In this issue: Welcome New Members, Retirement Application Reminders, and More!                                                                                                                                             






If you have recently started a regular position with the County of San Mateo, the San Mateo County Superior Court, or the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District, you're also a SamCERA member. SamCERA is a defined benefit pension plan that provides retirement, disability, and death benefits for eligible members and beneficiaries. There are different plans, and we determine your plan placement based upon your date of hire and job classification.

As a new member, there are a few things you should do right away:

  1. Create a MySamCERA online account - Set up your online account to receive important notices, verify your account information, and much more! Step-by-step instructions are available here. Your MySamCERA username and password can be used to login to the member portal as well as the mobile app which you can download from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

  2. Download, complete, and return a Beneficiary Designation form - Beneficiary information is not automatically transferred from any of your employer benefit elections to your SamCERA account, and it's important to keep this information up-to-date on your retirement account with us. Print and complete a Beneficiary Designation form for active members from, and easily submit it by mail/PONY or upload it using the MySamCERA member portal or mobile app.

  3. Get to know your retirement pension benefit - As a new member, it's important to read the "Welcome to SamCERA" guide to learn more about your contributions, establishing reciprocity, and understanding how your retirement benefit is calculated.

  4. Visit the SamCERA website - The SamCERA website has the most up-to-date information about your membership, and it's also the place to find forms, publications, and important news.

You can reach us the following ways if you need your SamCERA ID or have any questions:

  • Send an email to
  • Send us a secure message on the MySamCERA member portal or mobile app
  • Call us Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. at 650-599-1234




Planning to retire soon?
Here are a few reminders as you prepare your retirement application:

  • Your Retirement Date Is The First Day You Want To Begin Retirement: Many members use their last working day as their retirement date, but that's not correct. Your retirement date is the first day you want to begin retirement, not the last day you are in a paid status. If your last day in a paid status is January 31, then the earliest date you can retire is February 1.

  • Submit A Copy Of Your Marriage Certificate: If you are married, please submit a copy of your marriage certificate with your retirement application. Double check to make sure you have this handy ahead of time because we cannot accept other versions, such as a ceremonial certificate that was provided by your officiant.

  • Retirement Applications Should Be Submitted No More Than 60 Days Before You Retire: Please submit your retirement application within 60 days of your retirement date.

  • Include A Voided Check With Your Application: Attaching a voided check to your application is important to prevent any delays when requesting direct deposit benefit payments. We cannot accept a deposit slip.

  • Sign Both Sections Of The Tax Withholding Form: The tax form has two sections - one section is for federal withholdings, and the other section is for CA state withholdings. We're unable to process your withholding elections without your signature in both sections.

  • If Your Marital Status Has Changed Since You Became A Member, Notify SamCERA ASAP: If SamCERA is not notified of a change in martial status (such as divorce) in a timely manner, it could cause delays with processing your retirement application. Learn more in the "Divorce and Your Benefits" guide.

If you need assistance with your application, please email or call us at (650) 599-1234.


In August 2021, Elaine Orr was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve as the Fourth Member, a seat formerly held by Eric Tashman. Elaine is a Chartered Financial Analyst with experience as a retirement system trustee and board member. She was previously Director of Investments with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and has held various roles at BlackRock advising and building investment solutions for pensions, foundations, and endowments.

Click below to learn more about all of SamCERA's Board of Retirement members.

Despite the pandemic and lowering our assumed rate of return to 6.25%, we were able to improve our funded status to 88.1%, which can be attributed to strong investment returns and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors' commitment to pay down its unfunded liability. Learn about the fund and SamCERA's finances in the 2021 Popular Annual Financial Report.
The schedule of financial planning classes through June 2022 is available on our website and on LMS. Each course provides a 40+ page workbook which includes informational content, exercises, and resources to help you take control of your finances. These classes can also count toward the County's 20-hour training target & your spouse/partner is invited to join, too!
The MySamCERA member portal and mobile app are your keys to your account information. Log in to your account to view and print member statements, review beneficiary elections, run retirement estimates, and more! If you don't have account access and need help setting it up for the first time, email for assistance.
Want to learn more about your SamCERA pension benefit?
Our member guides and website provide detailed information about your pension. Learn about service purchases, reciprocity, vesting and more!
SamCERA logo

Office Hours

7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.


100 Marine Parkway, Suite 125
Redwood City, CA 94065


650-599-1234 or 800-339-0761

Website & Member Portal
SamCERA Times is published for members of the San Mateo County Employees' Retirement Association. SamCERA benefits are governed by the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 and the California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013; therefore, any discrepancies between the law and the information in this newsletter will be resolved in accordance with the law.
The material contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
SamCERA Times, Winter 2021