You earn service credit for each year or partial year you work for a CalPERS-covered employer. It accumulates on a fiscal year basis (July 1 through June 30) and is one of the factors we use to calculate your future retirement benefits. Alternate Retirement Program (ARP) members begin earning CalPERS service credit after the first 24 months of state employment.

Your CalPERS retirement benefits are based on your:

  • Age at retirement
  • Highest salary for either a 1- or 3-year period, depending on your employer's contract
  • Years of service credit

To earn a full year of service credit during a fiscal year, you must work at least:

  • 1,720 hours (hourly pay employees)
  • 215 days (daily pay employees)
  • 10 months full time (monthly pay employees)

Service credit for retirement purposes may differ from the service credit used by your employer for accrual of leave time. Refer to your Annual Member Statement for details.

State Second Tier

If you have State Second Tier service and have not yet retired, you may elect to convert your State Second Tier service credit to the State First Tier retirement formula. Learn more about converting from State Second Tier.

Purchase Options

CalPERS offers a variety of service credit purchase options. However, there are some limitations on who is eligible. Review this information carefully to see if you might qualify to purchase additional service credit.

As a result of the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), Additional Retirement Service Credit (ARSC) was eliminated as a service credit purchase option.

If you've already elected to purchase ARSC, your purchase will not be impacted. All ARSC requests submitted have been processed.

If you were a first-time state miscellaneous or industrial employee hired between August 11, 2004, and June 30, 2013, you may have Alternate Retirement Program (ARP) time administered by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). ARP is not included in your total CalPERS service credit.

  • If you do not elect to convert your ARP time to CalPERS service credit, you may be eligible to purchase this service credit following the conclusion of your 3-month election period. The cost to purchase this service will be calculated using the present value method.
  • If you previously separated during your ARP period and received a distribution of your ARP contributions from CalHR, you may be eligible to purchase that ARP time as well. Contact us for more information.
  • You have a one-time opportunity to receive CalPERS service credit for the actual amount of time worked during your two years of ARP participation. You make this decision during a three-month election period starting on the first day of the 47th month following your enrollment date in ARP and ending on the last day of the 49th month.

Eligibility

  • You cannot purchase this service credit if you already elected to convert your ARP time to CalPERS service credit or if you retire or terminate membership.
  • You may request to purchase any unconverted ARP service starting on the first day of your 50th month following your CalPERS membership date.

Requirements

  • You must purchase all unconverted ARP time, for which you are eligible, based on the actual amount of time worked during your two years in ARP. You cannot purchase partial service credit or only purchase service credit for a specific employment period.
  • Your Annual Member Statement shows how much unconverted ARP time you have.

Cost

The cost is based on:

  • Estimated future final compensation
  • Projected retirement benefit increase
  • Your highest monthly full-time pay rate

Determining the increase to your future benefits involves a number of actuarial assumptions including the projected age at retirement, life expectancy, salary inflation, and the assumed rate of return on investments. These assumptions are the same as those used to ensure all our benefits are adequately funded.

What's Next?

Review our Alternate Retirement Program (PUB 10) (PDF). Gather your employment history information for the first two years of your employment and submit the Request for Service Credit Cost Information - ARP (PDF).

Time spent working for a CalPERS-covered employer under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act before becoming a CalPERS member is known as CETA. Fellowship is time spent working under the Assembly, Senate, Executive, or Judicial Administration Fellowship program before becoming a CalPERS member.

Eligibility

If you are now a CalPERS member, you may purchase service time if you meet the following:

  • You worked under CETA for a federal- or state-sponsored program such as the Public Employee Program, Public Service Employment, Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program, Public Service Employment Program, or Cal Esteem.
  • You worked under the Assembly, Senate, Executive, or Judicial Administration Fellowship program.

You cannot purchase CalPERS service time if:

  • The agency where the service was earned does not currently have a contract with CalPERS.
  • You're retired.
  • Your service is excluded by law or by the employer's contract with CalPERS.

Requirements

You must be able to provide CalPERS with documentation certifying your dates and hours worked.

Cost

The cost is based on:

  • A pay rate that provides the best estimate of your future final compensation at retirement
  • How much service you are eligible to purchase
  • The amount needed to fund your future retirement benefits

What's Next?

Submit the Request for CETA or Fellowship Service Credit (PDF).

Layoff is time spent away from work as a result of a formal layoff action.

Eligibility

You can purchase service credit for layoff if you are a CalPERS member. You cannot purchase service credit if:

  • You're retired.
  • Your employer did not contract for this option.

Requirements

  • The layoff period must have been on or after January 1, 1981.
  • You may purchase a maximum of one year for each layoff period.
  • You must currently be active with the layoff employer.
  • You must elect to purchase this service within three years of returning to work or within three years of the effective date your employer adds this option to its contract.
  • You must have been a full-time employee prior to being laid off.
  • You must have been laid off from a CalPERS-covered public agency employer with this option in its contract.
  • You must have returned to full-time, CalPERS-covered employment with the layoff employer within 12 months of being laid off.

Cost

You must pay the contributions due, plus interest, for the period you were laid off. The cost is based on your pay rate and the contribution rate on the date you returned to employment. Interest is calculated from the date you return through the date you make the purchase.

What's Next?

Submit the Request for Layoff, Prior Service & Optional Member Service Credit (PDF).

A leave of absence is time during which your employer authorized you to be absent from some or all of your duties. Leave of absence types include:

  • Educational
  • Maternity/Paternity
  • Sabbatical
  • Serious illness
  • Service
  • Temporary disability

Eligibility

You may be able to purchase service credit for a leave of absence if you're an active or inactive CalPERS member, with the exception of maternity/paternity, temporary disability, sabbatical service, and serious illness leave; which are available to all members. Eligibility depends on type of leave and employer contract.

You cannot purchase service credit for a leave of absence if:

  • The leave was not approved by your employer.
  • You retired prior to your request to purchase service credit.

Requirements

An educational leave of absence is time off to pursue higher education.

  • You can purchase a maximum of two years' service credit even if the combined total of your educational leaves exceeds two years.
  • You must be a state, University of California, or California State University (CSU) employee both before and on your return from the leave.

Maternity/Paternity leave is time off after the birth or adoption of a child.

  • You can purchase up to 12 months per leave.
  • You cannot purchase additional service if you've already earned a full year of credit (10 full-time months) during that fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).
  • You must be an active or inactive CalPERS member.
  • You must return to CalPERS-covered employment at the end of the approved leave and remain in CalPERS-covered employment at least the same amount of time.

A sabbatical leave is a partially compensated leave of absence from CalPERS-covered employment.

  • There is no maximum time you can purchase.
  • You must be an active or inactive CalPERS member.
  • You must return to CalPERS-covered employment after your leave of absence.

A serious illness leave of absence is employer-approved uncompensated time off because of a serious illness.

  • There is no maximum time you can purchase.
  • You must be an active or inactive CalPERS member.
  • You must return to active service with a CalPERS-covered employer following the leave.
  • Your employer must certify you were approved for a leave because of your own serious illness.

Service leave is time off to serve with a college or university; local, state, federal, or foreign government agency; or certain nonprofit organizations.

  • If the leave was from a CSU, the employer you return to could include any campus within the CSU system. You must request cost information prior to retirement.
  • You can purchase a maximum of two years’ credit for each service leave.
  • You must be an active or inactive CalPERS member.
  • You must return to CalPERS-covered employment with the employer from which the leave was granted, or immediately retire after your leave of absence.

Temporary disability leave is time off while receiving temporary disability payments because of a job-related injury or illness.

  • There's no limit to the amount of time you can purchase.
  • You must request to purchase this service credit prior to retirement.
  • You must either return to CalPERS-covered employment or immediately retire after your leave of absence. You must request cost information prior to retirement.

Cost

The cost to purchase this service credit is based on:

  • An average of any special compensation (for example, uniform allowance, holiday pay, longevity pay, etc.)
  • Your highest monthly full-time pay rate

Determining the increase to your future benefits involves a number of actuarial assumptions, including the projected age at retirement, life expectancy, salary inflation, and the assumed rate of return on investments. These assumptions are the same as those used to ensure all our benefits are adequately funded.

Cost for Temporary Disability

The cost is based on your pay rate and contribution rate when you return from your leave, or the day prior to your leave if you immediately retire. The CalPERS interest is calculated from this date through the date you make the purchase.

What's Next?

Submit the Request for Leave of Absence Service Credit (PDF).

Military Leave of Absence

Service credit will be posted to your account at no cost, if you:

  • Entered military active duty within 90 days of leaving your CalPERS-covered employment
  • Returned to CalPERS-covered employment or were placed on a state civil service re-employment list within six months of your discharge date
  • Were granted a military leave of absence

If you returned to employment after the 6-month period, you'll be required to pay a portion of the cost. There are no limitations on the amount of time that can be credited.

Military Service Prior to CalPERS-Covered Employment

You may purchase a maximum of four years of military service credit if you're a:

  • Current, former, or retired member of a CalPERS-covered public agency employer that contracts for this option
  • Current or retired member of the state, University of California, California State University (CSU), or any school that contracts for CalPERS benefits

Eligibility

You can purchase military service credit if you meet the requirements for your membership shown below and you're:

  • A current, former, or retired member of a CalPERS-covered employer that contracts for this option
  • A current or retired state or school member

You cannot purchase military service credit if you:

  • Are employed as a safety member with the Los Angeles Community College District
  • Are receiving military retirement pay based on 20 years’ active military service
  • Have received military service credit in any other retirement system

Requirements

Tab 1 Content

Active members must meet all of the following:

  • You have a minimum of one year of earned CalPERS service for each year of military service credit request (4-year maximum).
  • You served in active military duty at least one year.
  • You were honorably discharged.

Retired members must meet all of the following:

  • You retired on or after December 31, 1981.
  • You retired with at least one year of CalPERS service credit for each year of military service requested.
  • You retired within 120 days of separation from a qualifying employer. The increase in benefits will be effective once CalPERS receives your election and will not be retroactive to your retirement date.
  • You served in active military duty at least one year.
Tab 2 Content

Current or former employees of a public agency employer that contracts for this option must meet all of the following:

  • Your purchase could include up to an additional six months of service credit.
  • You served in active military duty.

Retirees of a public agency employer that contracts for this option must meet all of the following:

  • You served in active military duty.
  • You retired within 120 days of separation from a qualifying employer. The increase in benefits will be effective once CalPERS receives your election and will not be retroactive to your retirement date.

Cost

The cost to purchase this service credit is calculated based on:

  • An average of any special compensation (e.g., uniform allowance, holiday pay, longevity pay, etc.) reported to CalPERS, and
  • Your highest monthly full-time pay rate

Determining the increase to your future benefits involves a number of actuarial assumptions including the projected age at retirement, life expectancy, salary inflation, and the assumed rate of return on investments. These assumptions are the same as those used to ensure all our benefits are adequately funded.

What's Next?

Gather your military service information. Use the Service Credit Cost Estimator to get an idea of the cost of purchasing this service. You must complete an online estimate before downloading the Request for Military Service Credit (PDF). Once you download the form, complete the appropriate part. You must submit a copy of your cost estimate and supporting documentation (e.g., copy of Military Discharge Documents, DD-214, Certification of Military Service record, etc.) to CalPERS for all active duty periods along with your request form. You can also complete and mail in Standard Form 180, available on the National Archives website.

You may obtain a copy of your discharge document from:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

U.S. Marine Corps
Commandant Headquarters
Personnel Management Support Branch (MMSB-10)
2008 Elliot Road
Quantico, VA 22134-5030

Optional member service is time spent working in certain exempt, appointed, or elected positions that allow employees the option of joining CalPERS. There are no limits on the amount of time that can be purchased.

Eligibility

You may be eligible to purchase service credit for optional member service if you are (or elect to become, if eligible) a CalPERS member.

The following employees are considered optional members:

  • A state employee who was appointed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Secretary of State, Treasurer, or Superintendent of Public Instruction and is exempt from civil service
  • An employee of the California State Senate or Assembly whose wages are paid from funds controlled by either body
  • Some officials elected or appointed to a fixed term of office with a city or county (this may include city attorneys and elected/appointed officials of schools and contracting agencies; eligibility is determined by the dates of your term of office)

You cannot purchase service credit if:

  • You're retired.
  • Your employer did not contract for this option.

Requirements

You must meet both of the conditions below:

  • You're a CalPERS member.
  • You 're an optional member on the date you request your cost information.

If you formerly held an optional position and are now a CalPERS member, you may still be able to purchase your former service.

Cost

The cost calculation is based on your pay rate and the contribution rate on the date you became a member (after the service was rendered), plus interest.

What's Next?

Submit the Request for Layoff, Prior Service & Optional Member Service Credit (PDF).

If you're an active or inactive CalPERS member, you may be eligible to purchase credit for up to three years of service in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America), or AmeriCorps.

Eligibility

You can purchase Peace Corps, AmeriCorps*VISTA, or AmeriCorps service credit if you are either:

  • A public agency member (if your employer contracts with CalPERS to provide this option)
  • A state or school active or inactive member

You cannot purchase Peace Corps, AmeriCorps*VISTA, or AmeriCorps service credit if:

  • You're already retired.
  • You don't have certification of your dates of service.
  • Your public agency employer does not include this option in its contract.

Requirements

You must be able to provide CalPERS with documentation certifying your dates of service.

Cost

The cost to purchase this service credit is calculated based on:

  • An average of any special compensation (e.g., uniform allowance, holiday pay, longevity pay, etc.) reported to CalPERS
  • Projected retirement benefit increase
  • Your highest monthly full-time pay rate

Determining the increase to your future benefits involves a number of actuarial assumptions including the projected age at retirement, life expectancy, salary inflation, and the assumed rate of return on investments. These assumptions are the same as those used to ensure all our benefits are adequately funded.

Use the online Service Credit Cost Estimator to get an idea of the cost of purchasing this service.

What's Next?

Submit the Request for Peace Corps, AmeriCorps*VISTA, or AmeriCorps Service Credit (PDF).

Prior service is time worked for an employer before they contracted with CalPERS. A contracting agency may provide this service or a percentage of this service at employer cost.

Eligibility

You may purchase service credit for prior service if you're:

  • A retired member (limited situations)
  • An active or inactive CalPERS member (the employer must contract for this service credit option)

Requirements

You must be an active or inactive CalPERS member if cost is required. There's no maximum amount of time for which you can receive credit.

If you worked for a CalPERS-covered employer:

  • Limitations/restrictions vary by agency. Some agencies may require that you be employed on the effective date of the contract. Check with your personnel office.
  • The agency must have contracted for this option.

Cost

This benefit depends on the specific terms of your employer's contract with CalPERS. Depending on the contract, you could be:

  • Credited at no cost with all of the service credit you would have earned
  • Credited at no cost with some of the service credit you would've earned and be given the option to purchase the rest (cost would be based on your pay rate and the contribution rate on the date you became a member after the service was rendered, plus interest)
  • Given the option to purchase all of the service credit you would've earned (cost would be based on your pay rate and contribution rate on the date you became a member after the service was rendered, plus interest)

What's Next?

Submit the Request for Layoff, Prior Service & Optional Member Service Credit (PDF).

If you were previously a CalPERS member, left your CalPERS-covered employer, and took a refund of your contributions and interest; you may be eligible to redeposit these funds and get back those years of service credit.

Eligibility

You can redeposit funds you previously withdrew if you're:

  • A member of a reciprocal retirement system
  • A member whose former spouse or registered domestic partner received a portion of your account as part of a community property settlement and took a refund of their account
  • An active CalPERS member
  • An inactive CalPERS member with service credit still on record

You cannot redeposit if you:

  • Are now an active or inactive CalPERS member, but the agency you worked for does not currently contract with CalPERS or a qualifying reciprocal system
  • Are retired
  • Have previously purchased this service credit and received credit for this time under another retirement system
  • Left CalPERS-covered employment, withdrew your contributions, and currently not a member of CalPERS or a qualifying reciprocal system
  • Were enrolled in the Alternate Retirement Program (ARP) and received a distribution of those funds from the California Department of Human Resources (see the ARP purchase option for eligibility)

Requirements

If you withdrew contributions for one or more membership periods in one withdrawal, you must redeposit for all in one redeposit election.

If you made separate withdrawals of your contributions for one or more membership period(s), you may redeposit in one redeposit election or in separate redeposit elections. If you choose to make separate redeposit elections, you must begin with the most recent withdrawal and end with the oldest.

Cost

CalPERS calculates the amount of the withdrawal plus interest (compounded annually to the end of the current pay period).

What's Next?

Gather your employment history information for the time(s) you withdrew your CalPERS contributions. Use the Service Credit Cost Estimator to estimate the cost of purchasing this service. On the results page of the estimate, you'll be provided a link to download the request form.

You may be eligible to purchase service credit if you worked for a CalPERS-covered employer before you became a CalPERS member.

Eligibility

You may purchase service credit if you:

  • Are an active or inactive CalPERS member
  • Worked for a CalPERS-covered employer as a seasonal, temporary, part-time, or intermittent employee, but were not a CalPERS member

You cannot purchase CalPERS service time if:

  • The agency where the service was earned does not currently have a contract with CalPERS.
  • You're retired.
  • You worked at a school in a certificated position (you may be eligible to purchase the service through the California State Teachers' Retirement System instead).
  • You worked at the University of California after October 1, 1963 (you may be eligible to purchase service with the University of California Retirement Plan instead).
  • Your service is excluded by law or by the employer's contract with CalPERS.

Requirements

You must be able to provide CalPERS with documentation certifying your dates and hours worked.

Cost

The cost is based on your pay rate and the contribution rate on the date you became a member (after the service was rendered), and interest will be compounded annually to the date you make the purchase.

What's Next?

Gather your employment history information for the time you worked for a CalPERS-covered employer before becoming a CalPERS member. Use the Service Credit Cost Estimator to get an idea of the cost of purchasing this service. You'll be provided a link to download the request form once you complete the cost estimate.

Payment Options

CalPERS offers several ways to purchase additional service credit.

State employees can pay for converting their past Second Tier service through the Actuarial Equivalent Reduction (AER). Instead of making a lump sum payment or monthly installments for a fixed term, you can accept a permanent reduction to your monthly retirement benefit. AER is only available for Second Tier conversion payments.

You can elect AER any time before retirement, but the actual reduction will be based on your age at retirement. Once you make the election:

  • If you retire and AER is applied, you cannot pay off the balance or chose another payment method.
  • Interest continues to accrue until AER is applied at retirement.
  • You'll lock in the current interest rate in effect.
  • Your election to convert to First Tier is permanent.

AER is not reported as taxable income because taxes are based on the gross allowance after the AER is applied.

Survivor Benefits

AER is a reduction for the member's lifetime and the lifetime of any beneficiary receiving a monthly allowance. If you elect AER and die before retiring, your pre-retirement death benefits will be based on the First Tier formula. If your survivors are entitled to a lifetime option benefits, they'll still be responsible for the reduction. The AER is based on their age rather than yours. AER does not affect Survivor Continuance.

You can pay for additional service credit in installments for no more than 15 years. You may be eligible to make payments on a tax deferred basis. Check the Tax Deferred Payments section below.

Your maximum payment length will be based on your current pay type and the amount owed:

Payment Type Payment Length
Monthly 1-180 payments
Quad-weekly 1-195 payments
Semi-monthly 1-360 payments
Bi-weekly 1-390 payments

The minimum payment is $15 per month or the equivalent if paid other than monthly.

Initial Payments

An initial payment method is available with the remaining balance payable through installment payments. Your initial payment may be submitted following the same instructions under Lump Sum Payments.

CalPERS will accept a rollover or transfer from a qualified fund as a partial payment or lump sum such as:

  • 401(k), 401(a), or IRA plans
  • 403(a) or 403(b) plans
  • Conduit IRAs that originated from qualified 403(a), 403(b), or governmental 457 plans and have not been commingled with any other funds
  • Traditional Contributory IRAs, including SEP IRAs and Keogh IRAs (Roth IRAs don't qualify)

Tax Deferred Payments

When making installment payments for your service credit purchase, you may be eligible to choose the pretax, tax deferred Payroll Deduction Plan. This plan allows you to defer the income tax liability of your payments through payroll deductions. This is not available for lump sum payments.

Eligibility

This option is available to all state employees. If you work for a school or public agency, ask your employer if the option is available to you. Part-time California National Guard members aren't eligible.

How It Works

You can make this election at any time during your payment schedule, but only for future deductions. You'll be required to sign a binding, irrevocable election with CalPERS.

Once you make the election:

  • If overpayment occurs, we'll authorize your employer to refund the overpayment to you as taxable income.
  • The number of payments cannot be changed.
  • The payroll deduction schedule cannot be altered.
  • The total amount due cannot be paid off early.
  • You cannot revert to after-tax deductions.

We'll then notify your employer to begin making tax deferred payroll deductions. You'll need to make this election for each type of service credit purchase you make.

If you leave CalPERS-covered employment, you can continue your service credit payments through a direct payment plan. If you retire, payments will continue through a retirement allowance deduction. In both instances, these payments will be converted to a taxed basis. At that time, you can choose to make a full or partial payment for the balance owed.

You can make one payment to CalPERS to cover the cost of your additional service credit purchase. You cannot submit more than the lump sum amount shown. When your election and lump sum payment are received, we'll send you an acknowledgement letter.

If you wish to purchase service credit, review the information within the cost package; then complete, sign, and return your election to purchase service credit to CalPERS. The form is irrevocable and will be valid only if returned within 60 days. If the form is not received within 60 days, you must submit a new request for cost information, which may affect your eligibility and the cost to purchase service credit.

Keep in mind when making your lump sum payment:

  • If the check has more than one name, circle the member's name.
  • Personal checks are acceptable; do not submit two-party checks.
  • Your check should be made payable to CalPERS.

CalPERS also accepts plan-to-plan transfers or rollovers from a tax qualified eligible retirement plan as a payment. If you're considering this option, be sure to review the specific rules for using this payment method.

You can transfer tax deferred funds from one tax qualified retirement plan to another, generally without taxes or penalties. Be sure to check with the administrator of your plan to determine which transfers are available to you. For our purposes, we'll refer to these transfers as "rollovers."

CalPERS will accept a rollover as payment to purchase additional service credit. However, only certain kinds of tax deferred funds can be rolled over to CalPERS, such as:

  • 401(a) and 401(k) plans
  • 403(a) and 403(b) plans
  • Governmental 457 plans
  • The state Savings Plus program
  • Conduit IRAs that originated from a qualified 401(a), 401(k), 403(a), 403(b), or governmental 457 plan and have not been commingled with any other funds
  • Traditional/Contributory IRAs, including SEP IRAs and Keogh IRAs (Roth IRAs don't qualify)

The rollover amount cannot be more than the amount due to CalPERS for your service credit purchase. However, you can pay less than the amount due. If an initial payment is received, CalPERS will calculate the remaining balance owed for monthly installment payments.

Rollovers cannot be initiated after you retire. If requested prior to your retirement date, a qualifying rollover may be accepted for the balance of a service credit purchase. If you're planning on using a plan-to-plan transfer or rollover of tax deferred funds, the rollover must be completed within 120 days of your retirement date.

When making installment payments for your service credit purchase, you may be eligible to choose the pretax, tax deferred Payroll Deduction Plan. This plan allows you to defer the income tax liability of your payments through payroll deductions (not available for lump sum payments).

Eligibility

This option is available to all state employees. If you work for a school or public agency, ask your employer if the option is available to you. Part-time California National Guard members aren't eligible.

How It Works

You can make this election at any time during your payment schedule, but only for future deductions. You'll be required to sign a binding, irrevocable election with CalPERS.

Once you make the election:

  • If overpayment occurs, we'll authorize your employer to refund the overpayment to you as taxable income.
  • The number of payments cannot be changed.
  • The payroll deduction schedule cannot be altered.
  • The total amount due cannot be paid off early.
  • You cannot revert to after-tax, taxed deductions.

We'll then notify your employer to begin making tax deferred payroll deductions. You'll need to make this election for each type of service credit purchase you make.

If you leave CalPERS-covered employment, you can continue your service credit payments through a direct payment plan. If you retire, payments will continue through a retirement allowance deduction. In both instances, these payments will be converted to a taxed basis. At that time, you can choose to make a full or partial payment for the balance owed.



Resources

Forms & Publications

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I cancel my service credit purchase?

    Cancellations are not available for the following:

    • A service credit purchase subject to a community property division by way of court judgment, domestic relations, or other court order or settlement agreement
    • A tier conversion election
    • Contributions or service credit adjustments required by law or agreement
    • Payments submitted on a pretax basis

    • Pretax, tax deferred service credit purchase payment plans - Internal Revenue Code 414 (h) (2)

    • Retirees

    You may be eligible to cancel any installment payments under specific conditions. A cancellation is effective the month after it is approved. The original election remains in effect for payments already made.

    If your cancellation of remaining payments is approved, the service credit purchased by your original election will be reduced in proportion to the balance of the total amount remaining unpaid.

    You can request a cancellation online through Questions, Comments, & Complaints or by mail to:

    CalPERS Member Account Management Division
    P.O. Box 942704
    Sacramento, CA 94229-2704

    If you are paying for more than one service credit purchase, and are eligible to cancel, your request should include:

    • Approximate start date of payments
    • Installment payment amount(s) you want to change
    • Payment type
  • Can I change my payment plan?

    If you are making tax deferred installment payments, you cannot change your plan. Refer to Internal Revenue Code 414 (h) (2).

    For taxed installment payments, you can request a recalculation of your payment plan if you elected less than the maximum number of payments allowed by law.

    If you already elected the maximum number of payments, you can:

    • Pay a portion of your account balance with an additional payment.
    • Submit a lump sum payment to your account in full.

    If you're making taxed installment payments for a tier conversion, you may request to change to an Actuarial Equivalent Reduction (AER) plan.

    You can request a change online through Questions, Comments, & Complaints or by mail to:

    CalPERS Member Account Management Division
    P.O. Box 942704
    Sacramento, CA 94229-2704

    If you are paying for more than one service credit purchase, and are eligible to change your payment plan, your request should include:

    • Approximate start date of payments
    • Installment payment amount(s) you want to change
    • Payment service credit type
  • Can I purchase CalPERS service credit if I already have credit for it in another retirement system?

    You cannot receive benefits from two or more public retirement systems based on the same service credit.

  • How do I change my monthly payment amount on my election document?

    Your election document shows the minimum payment plan available. You can make larger payments, but you cannot decrease the minimum payment amount. To make a change, cross out the figures on your election document and write in your preferred payment amount. Initial and date your change. For more information, refer to the Choose Your Installment Payment page located in the First Tier Future Election Package (PDF).

  • How often will I be paid when I retire?

    You will receive a single check at the beginning of each month.

  • If I retire, what happens to my service credit purchase payment plan?

    Once we receive your application for retirement, you can contact us to request the payoff amount. This option applies to all members, regardless if your payroll payments were tax deferred or taxed. If you do not contact us, payments are automatically authorized from your retirement benefit on a taxed basis.

  • If I separate from state employment, what happens to my payment plan?

    The payment must continue. You must contact us to arrange direct payments to CalPERS. Interest continues to accrue on the unpaid balance of your service credit purchase or tier conversion plan.