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Benefit Limits

Overview

Benefit Limits

IRS Section 415 limits

Each year the IRS sets forth the total amount of individual benefits that SamCERA can pay for that calendar year.  These limits, known as IRS Section 415 limits, affect only a small number of members who were highly paid and had a long service period.  Additionally, a small category of beneficiaries receiving survivor benefits may be affected by the limits. SamCERA will notify you if you are affected by the 415 limit.

  • For those members who were hired by the County before July 1, 1996. For these members, contributions were made on the full salary, and your full salary was used to calculate your final compensation. This may cause your pension to be limited by the IRS 415 limit. In this case, SamCERA will pay you up to the limit, the rest of your pension will be paid through a replacement benefit plan established by the County.  Members hired by other SamCERA employers do not participate in the replacement benefit plan.
  • For those members hired on or after July 1, 1996.  For these members who earned a salary over the IRS compensation limit, contributions were not made on your full salary, so the full amount was not used to calculate your pension and your pension should be under the 415 limit. Please contact the County’s Human Resources Department for more information regarding this matter. 

Other Benefit Limits

No greater than 100% of Final Average Compensation. In any circumstance, the maximum monthly benefit any member can receive cannot exceed 100% of Final Average Compensation.   Plan 7 members should note that their benefits are independently capped due to the provisions of the PEPRA plan.

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