Plan 3 members are eligible to retire at age 55 with 10 years of
SamCERA or reciprocal system service credit. SamCERA will
need a copy of your retirement estimate before you can
Calculating Your Plan 3 Benefits
Plan 3 members should contact SamCERA to get a retirement
estimate. Plan 3 benefits are based on your Final Average
Compensation (FAC), years of service, and age. By law, Plan 3
retirement benefits are reduced by your Social Security benefits.
A copy of your Social Security estimate must be submitted to
SamCERA before you can get an estimate of your pension
If you retire before age 65, SamCERA must use
the estimated Social Security amount based upon your age and
salary as of your date of termination of employment with the
Important: If you leave County employment before
age 65 and choose to not retire right away it is in your best
interest to obtain a Social Security estimate right away, and
submit it to us immediately.
If you retire at age 65 or above, we will
use your actual Social Security benefit amount calculated at
the time of your retirement.
Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA)
There is no COLA for Plan 3 members.
Plan 3 members are not eligible for Disability Retirement
Benefits. However, Plan 3 members may be eligible for the
County’s Long Term Disability Program, if they are
current active County employees.
Transferring Out of Plan 3
Active Plan 3 members can transfer out of Plan 3 into a
contributory plan after 5 years of service. Depending upon your
date of hire, you can transfer into Plan 2, Plan 4 or Plan 5. The
terms of the transfer and upgrade of Plan 3 service credit differ
depending upon eligibility of your plan transfer. Contact SamCERA
for your plan transfer eligibility and cost estimates.
Inactive Plan 3 members returning to active County service should
contact SamCERA regarding plan options.
If you’ve gotten divorced either before or after retirement, make
sure to notify SamCERA. Your Plan 3 retirement benefits are
subject to community property law. Visit SamCERA’s Divorce page for more information.
Death During Active Membership
If a Plan 3 member dies after they are eligible to retire (age 55
with 10 years of service credit), then there is a lifetime
survivor benefit provided through the County for the surviving
spouse or minor. Otherwise there are no survivor benefits. For
more information, contact the County’s Human Resources