DRS to Release Info

Notice to retirees – public records request

Posted 15-Mar-2019

(Editor’s Note: I would not be particularly concerned about this. These types of requests are common and some newspapers gather and publish this type of information on a regular basis.)

The Department of Retirement Systems has received a public records request for information about individuals who have retired from a DRS-administered retirement system. A copy of the request is available here.

DRS has determined that these records are public and, per the state of Washington’s Public Records Act, are not exempt from disclosure. Accordingly, these records will be released on March 22, 2019. Per the request, information to be released will include the following records for each individual:

  • First Name
  • Middle Initial
  • Last Name
  • Reported Pensionable Wages
  • Employer Name

If you are the subject of the public records request, no action is required of you. If you want additional information or have questions about this request, please contact DRS at 844-704-6780 or drs.pdrnotice@drs.wa.gov.

A note about injunctive relief

DRS is often asked if individuals who are the subject of a records request can seek an injunction to prevent the release of their records.

Under RCW 42.56.540, an individual may seek an injunction in the superior court for the county where they reside, or in Thurston County Superior Court, if the release of records “would clearly not be in the public interest and would substantially and irreparably damage any person, or would substantially and irreparably damage vital governmental functions.”

To prevent the release of records in the current request, DRS would need to be served with an injunction by close of business on March 21, 2019.

Whether to seek an injunction is a decision that must be made by each individual. State agencies cannot provide advice on this matter. Individuals should be aware that the superior courts may charge certain fees or costs for an injunction; they may want to obtain the advice of private counsel before deciding whether to pursue an injunction.

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