Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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ANSWER: The answer to your question depends on the election language found in your plan. Your retirement counselor should know. But there should be a clause in the plan that states something like this one:
"Election – If you wish to participate in DROP, you may make your election up to 6 months before the date you plan to begin participation, but the Division of Retirement must receive your election no later than the month you wish to begin DROP. You must make your election within a 12-month election window that begins when you first reach your normal retirement date unless you are eligible to defer your election as described below. If you do not apply within your prescribed election window, you will lose your eligibility to participate."