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Full-time appointments that exceed six months and half-time appointments averaging 20 hours per week for one year or longer require membership in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS). CSU employees who are members of the CalPERS system are in the "State Miscellaneous, First Tier" plan, or one of the Public Safety plans, depending on classification.
Employees excluded from CalPERS membership are covered by the Savings Plus Program.
Due to recent Pension Reform legislation that went into effect on January 1, 2013, please note the previous and new retirement formulas that are applicable to CSU employees:
|Retirement Plans||Hired prior to 1-15-11||Hired on or after 1-15-11||Hired on or after 1-1-13 as a new CalPERS member|
|State Misc. Tier 1
(all eligible employees except Public Safety)
|Retirement Plans:||Hired prior to 1-15-11||Hired on or after 1-15-11||Hired on or after 1-1-13 as a new CalPERS member|
|PO/FF (MPP Public Safety)||
(limited to Intermittent Peace Officer)
|Retirement Plans:||Hired prior to 7-1 -11||Hired on or after 7- 1-11||Hired on or after 1-1-13 as a new CalPERS member|
|PO/FF (Unit 8)||
Please note: Employees who became members of CalPERS on or after 7/1/1996, are subject to the IRC 401(a) (17) limit, which restricts the amount of compensation that can be used to calculate the CalPERS retirement benefit. For 2018, the limit is $275,000.
Employees who become new members of CalPERS on or after 1/1/2013, are subject to a compensation cap of $121,388 if participating in Social Security or $145,666 if not participating in Social Security (such as Public Safety employees). These amounts represent the maximum salary that can count toward final compensation and calculation of retirement benefits for employees that are placed in the 2% at 62, 2.5% at 57, or 2% at 57 retirement formulas.
In addition, once an employee's salary reaches the compensation cap during the year, the employee's retirement contributions will be stopped and restarted in January of the following year.
CalPERS Retirement Contributions:
- Employees contribute a percentage of gross monthly income minus the applicable offset amount (Gross Income - offset amount x applicable %).
- Employees in retirement formulas 2% at 62, and 2% at 57 and 2.5% at 57 are not subject to the offset amount.
- The contribution is not subject to federal and state taxes.
- The CSU also contributes to CalPERS.
CalPERS Retirement Benefits:
- The plan is a defined benefit plan with retirement benefits calculated based on age at retirement, years of service and compensation.
- Members in the 2% at 55 and 2% at 57 benefit formulas have a minimum retirement age of 50.
- Members in the 2% at 62 benefit formula are eligible to retire at the minimum age of fifty-two (52)
- Employees are eligible to retire and receive a monthly pension when they are at the minimum retirement age and have five years of CalPERS-credited service.
- Vesting for health and dental benefits is five years of PERS credited service for employees hired and who established membership on or before June 30, 2017. 10 years of membership are required for Unit 3 (CFA) employees hired on or after July 1, 2017 and 10 years of membership are required for all other units hired on or after July 1, 2018.
- Any unused sick leave is converted to additional service credit if the employee retires within 120 days of separation from employment. Eight hours of sick leave equals one day (.004 of a year of service). It takes 250 days of sick leave to receive one year of service credit (.004 x 250 = 1 year).
- CalPERS may require up to 3 months after the retirement date to calculate sick leave. Once completed, your adjusted pension will be retroactive to the date of retirement.CSU retiree medical, dental and vision benefits are available to eligible employees (and their eligible dependents) who retire within 120 days from the date of separation from employment.
Applying for CalPERS Service Retirement:
Employees should begin their retirement planning (CalPERS) at least one year before their retirement date. However, they should not submit their application to CalPERS sooner than 90 days prior to their retirement date. Completed applications should be mailed to the CalPERS address at the bottom of page 8 of the application.
- Application Resources: Regional Offices
CalPERS Power of Attorney:
The CalPERS Special Power of Attorney allows the member to designate a representative or agent to conduct their retirement affairs if they are unable to act on their own behalf.
CalPERS Beneficiary Designation:
The CalPERS Beneficiary Designation Form allows the member to designate Primary and Secondary Beneficiaries for payment of specific Death Benefits in the event the member dies before retirement.
As a member of CalPERS, employees also participate in Social Security.
- Social Security and Medicare taxes are withheld from your paycheck.
- 2018 withholding rates are 6.2 percent for Social Security and 1.45 percent for Medicare.
Social Security Resources:
- Social Security FAQ This official site includes questions and answers about Social Security benefits.
- Social Security Administration (SSA) website