CalPERS Retirement Benefits

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As a participant in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), you are eligible for a defined benefit retirement plan – a lifetime benefit determined by a set formula – provided you meet all the necessary requirements.

CalPERS provides retirement and health benefits to more than 1.6 million public employees, retirees and their families. As of June 30, 2008, CalPERS provided pension benefits to 1,126,133 active and inactive members and 476,252 retirees. Its membership is divided among current and retired employees of the State, schools and participating public agencies. About 38% of members are school employees.*

Mandatory Membership

If you are a full-time employee in a position covered by the CalPERS defined benefit plan, you will be enrolled on your first day of employment. Part-time employees in positions covered by CalPERS may choose to join; the retirement benefits may be different from those offered to full-time employees.

Contributions to the Plan

You pay 7% of your salary + 6.2% for Social Security + 1.45% for Medicare.

Your employer's contribution varies from year to year.

Calculating Your Benefit

You are eligible for retirement at age 50 with five years of service. Your benefit is based on the highest monthly pay rate for 12 consecutive months.

Make the Most of Your Defined Benefit Retirement Plan

It's important to learn how your CalPERS benefits are calculated and what the impact of changing jobs may be on your benefits.

* Source: CalPERS,