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Employee Separation

Reminders and Information for Separating Employees

Most separating employees have questions about a number of issues such as their paycheck, benefits, deferred compensation, retirement contributions, etc. Below is key information on these topics for you from Payroll, Human Resources (HR), Tacoma Employees' Retirement System (TERS) and other important service providers, followed by a contact list with phone numbers and email addresses for each of these, should you need to follow up with them directly.

Keep Your Mailing Address Updated

Please keep your mailing address up-to-date throughout the year so that your W2 and any retroactive payments you may be entitled to can be mailed to you.  If you have already separated, you will need to contact HR at (253) 591-5400 or email HRAdminTeam@cityoftacoma.org to request your address or phone number be updated.


Payroll and your Timekeeper will work together on your final paycheck.  Your pay advice should arrive within a few days of the payroll run after your separation.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • All payouts are subject to Federal withholding, Social Security and Medicare. 
  • Your contributions to Deferred Compensation are also subject to Social Security and Medicare contributions, so if you plan to direct any of your final payout to Deferred Comp, remember to account for these mandatory deductions in your planning.  
  • If you qualify for a Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) Incentive payout, please note that payments are made in the year AFTER they are earned.  Another reason to keep your address up to date!

Health Benefit End Dates

If you are covered by a City of Tacoma health benefit plan, your separation from the City will end those benefits. Most benefits (medical, dental, vision) continue through the end of the month of separation, regardless of your separation date.


Employees who are covered by a City of Tacoma medical, dental, or vision plan are eligible to continue coverage under COBRA.  You will be sent information directly from our COBRA provider to elect coverage. You will pay for the full cost of the premium for the coverage, plus a 2% administrative fee. Flexible Spending Account balances may also be eligible for conversion to COBRA if you have a balance remaining.

Deferred Compensation (457) Accounts

If you make contributions to a deferred compensation account, you may need to update your contact information and want to inquire about the status of your account.  And if you have not reached your maximum annual contribution amount by your separation date, you may be able to make an additional contribution with your final pay check.

Life Insurance

Employees who are covered by a City of Tacoma life insurance plan may be eligible to apply to convert the group life insurance policy to an individual policy.

Retirement Health Savings (RHS) Accounts

If you worked in a classification within the collective bargaining agreement with IBEW, Local 483, Tacoma Power Unit, you may have contributions on your behalf in a Retirement Health Savings (RHS) Account with ICMA.

Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association (VEBA)

If you are retiring and are otherwise eligible, you may have the value of any unused sick leave and/or Paid Time Off (PTO) accruals placed into a VEBA account on your behalf.  Review Tacoma Municipal Code Section 1.12.229 or your CBA to determine if you qualify.

Retirement Account with Tacoma Employees’ Retirement System (TERS)

If you have been making contributions to TERS, you may have questions about the status of your account and options upon separation. A Separation Packet with information will be mailed to you approximately two to three weeks after your separation date to assist you in understanding your options. Please be sure your address is up to date with HR so that the packet will reach you.

Regardless of whether you elect to withdraw your contributions or defer your retirement, you need to make a decision within six months from separation.

You may visit the TERS website to view Frequently Asked Questions or access the Benefits Calculator at www.cityoftacoma.org/retirement.

Washington State Unemployment

If applicable, you can find information about possible unemployment benefits from the Washington State Unemployment website.

City of Tacoma Ethics Policy for Separating Employees

The City's Ethics Policy generally prohibits separating employees from working with the City as a contractor, or participating in any procurements and related decisions in any capacity for one year.  Please see Title 1 of the City’s Municipal Code, Section 1.46.030 Prohibited Conduct here for more information on restrictions after separation.  

Optional Exit Interview or Survey

Many, but not all departments, offer an Exit Interview to separating employees.  Regardless of whether a department-specific interview is offered to you, all employees may request an Exit Interview or Anonymous Exit Survey from HR.  Please contact Human Resources to request this service.  


Key Contact Information

Benefit Department/Vendor Contact Name Phone Email/Web Address
Human Resources/ Benefits  Benefits staff
(253) 573-2345  benefits@cityoftacoma.org 
COBRA WageWorks (COBRA) Customer Service (877) 452-6272
ext. 4609
4609 Regent Blvd.
Irving, TX 75063
Deferred Compensation ICMA Deferred Comp/
RHS Accounts
Scott Berry (800) 669-7400
Deferred Compensation Nationwide Deferred Comp Accounts
(Fire Fighters ONLY)
Mike Ferguson (509) 385-7825 m.ferguson@nationwide.com
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)  First Choice EAP Customer Service (800) 777-4114 www.FirstChoiceEAP.com
Exit Interview or Survey (Optional)      
Flexible Benefit Plans
(Section 125)
Trusteed Plans Services Corporation (TPSC) Customer Service (253) 564-5611 BenefitsSupport@trusteedplans.com
Other Human Resource Questions Human Resources HR Administration (253) 591-5400 hradminteam@cityoftacoma.org
Paychecks/W2s Finance/Payroll Payroll Staff (253) 591-5859 payroll@cityoftacoma.org
Retirement: TERS Tacoma Employees Retirement System TERS Pensions and Police/Fire LEOFF 1 (253) 502-8200
(888) 404-3787
Retirement: Other Department of Retirement Systems LEOFF II
(800) 547-6657 www.drs.wa.gov
Washington State Unemployment - - - https://esd.wa.gov/