The California Public Employee’s Retirement System (CalPERS) is a state agency that manages the retirement pensions and health benefits for more than 1.6 million California public employees, retirees, and their families.
Employees must have 5 years of service credit within the CalPERS system to be vested for retirement.
Employees who transition from certain public retirement systems to a CalPERS agency may establish reciprocity between the two systems. Reciprocity allows an employee to retire from both agencies on the same date using highest final compensation from either system to calculate their retirement benefit. There's no transfer of retirement contributions or service credit between retirement systems so employees with established reciprocity will receive separate retirement payments from each system.
To establish reciprocity employees must notify CalPERS using the Confirmation of Intent to Establish Reciprocity and notify the County using the Member Reciprocal Form. These forms must be received within 10 days of hire.
Employees can find more information on reciprocity in the CalPERS publication When You Change Retirement Systems.
Buying Service Credit
- Prior military service
- Peace Corps service
- Hours worked as a temporary employee for a CalPERS agency
- Prior service with a fund withdrawal
- Unpaid leave of absence
Service credit can be purchased on a pre- or post-tax basis through payroll deduction or paid using funds from a retirement savings plan such as the Monterey County Deferred Compensation Plan (457). More information on the purchase of service credit can be found in the CalPERS publication Service Credit Purchase Options.
Insurance During Retirement
Employees who retire within 120 days of separation from county employment are eligible for insurance through CalPERS. Monterey County retirees who are enrolled in medical insurance through CalPERS are eligible to receive a “non-elective” contribution towards their monthly insurance premiums. The non-elect contribution is defined by CalPERS as the PEMHCA (Public Employees’ Medical and Hospital Care Act) Minimum Contribution. The minimum contribution for 2018 is $133 per month. Retirees are required to pay the remaining premium amount after the County minimum contribution has been applied. The County's minimum contribution will only be applied if the retiree is enrolled in a CalPERS health plan.
Upon retirement CalPERS will become a retiree’s benefit resource. In the event a retiree would like to change their medical insurance enrollment they should contact CalPERS directly at 1-888-225-7377.
Insurance premiums can be found on CalPERS’ website.
Upon retirement employees will have their annual, vacation, comp, and PTO leave paid out to them. This payment is often paid 1-2 pay periods after the employee receives their final paycheck. Retirees may also request the payout of sick leave hours but will need to provide copy of their CalPERS pay stub to Employee Benefits to receive this payout.
In lieu of receiving a post-tax payout of accruals employees may defer these funds into their Deferred Comp 457 plan. A request to defer accruals must be on file the month prior to retirement. IRS maximum contributions apply to the deferral of these funds. If an employee’s deferral is above the maximum for the year the remaining balance will be paid out via post-tax check.
The Pre-Retirement Lump Sum Beneficiary Designation form allows employees to designate individuals to receive a one-time, taxable, lump sum payment of their CalPERS funds in the event of the employee’s death prior to retirement. Employees may update their CalPERS beneficiary designation online via MyCalPERS or by completing the beneficiary designation form and returning it to CalPERS. If an employee’s spouse is unable or unwilling to sign the beneficiary designation form a Justification for Absence of Spouse’s Signature Form must also be included along with the beneficiary designation when submitted to CalPERS.
Human Resources does not keep a copy of employee’s beneficiary designation on file. Employees are responsible to maintain their own beneficiary record.
The beneficiary designation is revoked in the event of marriage/registration of domestic partnership, divorce, or birth/adoption. In the event of one of the above mentioned life events employees should provide a new beneficiary designation to CalPERS.