When should you apply?

Senior African-American couple, portrait laughing

Meet with a DROP Advisory Council Member as soon as possible.

You may apply up to six months before reaching your normal retirement date or DROP deferral date.

To maximize your time in DROP, the division must receive your DROP application and election forms no later than the last working day of the month you intend to begin DROP participation.

You need to send in your DROP application as early as possible. If you apply for DROP after your normal retirement date or after your latest eligible deferral date, but within the first 12 months of your 60-month participation period, your eligible DROP participation is reduced.

There is a month-for-month reduction in your maximum DROP participation for each month you delay submitting your application to the division. If you fail to make an election to participate within the 12-month election window, you are no longer eligible to participate in DROP, unless you qualify for one of the exceptions.

Example: If your normal retirement date or latest eligible deferral date was July 1, 2013, and you did not make an election to participate in DROP by the last working day in June 2014, you would no longer be eligible to participate in the program unless you qualified for one of the deferral exceptions.