9. I understand the three options but do you think I should withdraw my retirement contributions or leave them in?
The correct answer to this question is totally up to the member and is usually dependent on three things: (i) whether you anticipate a return to employment covered by either the State or a CMERS retirement systems; (ii) whether you have accumulated five years of retirement service credit; and (iii) your age. The best way to give a general answer is as follows: If you are reasonably sure that it is unlikely you will ever accumulate five years of service credit, you may be better served by withdrawing your contributions due to the fact that, with less than five years of service credit, you do not qualify for a monthly benefit. If you have accumulated five years of service you should consider how long it will be before you will be eligible to receive a monthly benefit. If you are “vested” and near retirement age, you may wish to consider leaving your contributions in the Retirement System so that you may receive a monthly benefit when you become eligible-change to “when you turn 55”. However, this decision is very dependent on personal circumstances.