member services

Terms to Know

Actuarial Equivalent

A benefit that is determined by the actuary for the ERS, to be the equivalent of some other benefit provided by the ERS, based on the interest rate, the mortality rate, and other tables and assumptions being used at the time of any such determination, to compute the contributions required to provide the benefits under the ERS.


A person professionally trained in the technical and mathematical aspects of insurance, pensions and related fields. The actuary estimates how much money must be contributed to a pension fund each year in order to support the benefits that will become payable in the future.


A retired member who is entitled to receive benefits as provided by the ERS.

Average Annual Earnings

The average of the annual base pay of a participant while an employee of the Commission during the three consecutive years for Plans A, B, C and D and five consecutive years for Plan E of credited service that produce the highest total earnings prior to the participant's actual retirement date; or prior to the date on which the participant qualifies for and begins receiving benefits under the Commission's Long-Term Disability Plan.

Base Pay

The established rate of gross earnable compensation at which a participant is employed by the Commission, exclusive of any overtime pay or additional compensation of any kind.


A retired participant, contingent annuitant, any person or other designee named by the member, including his/her executors and administrators, entitled to receive benefits.

Benefit Multiplier

A percentage multiplied by a participant's average salary to determine a benefit.

Credited Service

The total period of years and months of completed service as credited under the terms and conditions of the ERS.

Fiscal Year

The ERS operates on a fiscal year calendar, which is July 1 to June 30 each year.

Joint & Survivor Annuity

A contract that provides income periodically, payable during the longer lifetime of two persons. The benefit payable may be adjusted to account for the extended life expectancy of the couple, and the benefit amount may increase or decrease when one or the other dies. The contingent annuitant is usually the spouse.


Any individual included in the membership of the ERS.


An employee currently employed and making contributions to the ERS pursuant to Plan A, B, C, D or E.

Social Security Wage Base

The annual amount of taxable wages under Social Security.

Vested Member

A former participant who has terminated employment with the Commission, has qualified under the vested benefits provision, and has not elected a refund of accumulated contributions.

Vested Participant

A participant in Plans A, B, C and D with five or more years of credited service; a participant in Plan E with ten or more years of credited service; an appointed official with immediate vesting; or a participant appointed as Inspector General with five or more years of credited service.