Frequently Asked Questions About CalPERS and COVID-19
Yes. Our file was submitted timely to the State Controller's Office (SCO) and SCO is currently processing the April 1 retirement checks and they'll be paid on time. Due to current limitations at the SCO, they will not be printing and mailing the direct deposit statements for April 1. They're always available on-line through your myCalPERS account.
There will be no change in your warrant amount due to circumstances related to COVID-19. Changes to deductions, such as taxes, could affect the warrant amount as always. If additional data is reported, an adjustment would be processed which could change your warrant.
No, members can't stop contributing to their pension unless they terminate their membership with CalPERS (ie terminate employment.) Members who withdraw their "employee" contributions automatically terminate their membership and are no longer eligible to receive a pension. Employer contributions aren't refundable.
The Regional Offices are conducting phone appointments and are working to open more slots. You can schedule those appointments through your myCalPERS account. While no same-day appointments are currently available, appointments for the following day and thereafter are available.
You may apply for retirement through your myCalPERS account, which doesn't require a notary.
Our Sacramento headquarters and Regional Offices are currently closed to protect the public and our team members. But we're open for business, and there are many ways that you can still reach us:
- The CalPERS Contact Center remains open and our benefit team members are available to assist you Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by calling 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377).
- Telephone appointments with the Regional Offices are available next-day and beyond by registering through your myCalPERS account or by calling 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377). You may choose any Regional Office for a phone appointment, not just the one closest to you.
- You can also use your myCalPERS account to make important updates online like making changes to tax withholdings or direct deposit, or you can submit secure member inquiries.
- Our website also includes resources and publications to help answer any of your questions.
- CalPERS support teams will continue to process documents sent by U.S. Mail and route them to team members to process and respond.
CalPERS is a long-term investor. That means we prudently and patiently invest through all market cycles. Our team is focused on working together through the extreme volatility of the markets
We've also been planning for an economic downturn for some time. As a result, we are better prepared now than during the financial crisis of 2008. The steps we have taken to lessen the impact of a downturn include:
- Lowering the discount rate, or what we assume our investments will earn each fiscal year
- Implementing a diversified and balanced portfolio, which is essential during times of market volatility
- Shortening the period in which employers pay down their liabilities. That increases the cash into the system and saves public agencies millions of dollars in the long run
- Investing the additional $10 billion in contributions made to the CalPERS fund by Governors Brown and Newsom
- Maintaining a healthy liquidity position to take advantage of market opportunities
We're fully committed to protecting the fund and the retirement security of California's public employees.
If your CalPERS health coverage has been terminated because you didn't submit the Dependent Eligibility Verification documentation in time because of COVID-19, contact us and the CalPERS Health team will review the situation. You'll receive a response within one business day.
We continue to process Service Credit Purchase elections in a timely fashion. Those elections with a pending expiration date are processed first. Members impacted by COVID-19 who had their election period expire are encouraged to contact CalPERS for assistance.
Yes. Our Electronic Payment Gateway allows you to make making electronic payments to CalPERS securely and conveniently.
You may make, reschedule, or cancel your appointment through your myCalPERS account.
There currently are no changes to the time it takes for a service retirement, disability retirement, or survivor benefit determination. The processing time frames for Service Credit Purchases and refunds also remain the same.
We're making every effort to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and are prioritizing our workload to ensure the most critical needs are addressed as quickly as possible. We're committed to ensuring refund request applications are processed timely, minimizing any impacts to our members. In addition, service credit costing requests with a pending retirement date are prioritized and worked first by our team. As part of our process, our team will contact members with a pending retirement date to inform them that the election packet is on its way and to remind them to respond in a timely fashion so we can complete the election prior to the retirement date.