We’re here to make sure you enjoy financial security when you retire from your public service career. CalPERS is the nation’s largest public pension system, with more than 2 million members. We provide retirement benefits to State of California employees, classified school employees, and employees from other agencies throughout the state. Visit our Facts at a Glance to learn more about us.

Who Is a CalPERS School Member?

School members are employees in classified, non-certificated positions within the jurisdiction of a K-12 school or community college employer. School members include administrative staff, technical and support staff, bus drivers, and custodial staff. Currently, we serve more than 700,000 school members.

Why Become a CalPERS School Member?

Becoming a CalPERS school member means you're taking an important step in achieving retirement security. Once you’re eligible to retire, you’ll receive a monthly retirement (pension) check for the rest of your life. It’s never too early to start thinking about retirement.

Advantages of Having a CalPERS Retirement

We offer a defined benefit plan where retirement benefits are calculated using a formula based on your age, service credit, and your final compensation. In a defined benefit plan, you'll receive a lifetime retirement income that can also be left to your beneficiaries.

How CalPERS Retirement Benefits Work

The longer you work in a CalPERS school position, the higher your pension will be. Since CalPERS is a defined benefit plan — which means the retirement benefit you’re entitled to is based on a defined formula — it’s simply a mathematical calculation:

Service credit (Years) multiplied by your benefit factor (percentage per year) multiplied by your final monthly compensation equals your unmodified allowance.

Service Credit


Benefit Factor
(% Per Year)


Final Compensation
(Monthly $)


Unmodified Allowance

  • Service Credit - Total years of employment with a CalPERS employer.
  • Benefit Factor - Also known as "age factor", is the percentage of final compensation you’re entitled to for each year of service credit.
  • Final Compensation - Your highest average annual compensation during any consecutive 12 or 36 month period of employment.
  • Unmodified Allowance - Your highest benefit payable.

For more information about the factors used in your retirement calculation and ways to maximize your retirement benefit, visit our Service Credit webpage or view our CalPERS Quick Tip video below.