Level Income Payment Option
The level income payment option is a payment option you may elect if you retire early (between ages 55 and 62 for Class A and Class B Judicial; between ages 45 and 62 for Class B Public Safety) and decide to receive retirement benefit payments immediately. The level income payment option increases the amount of the monthly payment through the month of your 62nd birthday, at which time you are eligible to receive Social Security benefits. The month following your 62nd birthday, the payment from SDRS will decrease, but your replacement income from both SDRS payments and Social Security benefits will remain essentially the same as what you had been receiving from SDRS alone under the level income payment option.
The value of your future lifetime benefits under the level income payment option is expected to equal the value of your normal lifetime payments. This option just provides a higher SDRS payment until age 62 when you are eligible to receive Social Security benefits.
Some additional points to consider:
If you retire and plan to return to work in SDRS covered employment, the level income option may not be a good choice. If you retire with reduced or unreduced benefits, the benefit suspensions and/or benefit reductions during the reemployment period may distort the higher pre-age 62 payments.
- In addition, the level income payment option significantly reduces the survivor benefit payable after age 62.
Like all monthly benefits payable from SDRS, benefits under the level income payment option are protected against inflation under the provisions of the SDRS cost-of-living adjustment.
For more information regarding the Level Income Payment Option: Level Income brochure