Reciprocity (Changing Retirement Systems)
Reciprocity allows you to move from one retirement system to another without losing your benefits. CalPERS' reciprocal agreement with other California public retirement systems can allow you to coordinate your benefits between the two systems when you retire.
When you change retirement systems:
- At retirement, you must apply to retire from both systems using the same retirement date, unless you meet retirement eligibility requirements in the other system before meeting our age requirement.
- The highest final compensation from either system can be used to calculate your retirement benefit, but you'll receive separate retirement payments benefits from each system.
- There's no transfer of your retirement contributions or service credit between retirement systems.
- You'll be a member of both systems and are subject to the membership, benefits, and rights of each system.
As a result of the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), CalPERS will consider reciprocity when we determine your benefit formula. Refer to your member benefit publication for new formulas in effect due to PEPRA.
To submit a request to establish reciprocity, log into your myCalPERS account and select the Retirement tab and select Retirement Summary from the drop-down list. In the Reciprocity section, select the submit a request to establish reciprocity link. Once your request is submitted, we’ll send you a letter confirming we received your authorized request to establish reciprocity. You can view your online request in myCalPERS to monitor the determination status.
For more information, including a list of reciprocal retirement systems that have agreements with CalPERS, view When You Change Retirement Systems (PUB 16) (PDF).
Forms & Publications
- Refund Election Application (myCalPERS 1202) (PDF)
- When You Change Retirement Systems (PUB 16) (PDF)
- Welcome to CalPERS: A Benefits Guide for School Members (PUB 3)
- Welcome to CalPERS: A Benefits Guide for State Members (PUB 4)
- Welcome to CalPERS: A Benefits Guide for Public Agency Members (PUB 5)
Frequently Asked Questions
- How will my service with a reciprocal retirement system be used toward qualifying for retirement?
Service with a reciprocal retirement system, CalSTRS, JRS, JRSII, or LRS can be used toward qualifying for CalPERS retirement. However, each retirement system will calculate your retirement benefits separately and base the calculation upon only the years of service credited in each system. Your salaries and wages earned with another system cannot be used to compute your retirement benefits with the California National Guard. For additional information on reciprocity and reciprocal retirement systems, refer to When You Change Retirement Systems (PUB 16) (PDF).
- What is reciprocity and am I eligible?
As a member of CalPERS, you may be eligible for the benefits of reciprocity. Reciprocity is an agreement among public retirement systems to allow members to move from one public employer to another public employer within a specific time limit without losing some valuable retirement and related benefit rights. Refer to When You Change Retirement Systems (PUB 16) (PDF) for more information.