In this issue: Remembering Paul, Welcome New Trustee April DeCarsky, What Retirement Payment Option Should You Choose, and more!                                                                                                                                             





Your retirement benefit is more than just a lifetime monthly benefit for you. After your death, part of your retirement benefit may continue to your beneficiaries. When you retire, you will have to decide who your beneficiaries will be, and the retirement payment option you choose will determine how much you leave them in the event of your death. The option you choose can affect the amount of your monthly benefit, so it’s important to understand all of your options before making a decision.


Remember that everyone’s situation is different. Regardless of what a friend or coworker chooses, the best option for you will depend on what you need for your lifetime and whether you need to financially provide for someone else when you pass away.


You can learn about the six different retirement payment options and eligible beneficiaries in the Guide to Your SamCERA Benefits.

Guide to Your SamCERA Benefits




If you’re thinking about or already in the process of leaving employment with a SamCERA employer, you'll have to decide what to do with the member contributions and interest in your account.


Your Options

  • Retirement
    If you are eligible to retire, you may apply for a regular service retirement. If you are leaving because you are unable to perform your job due to an injury or illness, you may be eligible for a disability retirement.


  • Leave Contributions with SamCERA
    If you leave your funds on deposit with SamCERA your contributions will continue to receive interest, and you will have three options: 1) If you have at least five years of SamCERA service credit, you can choose to defer your retirement until you are eligible and ready to apply. You also retain the right to withdraw your contributions and interest upon request; 2) If you have less than five years of SamCERA service credit, you can leave your funds on deposit and retain the right to withdraw those funds upon request; or 3) If you become a member at a reciprocal system within six months, you can establish reciprocity. Please note that once reciprocity is established, you can no longer withdraw your funds.


  • Withdraw Your Funds
    You can request to have your member contributions and interest refunded (this type of withdrawal is subject to taxes) and/or rolled over into an IRA or other qualified tax-deferred plan. Please note that there are no "partial withdrawals." If you choose to withdraw (or rollover), you may not leave any of your funds on deposit.

    It’s important to understand that if you withdraw your funds, it is an irrevocable decision, you will no longer be a member of SamCERA, and you waive your rights to all SamCERA benefits. This means you will not be eligible for any service retirement, disability retirement, or death benefits. 

More Information

Be sure to read the Leaving Employment guide to learn more about your options before making this important financial decision and contact us if you have any questions.

Leaving Employment Guide



Financial planning classes with SamCERA are a great way to better understand your finances and plan for retirement. 


Each class provides a 40+ page workbook with resources and information, and you’ll have access to a certified financial planner that can answer your questions. Instructors from Financial Knowledge Network do not affiliate with any financial institutions or products, so you are guaranteed pure, unbiased education. 


Learn more and sign up for a class today!

Learn More

Paul Hackleman, a former member of SamCERA’s Board of Retirement, passed away on March 1, 2023. He was 72.

“I, along with the members of the Board of Retirement and all of the staff at SamCERA, are deeply saddened at the news of Paul’s passing. With his extensive experience, he brought a unique perspective to the Board which helped develop our policies and shape our organization,” says CEO Scott Hood. “On behalf of everyone at SamCERA, I extend my deepest condolences to Paul’s entire family. He will be greatly missed.”

Paul was the County of San Mateo Benefits Manager from 1982 to 2008. He also served as an elected SamCERA Board Trustee for 15 years, first as an active employee, and later in his retirement.

We will remember Paul for his dedication to helping people retire with more security, and above all else, his kindness and compassion for others. 


SamCERA welcomed April DeCarsky to the Board of Retirement in February 2023, when she ran unopposed for a partial term for the Safety Alternate seat. April is currently a Deputy Probation Officer III with the County of San Mateo, and her current term on the board will expire June 30, 2024.


The Safety Alternate board member substitutes in the absence of the Second, Third, or Seventh member. Additionally, if the Eighth member and Retiree alternate are absent, they substitute for the Eighth member.


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!
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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, Spring 2023