
    2.    You may take a direct refund of the amount, meaning you’d get a physical check in the mail . We will withhold 20% federal and 4% Virginia state tax (for Virginia residents.) If refunding pre-age-55, we withhold an additional 10% penalty, per IRS regulations.  
    3.    You may choose to leave your funds on deposit,  in case you may return to FCPS in the future, for a period of 10 years. During that 10 year period, your account will still gain interest while it waits for you. Remember, your funds are always going to be yours, but after 10 years your account will stop gaining interest. At that time, if you are not returning to vest in your pension, you will want to consider taking your funds so that they can keep working for you.

Ask an ERFC Ambassador!

Reach out to the ERFC member volunteers who act as ERFC plan resources for co-workers. Find your local Ambassador or volunteer to become one.

ERFC 2001 Tier 2 Plan Forms and Documents

ERFC 2001 Tier 2 Plan Forms

  • Authorization to Discuss Member Information ERFC31
  • Beneficiary Designation ERFC1
  • Beneficiary Designation - Continuation ERFC1B
  • Benefit Payment Options - 2001 Plan ERFC25B
  • Durable Power of Attorney ERFC38
  • Name / Address Change Form for Inactive Members ERFC29A
  • Notification of Resignation or Retirement HR-2


ERFC 2001 Tier 2 Plan Documents

·         ERFC 2001 Plan Document 

·         ERFC 2001 Plan Handbook

·        ERFC 2001 Tier-2 Plan Features and Highlights


Other Resources

Retirement Information Videos

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