Retirement benefits are funded through employee (member) and employer contributions, and by investment earnings of the fund.
As an active member, you pay contributions on retirement-eligible compensation through payroll deductions from your biweekly paycheck. Generally, retirement-eligible compensation includes your salary, or hourly rate, (reported as “regular” pay through payroll) and excludes overtime. Other pay types may be excluded depending on tier and hire date. For more information, review the Retirement Eligible Earnings Codes list.
Because SJCERA is a tax-qualified plan, contributions are not taxed when they are made, but retirement benefits based on those contributions are taxed when they are paid.
Member Contribution Rates
Retirement contributions rates vary based on your membership classification (General or Safety), tier (Tier 1 or Tier 2), representation unit, and age at entry or re-entry into SJCERA membership, or your age at entry (or re-entry) into SJCERA membership or into a prior reciprocal retirement system.
Member Contribution Limits
State and Federal laws limit the amount of retirement-eligible compensation that can be used when calculating retirement benefits. You will stop making member contributions for the rest of the calendar year once you exceed the retirement-eligible compensation cap; however, you will continue to earn service credit for the hours worked the rest of the calendar year. If you exceed the cap and your contributions are suspended, you will begin paying contributions again the first pay period of the following year. Contribution limit changes required by the applicable laws are effective January 1 of each year.
2024 Compensation Limits
|Tier 2: General and Lathrop-Manteca Fire:
|Tier 2: Safety (except Lathrop-Manteca Fire):
* The law sets a lower compensation limit for those Tier 2 positions that contribute to both SJCERA and Social Security.
For more information about employer contribution rates, refer to Employer Contribution Rates 2024 on the Employers page.