For members retiring on or after January 1, 2018, retirement options have been consolidated and renamed with clearer titles and descriptions. You’ll find choosing a benefit payment option straightforward and will do so with more confidence.

What You Need To Know

  • We made these changes based on recent legislation (AB 2404, Cooley).
  • If your retirement date is before January 1, 2018, the changes do not affect you.
  • If you anticipate retiring on or after January 1, 2018, you can get a detailed estimate with the new retirement options by logging in to my|CalPERS, or by completing a retirement estimate request form. You can also obtain a quick estimate using the Retirement Estimate Calculator, which provides an unmodified allowance only.
  • If you previously received a retirement estimate for a date on or after January 1, 2018, the allowance may be slightly different based on the new retirement options.
  • Our online retirement application system will be updated with new options on August 12, 2017.
  • Revised retirement application publications will be available in September 2017.

New Options

Retirement Option Description
Unmodified Allowance Provides the highest monthly allowance paid for life. There is no continuing monthly benefit to a beneficiary and no return of unused member contributions upon your death.

Return of Remaining Contributions

Upon your death, provides a lump-sum payout of any remaining member contributions in your account to one or more named beneficiaries. This option does not provide your beneficiary an ongoing monthly benefit.
100 Percent Beneficiary Option 2 Provides 100 percent of the option portion of your ongoing monthly benefit to your named beneficiary upon your death. Upon both your deaths, a lump-sum payout of any remaining member contributions in your account will be paid to one or more named secondary beneficiaries.
100 Percent Beneficiary Option 2 with Benefit Allowance Increase Provides 100 percent of the option portion of your ongoing monthly benefit to your named beneficiary upon your death. If your beneficiary dies before you, or you have another qualifying event, such as a change in marital status, your benefit will increase to the Unmodified Allowance.
50 Percent Beneficiary Option 3 with Benefit Allowance Increase Provides 50 percent of the option portion of your ongoing monthly benefit to your named beneficiary upon your death. If your beneficiary dies before you, or you have another qualifying event, such as a change in marital status, your benefit will increase to the Unmodified Allowance.
50 Percent Beneficiary Option 3 Provides 50 percent of the option portion of your ongoing monthly benefit to your named beneficiary upon your death. Upon both your deaths, a lump-sum payout of any remaining member contributions in your account will be paid to one or more named secondary beneficiaries.
Flexible Beneficiary Option 4 Provides an ongoing monthly benefit of a specific percentage or specific dollar amount of your Unmodified Allowance to one or more named beneficiaries upon your death.
Court-Ordered Community Property Option 4/Unmodified Allowance Provides an ongoing monthly benefit to your nonmember spouse equal to his or her community property interest. For your remaining share, provides you the highest monthly allowance paid for your lifetime. There is no return of unused member contributions upon your death.
Court-Ordered Community Property Option 4/Return of Remaining Contributions Option 1 Provides an ongoing monthly benefit to your nonmember spouse equal to his or her community property interest. For your remaining share, provides a lump-sum payout of any remaining member contributions in your account to one or more named beneficiaries.
Court-Ordered Community Property Option 4/Specific Percentage or Specific Dollar Amount Provides an ongoing monthly benefit to your nonmember spouse equal to his or her community property interest. For your remaining share, provides an ongoing monthly benefit of a specific percentage or specific dollar amount of your Unmodified Allowance to one or more named beneficiaries upon your death.

We're Here To Help

The options may have changed, but the retirement application process remains the same. You can still apply for service retirement online, in person, or by mail.

Log in to my|CalPERS to file an electronic application or visit a CalPERS Regional Office.

If you have any questions regarding the retirement options or your retirement application, contact us.