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Frequently Asked Questions

Post Retirement Benefits

What retirement benefits does SamCERA offer?

SamCERA is a “defined benefit” retirement plan. Under a defined benefit plan, qualified members are eligible for a monthly benefit, also called a “pension.” 

SamCERA also offers monthly disability retirement benefits for eligible members who can no longer substantially perform their job duties. 

Post Retirement Benefits

What about a deferred compensation plan?

SamCERA does not offer or administer deferred compensation plans.  You need to contact your employer’s benefits division for information regarding deferred compensation plans. 

Post Retirement Benefits

How much money will I get when I retire?

For a regular service retirement, your benefit amount will be based upon:

  • your plan formula (i.e. Plan 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,or 7);
  • your years of service;
  • your final average compensation;
  • your age at retirement.  

The most accurate way to estimate your future retirement pension benefit is to run an estimate on the MySamCERA member portal or mobile app.

Post Retirement Benefits

Will participating in Voluntary Time Off (VTO) affect my SamCERA benefits?

For those members who participate in VTO, your service credit will not be affected by VTO. However, because VTO will reduce your salary, it would reduce your Final Average Compensation (FAC) if you participate in VTO during the time period used to calculate your FAC — In which case your benefit will be affected.

Post Retirement Planning

What should I do about health insurance, life insurance, and deferred compensation?

SamCERA has no role in health benefits, life insurance, or deferred compensation programs. 

It is important for you to understand your health care, life insurance and deferred compensation options before you retire.

Please contact your employer’s benefit division for information about your health benefits, life insurance and deferred compensation programs. 

Post Retirement Planning

What  should I do before I retire?

Preparing for retirement doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that should start well in advance of your anticipated retirement date. 

To jump-start the retirement planning process and help you understand your SamCERA retirement benefits, read the Guide to Your SamCERA Benefits.

FAQ After Retirement

Can I work after I retire, and what effect will it have on my retirement?

There are certain restrictions for post-retirement employment with a SamCERA employer.  If you are considering returning to work in any capacity (permanent position, extra help, or as a contractor), please read the Guide to Your SamCERA Benefits