Retirement Benefits

Retirement Benefits / Beneficiaries

Congratulations on your retirement! Here are a few facts you will want to know.

A retired member is someone who has retired and is earning his or her lifetime SJCERA service or disability retirement benefit. A beneficiary is an SJCERA member who is receiving a monthly continuance or allowance from a deceased active or retired member of SJCERA. Below is a summary of information you should keep in mind.

All monthly retirement and death benefits are paid once a month, generally on the first business day of the month. If you do not receive your benefit payment by the 8th of the following month, please contact SJCERA.

Direct deposit is the safest way to receive your benefit payments. SJCERA will mail you a copy of your direct deposit advice, summarizing your benefit payment including any deductions or withholdings applied to your benefit.

It is critical that we have a correct address on file. If your address is not up-to-date and SJCERA cannot verify your whereabouts, your monthly benefit payment may be suspended.

Your benefit payments may be taxable. SJCERA can withhold Federal and State of California income taxes from your SJCERA benefit. You can set up, change or revoke your tax election at any time by completing the appropriate  Tax Withholding Certificate.

Monthly benefits paid by SJCERA are eligible for an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) based on the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Area for the previous calendar year, rounded to the nearest half percent, not to exceed a maximum of 3 percent. When the CPI exceeds 3 percent in any year, the difference between the actual change in CPI and 3 percent is accumulated in a "COLA bank" for future years when the change in CPI is less than 3 percent.

Periodically a retiree decides to return to work. There are several options. If you are considering returning to work for an SJCERA employer, contact SJCERA to confirm what impact, if any, this may have on your retirement benefit. If you are returning to work for a non-SJCERA employer, your retirement benefit will continue as is.

At retirement, members are required to select a retirement benefit option and beneficiary. This selection determines the death benefits your beneficiary may be eligible for upon your death, and if applicable, who will receive the $5,000 burial allowance. If your beneficiary dies or you wish to update your beneficiary information, you must complete a Beneficiary Designation form. Please contact SJCERA to find out more.