California Public Employee's Retirement System (CalPERS)
All employees appointed full time for more than six months contribute to the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). Employees appointed half time for more than one year also contribute to PERS. Lecturers and Coaches qualify for CalPERS retirement membership at the beginning of their third consecutive quarter at half-time or greater. Membership and contributions are mandatory. CSULA employees enrolled in CalPERS are in the State Miscellaneous, 1st Tier plan.
Part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees are not eligible for PERS membership, but are enrolled in one of the CSU Part-Time Retirement Plans.
The formula used in calculating the employee’s monthly contribution is 5% of earnings in excess of $513 per month for most CSU employees. The employee contribution rate for Public Safety Officers is 8%; however, both the CSU pays both the employer and employee contribution. Public Safety Management employees contribute 8% of earnings in excess of $238 per month.
Employee Monthly Contribution: $100.00
The University contributes a substantial percentage based on your gross monthly salary. The employer contribution is set annually by CalPERS based on actuarial valuations. Employee contributions go into a fund that earns interest. Changes in the employer contribution rate do not impact your future retirement benefits in any way. By law, employees’ retirement benefits are guaranteed and are always based on years of service, age at retirement, and highest one-year average compensation.
CalPERS is a defined benefit plan with retirement benefits calculated based on age at retirement, years of service and final compensation. Plan vesting is five years of PERS credited service. Employees are eligible to retire and receive a monthly pension benefit at age 50 with a minimum of five years of CalPERS- credited service.
The benefit formula for CSU CalPERS eligible employees is 3% at age 50 for CSU Police and 2% at 55 for all other employees. To determine years of service, employees should refer to their CalPERS member statements and add any planned future service. To determine age, use age at expected date of retirement. The percentage derived from the tables shown in the 2% @ 55 or 3% @ 50 Retirement Booklets is multiplied by final compensation, which is the average monthly pay for the last consecutive 12 months of employment or another consecutive 12-month period when average monthly pay was higher.
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’s service). It takes 250 days of sick leave to receive one year of service (.004 x 250 = 1 Year).
CSU retiree medical and dental benefits are available to employees and eligible dependents who retire within 120 days from the date of separation from employment. Medical benefits will remain the same as when the retiree was an active employee. Retirees who attain age 65 after January 1, 2001 are required to enroll in Medicare Part B. Medicare Part A is automatic. To enroll in Medicare Part B the retiree must contact Social Security at (800) 772-1213. Once enrolled, retirees must send copies of the cards to CalPERS or call CalPERS at (877) 720-7377 and give the information on the cards to the CalPERS representative. For further information about Social Security, visit the Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov.
2% @ 55 and 3% @ 50 Retirement Booklets are available in the Benefits Office.
Applying for Service Retirement
Employees should begin retirement planning at least one year before retirement; however, retirement applications should not be submitted to CalPERS sooner than 90 days prior to the retirement effective date.
CalPERS Application Resources
1. Visit a CalPERS regional office. Addresses may be found on the “How to Reach CalPERS” page of this website.
2. Visit the CalPERS website at www.calpers.ca.gov. Navigate to For Members--On Line Services Calculators and Tools--Create a Retirement Planning Estimate.
3. Pick up a CalPERS retirement application booklet in the Benefits Office.
Other Retirement Resources
Credit for Prior CalPERS Service
Employees who worked for another PERS employer and withdrew their contributions may request information about the amount required for re-depositing the withdrawn contributions. Re-depositing of funds (plus interest) restores the prior service credit. PERS gives the option of a lump sum payback or monthly payroll deductions. Employees who served in positions either at this University or with another PERS employer prior to becoming a PERS member may request information on the amount of depositing contributions required to receive service credit.
Applications for Service Credit Purchase options can be obtained in the Human Resources Department.
If employees have at least five years of CalPERS service credit (no minimum for Public Safety Officers) and become disabled for more than six months, they may qualify for Disability Retirement even though they are not yet age 50. For more information, employees may pick up CalPERS Disability Retirement Booklets in the Benefits Office, call CalPERS at (877) 225-7377, or visit the CalPERS website www.calpers.ca.gov.
CSU Part-Time Retirement Plans (Part-Time, Seasonal, and Temporary Employees)
Federal law requires that public employees who are not members of a retirement system be covered with a qualified retirement program. This requirement applies to CSU employees who are excluded from participation in PERS because they work less than half time, are seasonal or are employed on an intermittent or temporary basis.
The PST plan is a deferred compensation managed by the Department of Personnel Administration. The mandatory monthly employee contribution is 7.5% of pre-tax salary. Taxes are deferred until the money is withdrawn from the plan. For more information, please contact the Department of Personnel Administration at (916) 322-5070 or go to www.SPPforu.com.