As a member of CalSTRS or CalPERS, you have a benefit that many Americans don't – a guaranteed income in retirement. As long as you meet the requirements for years of service credit and retirement age, you can count on your defined benefit pension. And, CTA will continue to work on your behalf to protect and enhance your defined benefit pension.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that your pension won't replace 100% of your pre-retirement income. On average, CalSTRS replaces 60% to 65% of income, and CalPERS reports that, in 2009, the average monthly check for an employee who left at age 60 after 20 years of service was $1,134.
Years ago, financial experts suggested that most people would need to replace 70% to 80% of their pre-retirement income to maintain their lifestyle, but these days – with ever-increasing health care costs and increased life spans – many experts think 90% to 100% is more reasonable.
Your Voluntary Savings Options
As a California educator, you likely have access to a 403(b) and/or 457 savings plan. These plans are designed to allow you to save money on a tax-advantaged basis for retirement. Supplementing your CalSTRS or CalPERS pension with 403(b) or 457 savings can help you prepare for a financially comfortable retirement.
Learn more about the 403(b)/457 savings plans.