A CalPERS special power of attorney allows you to designate a representative or agent, known as your attorney-in-fact, to conduct your retirement affairs. Should you become unable to act on your own behalf, your designated attorney-in-fact will be able to perform important duties concerning your CalPERS business, such as:

  • Address changes
  • Federal or state tax withholding elections
  • Retirement benefit elections

The CalPERS special power of attorney is specifically designed for use by active and retired CalPERS members and beneficiaries. You may already have a power of attorney set up through another resource; however, it may not address your CalPERS retirement benefits.

For more information, review CalPERS Special Power of Attorney (PUB 30) (PDF).

To get started, you'll need to complete the CalPERS Special Power of Attorney form (PDF). You can appoint as your attorney-in-fact one or more persons who:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • May or may not be related to you by blood, marriage, or domestic partnership legally recognized by the State of California

Appointing More than One Attorney-In-Fact

If you appoint more than one attorney-in-fact, indicate in Section 2 of the form whether you want them to act

  • separately,
  • alternately, or
  • jointly

If you do not indicate how you want your attorneys-in-fact to act, then all of your attorneys-in-fact must act or sign together “jointly.” Granting joint authority to two or more attorneys-in-fact is exercisable only by their unanimous action.

If you choose your attorneys-in-fact to act "alternately," you must number each attorney-in-fact in numerical order in which they are to act.

You can grant your attorney-in-fact the specific authority to:
  • Select a payment option on your behalf
  • Designate a beneficiary of your retirement benefits

On the CalPERS Special Power of Attorney form, indicate whether your attorney-in-fact can designate or change your beneficiary. If you do grant your attorney-in-fact authority to designate a beneficiary, you must specify whether your attorney-in-fact may designate themselves.

You can choose when you want your special power of attorney to commence or terminate. Your options are detailed in the table below.

Special Power of Attorney Type

Duration

Durable

Begins immediately and remains in effect for your lifetime or upon you canceling

Limited

Begins on a given date and terminates on a given date or a specified event

Contingent

Begins only upon a determination that you are incapacitated and/or unable to handle your own affairs. You will need to provide the name or title of the person(s) who will determine your incapacitation.

General

Begins immediately and terminates in its entirety if you become incapacitated

If not indicated, your special power of attorney is effective immediately and will continue until it is revoked.

Ensure you meet the following requirements before submitting your Special Power of Attorney form:

  • Have either a notary public or two people at least 18 years old, neither of whom is the attorney-in-fact, acknowledge and witness your signature designating your special power of attorney.

  • Sign and state an execution date on the CalPERS Special Power of Attorney form. Your signature and execution date acknowledge that you are of sound mind and understand the election being made. Without them, the form may not be accepted.

If you change your mind about your power of attorney, you must complete a new CalPERS Special Power of Attorney form (PDF) with your desired changes. We also encourage you to notify those people who may need to carry out your wishes.

To revoke or terminate your special power of attorney, you must submit a written request to:

CalPERS Benefit Services Division
P.O. Box 942716
Sacramento, CA 94229-2716

You can then submit a new power of attorney if you wish.

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