Active Members

Ready to Retire

Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to retire!

We’re here to help you navigate important next steps in the journey. The first step you need to take is to understand what you need to do and to be prepared. There are a lot of decisions you’ll have to make, documents to gather, and filing dates to meet before you can begin to collect your monthly lifetime DERP Pension Benefit. Because your choices uniquely impact your retirement future, it’s important to give yourself enough time to review your DERP Plus Benefits and options to ensure your countdown to retirement is on track and there are no delays. Let’s get started!

Watch the video Getting Ready to Retire to learn more about the steps to take to ensure a smooth transition to retirement.

Five Steps to Take to Ensure a Smooth Transition to Retirement


Step 1 – Gather Documents

Along with your Retirement Application, there are additional documents you must submit. To ensure you don’t overlook anything and to avoid delays, we’ve created a Retirement Checklist of everything you need to include with your application.


Member Spouse/ Beneficiary Insurance Dependent 
Consent of Spouse Form
Your spouse must complete this form and have their signature notarized if you elect the Maximum Benefit Option or the Joint and Survivor Benefit Option for a beneficiary other than your spouse.

Certified Birth Certificate or Passport
(provide copy)

A certified birth certificate is a legal document issued by the vital records office in the state where you were born. The certified copy has a raised seal, the signature of the Local Registrar, and is printed on security paper.

We won’t accept a birth registration, driver’s license, or hospital-issued birth certificate.

If you don’t have your certified birth certificate, contact the vital records office in the state you were born to request your birth certificate.


Social Security Estimate or Award Letter
(provide ONLY if you’ll be 62 or over when you receive your first DERP Pension Benefit payment)

  • Estimate of Benefits – If you haven’t applied for, and aren’t currently receiving, Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits, you must submit a copy of the Estimate of Benefits from SSA. You can get your Estimate of Benefits instantly online when you create or open your “my Social Security account.”
  • Award Letter – If you’ve applied for, or are currently receiving SSA benefits, you must submit the original Award Letter (also known as a Notice of Award) you received from the SSA when your claim for benefits was approved.
    Keep in mind, it can take one to three months from the date your benefit is approved to receive your Award Letter. If you have misplaced your Award Letter you can request a copy by calling Social Security or visiting your local office. You cannot get it online. An Award Letter is not the same thing as a benefit verification letter.

Only pertains to Tier 1 and Tier 2 members eligible for the Social Security Make-Up benefit.

Marriage Certificate/Common Law Affidavit
(provide copy if applicable)

Medicare Card or Medicare Entitlement Letter of Award (provide copy if applicable)

Medicare is for people 65 and older. Certain people younger than 65 can qualify if they have a disability or special conditions.

If you intend to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan through DERP and already have Medicare, you must provide a copy of your Medicare card showing you have Parts A and B. If you’ve applied and been approved, but haven’t received your card, you must provide a copy of your Medicare Entitlement Letter of Award.

Visit the Medicare website for more information and to create or log in to your account.

Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (provide copy if applicable) X
Step 2 – Review and Decide

You’ll have key decisions to make at retirement that will impact your monthly lifetime DERP Pension Benefit payment. Completing the Retirement Application will be easier if you have an idea of the choices you want to make.

Health Insurance Coverage

Review the 2023 DERP Retiree Health Insurance guide to determine which insurance plan meets your needs.

Need more information? Visit Health Insurance and expand the 2023 Health Insurance Options accordian to view presentations from our carriers describing the benefits their plans provide.

If you decide to enroll in DERP’s health insurance, you’ll need to complete the applicable form(s).

DERP Pension Benefit Options

When you apply for retirement, you’ll need to choose the Maximum Benefit Option or the Joint and Survivor Benefit Option. Understanding which option is right for you begins with a simple question: Do you want to provide a monthly benefit payment to a beneficiary after you pass away?

  • Maximum Benefit Option – Provides you with the highest monthly DERP Pension Benefit and payments cease upon your passing.
  • Joint and Survivor Benefit Option – You receive a reduced monthly DERP Pension Benefit and your beneficiary receives 100%, 75%, or 50% of your reduced monthly DERP Pension Benefit after you pass, for the rest of their life.

Visit the DERP Plus Benefits section for more information

Lump-Sum Death Benefit

When you retire directly from active service, you’re eligible for a Lump-Sum Death Benefit. The amount is based on your retirement type and membership tier.

Visit the DERP Plus Benefits section for more information.

Taxes in Retirement

Your DERP Pension Benefit is considered taxable income, subject to federal and state income tax, and reported to the IRS and state of Colorado. We’ll withhold federal and Colorado taxes if you choose. We won’t withhold taxes for other states. If you move out of Colorado, make sure you update your tax elections.

We can’t provide tax counseling. Specific questions about your taxes should be directed to your personal tax advisor, the IRS, and/or the Colorado Department of Revenue.

  • You can update your tax elections in retirement by logging in to your account and click the Tax Withholding button.
  • DERP will mail or make available your Form 1099-R – Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. by January 31 to report your distribution of retirement benefits.
  • Login to your account, click the View Tax Forms hyperlink to view and print a prior Form 1099-R. To request an older Form 1099-R email
Step 3 – Meet with a Membership Services Representative

Setup a counseling session with a membership services representative so you can ask questions, discuss health insurance options, review timelines, go over your paperwork, and more.

Log in to your account, click the Counseling Appointments button to request an in person, phone, or virtual one-on-one counseling session.

Step 4 – Submit Your Notification of Intent to Retire

Members who are retiring from active service should submit their notification of intent to retire, in writing, to their supervisor, the Office of Human Resources (OHR) or designated human resources representative, and to DERP. Be sure to clearly indicate your last day of employment and state the reason for separation is retirement.

DERP will contact you upon receipt of your intent to retire, and/or your online retirement application, and share next steps.

Step 5 – Submit Your Retirement Application

Your signed and notarized Retirement Application, and all required documents, must be received by DERP within 30 days of your last day worked.

You can complete the Retirement Application securely on your account. You will have to print the application, sign it, and have it notarized.

Submit the Retirement Application and all required documents to:


Fax: (303) 839-9525

Mail: Denver Employees Retirement Plan, 777 Pearl St., Denver, CO 80203

Important: Your monthly DERP Pension Benefit payment will be deferred if you submit an incomplete package, or if DERP does not receive your complete package within 30 days of your last day worked. Failure to submit your retirement application and all other required forms and documents within 30 days of separation, will result in your DERP Pension Benefit monthly payments being delayed and the loss of the Lump-Sum Death Benefit.

Your DERP Pension Benefit is effective the first day of the month following your separation if you’ve worked continuously up to retirement. Your monthly DERP Pension Benefit is deposited in your account on the first business day of each month.



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