Ready To Retire

Ready To Retire

Are you ready to retire? Here are some helpful tips to consider prior to applying for a Service Pension/DROP Entry:

Applying for a Service Pension

To apply for a service pension you must meet the requirements based on your tier. Once requirements are met follow the steps below to apply for a service pension:

Obtain your Letter of Intent (LOI) to Retire. 

At least six weeks before your desired retirement date, schedule an appointment with your department’s counselor to begin the application process. At your appointment, your counselor will help you prepare your LOI and:

  • Provide information regarding unused sick, vacation and overtime balances;
  • Help you select a pension effective date that will be advantageous to you; and
  • Make your retirement appointment with LAFPP DROP/Service Pensions Section
Submit Required Documents to LAFPP.

Next, you will meet with the LAFPP Benefits Specialist to apply for service retirement. Please bring your LOI to Retire (signed by you and your employing department)to your appointment. In addition, please bring any of the following personal documents and certificates that are not on file, including:

  • Your marriage certificate or proof of dissolution of prior marriage(s), such as final dissolution of marriage decree(s) or death certificate(s),
  • Birth certificate(s) for your minor or dependent children, and/or
  • Letter from the Department confirming filing of a Declaration of Domestic Partnership.


At your appointment, you will complete the following forms and receive information on non-taxable contributions and retaining current voluntary deductions. Click here to view the various Service Retirement Forms.

Receive First Pension Check.

The LAFPP Benefits Specialist will process your completed application and forms. You will receive your first pension check at the end of the following month after your retirement effective date.


You have until one day prior to your service pension effective date to change your mind and revoke your application. Afterwards, your decision to retire becomes irrevocable. You must notify your counselor at DROP/Service Pensions Section and complete the Service Pension Rescission Notice.

Click Here to review details of member plan tiers.

Applying to Enter DROP

You are eligible to enter DROP if you are in:

  • Tier 2 or Tier 4 and have at least 25 years of service, or
  • Tier 3, Tier 5, or Tier 6 and have at least 25 years of service and are at least age 50. 
Purchase(s) of Service Credit. 

You must complete all purchases of service credit prior to entering DROP. A purchase is considered completed when LAFPP has received payment in full. Please contact the LAFPP Active Member Services Section regarding purchases of service credit.

Service credit should be purchased no less than six months prior to your anticipated retirement or DROP entry date.

Obtain a Letter of Intent (LOI) to Enroll in DROP.

LAPD/LAFD Members: Your LOI will be prepared by the LAFPP Benefits Specialist.

Harbor Port Police members: Please obtain your LOI by contacting Harbor Department Human Resources.

Airport Police members: Please obtain your LOI by contacting Airport Department Human Resources.

Schedule a DROP Entry appointment.
  • Call the LAFPP DROP/Service Pensions Section to schedule an appointment no more than 60 days and no less than 3 days prior to your intended DROP entry effective date.
  • Appointments are required and must be scheduled with the LAFPP Benefits Specialist assigned to process your entry.
  • Once an appointment has been scheduled, your DROP Entry packet will be emailed to you. Prior to your scheduled appointment, complete the entry packet forms, but do not sign them.

You must submit your application to enroll in DROP by appointment only.

Bring the following to your DROP Entry appointment:
  • Your California Drivers License or department picture ID card,
  • Social Security numbers and birth certificates for your spouse/domestic partner and any minor/dependent children,
  • Marriage certificate or state-registered domestic partnership documents (if not already on file with LAFPP), and
  • Dissolution of marriage documents for all prior marriages.
  • Harbor Port and Airport Police members: You must also bring the LOI prepared by your department.
Consider the following before entering DROP:
  • You have until one day prior to your DROP entry effective date to change your mind and revoke your DROP application. Afterwards, your decision to participate in DROP becomes irrevocable.
  • Per the Los Angeles Administrative Code, Section 4.2101(c)(1), your DROP entry date may not be backdated.
  • You must be on active duty status on your DROP entry date. In the event you are sick, on vacation or on any other non-working status on this day, your DROP entry date will automatically be advanced to the next qualifying date.

Click here for more information regarding the DROP program or view the links below:

Applying for a Disability Pension

The disability application process is time-consuming. It may take up to a year or more from the date of filing an application until the final Board determination. The process includes:

  • Review of applicable medical and personnel records,
  • Examination by a minimum of three physicians, and
  • A hearing before the Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners.

To begin the application process, review the information booklet and complete the forms:

Applications may be withdrawn at any time prior to Board determination. An approval of your disability pension application is not guaranteed. If you are approved for a pension, the Board retains the authority to review your disability status at any time. Learn more about your disability pensions

If you believe you may have incurred a disabling injury or illness, you should contact the Disability Pensions Section at (213) 279-3165 or send an email to [email protected] for further information regarding the process.

Applying to Exit DROP

If you are preparing to exit DROP, follow the steps below to ensure timely distribution of your DROP account and a smooth transition into retirement!

Meet with your department’s retirement/human resources liaison.

Schedule your appointment 90 days prior to your desired DROP exit date. Your liaison will provide you with information regarding the terminating requisites for your department and payment of unused sick, vacation and overtime balances. He/she will also prepare your Letter of Intent (LOI) to terminate participation in DROP. Bring the LOI to your DROP Exit appointment with LAFPP DROP/Service Pensions staff.

Schedule your DROP Exit Appointment.

Call the LAFPP DROP/Service Pensions Section to schedule your appointment not less than 45 days prior to your desired DROP exit date. Afterwards, you will be emailed the DROP Exit forms for you to indicate how you would like to receive your DROP account balance and other forms related to your monthly pension benefit.


You may elect to receive your balance as a lump-sum payment, a rollover to a qualified account or a combination of both. A description of each type is provided below.

  • Lump-Sum Payment
    If you elect to receive a lump-sum payment of your DROP account balance from LAFPP, you will be taxed. However, a portion of any after-tax pension contributions you made to the Plan, such as those made from July 1, 1982 to December 20, 1996, may be distributed to you tax free.Note for Tier 4 members: In addition to any applicable tax, if you are not age 50 or older in the year in which you exit DROP, you will also be assessed a 10% “early distribution” penalty by the IRS when you receive your lump-sum payment.
  • Rollover
    You may defer payment of taxes on the taxable portion of your DROP account balance by rolling it over to one qualified account, such as the City’s Deferred Compensation plan or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You will then be subject to the rules of such plan when you take distribution of your funds.Note: If your DROP account balance includes any non-taxable amount, you may elect to receive a partial lump-sum payment of that portion, tax free. Otherwise, if you elect to roll over your entire balance to a single plan/financial institution, the qualified account you designate must accept non-taxable funds – the City’s Deferred Compensation plan does not.  If you roll over any non-taxable portion, you must also roll over your entire taxable portion.
  • Combination Lump-Sum Payment & Rollover
    You have the option to take a portion of your DROP account balance in a lump-sum payment from LAFPP and roll over the remaining balance to a qualified account.


You may wish to consult with your tax and/or financial advisor so that you are aware of any financial consequences that could affect your distribution decision. We cannot advise you regarding your tax liability.

Submit your completed DROP Exit forms.

In order to ensure that payment of your DROP account balance is issued on the last business day of the month in which you exit, submit your completed forms, LOI and any other requested documents (e.g., marriage certificate, dissolution of marriage decree or declaration of domestic partnership) at your DROP Exit appointment or, no later than the first business day of the month in which you exit.

Consider the following before exiting DROP:

  • Changes to your DROP distribution election (only allowed if your DROP exit account has not been processed yet), incomplete/incorrect forms, pending documents or late submission will delay distribution of your funds.
  • LAFPP must receive completed forms and documentation requested by DROP/Service Pensions staff no later than 90 calendar days after your DROP exit date. After 90 days, your DROP account balance will be distributed as a lump-sum payment only, subject to a mandatory 20% Federal tax withholding for the entire account balance. Any after-tax contributions will be recoverable solely from your monthly pension payments.
  • No interest will be applied to your DROP account after your DROP exit date.


If you have any questions, you may contact the DROP/Service Pensions Section at (213) 279-3100 or (844) 88-LAFPP, Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (PDT), excluding weekends and City Holidays.