Preparing for retirement doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process
that should start well in advance of your anticipated retirement
To learn more about retirement eligibility and benefits, you can
jump-start the retirement planning process by reading SamCERA’s
Guide to Your
Some other things you should consider:
- Check your years of service credit and get a retirement
estimate through MySamCERA.
It’s fast, easy, and secure!
- Contact SamCERA for help with the retirement process. Our
staff can be reached through the Contact
And don’t stop here. Plan ahead carefully so you can make your
financial decisions on your own terms. You may also want to
contact a financial planning professional to help you prepare for
Additional Considerations for Inactive Members Thinking About
There are some important things inactive members should know
about getting ready to retire.
Let SamCERA know if you have established reciprocity with another
public employer. If you moved between California public
retirement systems, you may be eligible for reciprocity.
Reciprocity can affect your SamCERA benefit if you worked for a
reciprocal system before coming to SamCERA, or after leaving
SamCERA. Contact SamCERA if you think you might be eligible, even
if you never established reciprocity. Establishing reciprocity
takes time, so contact SamCERA right away.
You will have to retire concurrently from all reciprocal systems.
See the Reciprocity page for more.
Your SamCERA account is subject to California community property
law, so if you had a divorce while you were an active or inactive
member of SamCERA, or if you are filing for dissolution of
marriage or domestic partnership, you must contact SamCERA.
You will not be able to complete the retirement process or
receive retirement benefits until SamCERA receives and approves a
Court order regarding the division of your SamCERA benefits.
Additionally, if you are currently married and get a divorce
after you retire, you will need to contact SamCERA.
Visit SamCERA’s Divorce page for more
Former employees of Safety, Probation and the Mosquito and Vector
Control District that did not contribute to Social Security,
should be aware of the Windfall Elimination Provision and
Government Pension Offset. Learn more on SamCERA’s Windfall
Elimination page and Social
Security’s official website.
If you are a member of Plan 3, SamCERA will need a Social
Security estimate before you can retire. This is because your
benefits are calculated based on an equation that involves your
Social Security benefit.
The Plan 3 page of this website has more
Your Retirement Is Not Automatic
In order to retire, you need to fill out a retirement
application. SamCERA does not “automatically” begin sending you a
benefit check when you reach full retirement age, or any other
milestone. (Exception: Inactive members will be
automatically retired in April of the year they turn
72 years old.) Contact SamCERA for more details.